Woodfordes Wherry 40 pint real ale kit problem

I started the brew ten days ago but the sg wont drop below 1016. Contacted Muntons the kit supplier and have been advised to stir the brew and test again in three days time. Im using a Boots beer maker's thermostatic heater. When ready it will go into my Boots aluminium pressure barrel with 100 grams of sugar. Anybody else had this problem?
you lucky sods - just had a look at the prices of brewing stuff at Wilco. Cheap as bloody chips, that is!

Brotherton Lad

Kit Reviewer
Kits often stick a little high, but 1016 is too high, so do as they say. I generally leave 12 to 14 days for primary fermentation.

What may have happened is the yeast has settled out early. Though the yeast should be gently roused; vigorous stirring at this point runs the risk of oxidation.

Ah! Just spotted date, so I hope it's fixed now.

For future ref:



Advice seems to be aerate well at the start. Re-hydrate your yeast before pitching. Even add extra yeast from the start.

Look at re-using your yeast too, that way you can start with more. You can rinse the slurry when a brew is finished, but you have to be clean:

All OK now. Have siphoned into pressure barrel with 100g sugar. How long, do you recon, before I can sample a wee drop?
If you want to be VERY naughty, you could add the equivalent amount of warm water, some citric acid or lemon juice and some sugar, (can't remember how much, because I never did it, personally...... honest) and make a mash which can be distilled into a form of poteen.

My first wife was a paddy and I laid on a half gallon jug of single potato poteen......

Jayzus, even the priest was crawling around the floor, whimpering...... I overheard the landlord behind the bar saying, " Queer ******* wedding this, haven't sold a single short!"

Brotherton Lad

Kit Reviewer
All OK now. Have siphoned into pressure barrel with 100g sugar. How long, do you recon, before I can sample a wee drop?
You should wait a week at least, though sampling a bit every day from now on is tolerated (purely for reasons of quality control and empirical research).

On a serious note, it is worth taking a sample just to learn how the taste alters over time. It will be quite sweet with the new sugar, which will ferment out in about 4 days. Then the bitterness will mellow out and, in slower time, the residual yeast will slowly ferment the more complex dextrins.

It also teaches you the eternal lesson that you need to get another brew on much earlier than you had imagined.
...It also teaches you the eternal lesson that you need to get another brew on much earlier than you had imagined.
That's no lie. Brew every two weeks if you can. Your friends will appear out of the woodwork, making this a necessity. Get them involved as well, so one or two of you always has something on the go that needs sampling.


Kit Reviewer
Ok, want to start brewing. So what is the best complete starter kit and most cosy effective? Seen a few for 60 notes that look ok, but what is your advice troops ?
I started with a kit from wilkinson's for 20 quid. Admittedly, that was about 4 years ago, but that included the syrup. I used old coke bottles bottling.
I'm looking at Coopers at the moment, Weiss Beer.

However for the same price I've just ordered 3 crates of Ale from Wychwood brewery
Oh, Top Tip: no matter what the extract kit instructions say, do not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES use normal sugar for a brew.

No, really.

If you just want cheap alcohol, and you lost your tastebuds in a Wombat-related incident maybe, but otherwise NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Noticed recently that a lot of CJ Berry's recipies include white, brown or demarera sugar. Were tastebuds different in the 70's?
I cracked open the first couple of bottles from my Coopers lager starter kit at the weekend and was pretty impressed (they are now 2 weeks post bottling). Clear, no yeasty taste, but you can tell it is not a strong lager (around 3.5%). Coopers talk about adding 2 of their sugar drops to a 0.75l bottle, though my set came with .5l bottles and instructions to add just one drop. The beer is not flat, it pours with a good head, but that goes fairly quickly. That is the only downside to what is certainly a drinkable beer. I now have bought a new bitter from Wilkos which talks about adding half a spoon of sugar per bottle. I assume the Coopers sugar drops (which I have a fair few left over) will still do the same job?
They will.

There's several ways to prime the beer. Use a spoon, make a solution and use a syringe, or make a solution and mix all of it into the whole brew at one go (without aerating it and using a sanitised spoon to gently mix it in).
"40 pint real ale problem"

I thought the problem was going to be along the lines of "two hands and only one mouth".
More problems with my Woodfordes Wherry Real Ale Kit. Twenty days ago I siphoned the contents of the fermentation bin plus 100 grammes of dissolved sugar into my sterilised aluminium pressure barrel. I then left it in a warm place for a week then removed it to a cool bedroom. Today I sampled the beer but was met with a dribble from the tap (not under pressure at all) and a very cloudy glass of beer. I had to remove the barrel cap to get a glass full out. What do you think is wrong please? I used to brew Boots bitter kits years ago with great success but am not having any joy with this kit.
Assuming the tap is at the bottom of the keg, you've got a gas leak out of the lid. Take the lid off (place a clean tea-towel over the hole, if you're anxious), remove the O-ring, give everything a clean, apply a smear of vaseline to the O-ring and more vaseline on the threads.

Add another tablespoon of dissolved sugar (or use CO2 if you have it).

Re-fit the lid and tighten, bit of a knack here; too loose, it will leak but over-tight and you'll distort the O-ring, another leak). Warm room again to prime.

What did it taste like?
I dont think I have a leak as when I undid the screw cap liquid flowed from the tap then stopped when I re tightened the cap. The O ring was in good condition and vaseline was used to coat the screw thread. The beer didnt taste as it should and quite cloudy. I have a cap which can take a CO2 cartridge (where do I get them?).
It's a leak of gas from the lid (either that, or your yeast karked it, in which case you'll be able to taste the sugar).

There are 2 types of cartridge; little single use jobbies about 2" long and S30 bottles about 10" long. The little ones you can buy on-line still, I think; the S30s you usually have to get from a shop. Make sure you know which type you need the fittings are different. There's also a widget world system, sodastream and your big pub gas bottles.

Home Brew Kits, beer kits, wine kits for Beer Making and homebrew Wine Making at HopandGrape.com

Home Brew Kits, beer kits, wine kits for Beer Making and homebrew Wine Making at HopandGrape.com

Your brass fitting will also have a safety valve with a rubber on it and a rubber seal where it goes through the lid. It's worth dismantling all of this, cleaning the metal, fitting new rubbers, vaseline and re-build it. Esp if your keg has been sitting around for years. Best find and fix the leak before you start squirting more and more gas in.

Brown rubber - safety release gas out.
Black washer.
Black rubber gas in.
Rubbers and washer can perish, brass can corrode slightly. Very cheap to replace the rubbers.

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