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I've been thinking about home brewing (mainly for the comedy label possibilities, if I'm honest) and was wondering if anyone here has any experience of home brewing?

And if so, what? Beer, lager, wines, cider etc. Are their many possibilities for experimentation, or is it all about buying make it yourself kits that have all the stuff you need to brew your own identikit booze? I'd like to somehow make a dandelion and burdock beer, and plum cider and other stupid stuff. I don't much want to make a pint that tastes nearly the same as something I could buy in the pub.

Oh, and is it difficult or very expensive?

Cheers!

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You'll need lots and lots and lots of space. Keep away from ready prepared kits - gross. Also, don't print out comedy labels or give your beer 'funny' names - nothing puts me off as an ale drinker than a awfully named ale. Be classy!

There's probably a load of info if you Google, or you could even get a book about it from the library.

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You'll need lots and lots and lots of space. Keep away from ready prepared kits - gross. Also, don't print out comedy labels or give your beer 'funny' names - nothing puts me off as an ale drinker than a awfully named ale. Be classy!

There's probably a load of info if you Google, or you could even get a book about it from the library.

If I was making it for anyone other than me and my friends, I'd not be seen dead doing 'comedy' beers. But this (were it ever to actually happen) would be strictly a messing around for fun proposition. So the comedy labels would be in-jokes, and they'd be fine.

Do you really need loads of space? I'd only want to make a couple of dozen pints at a time.

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Well, this is remembering from a friend, but he used huge glass jars with like a nottle neck thing on it to do it in. He did it quite seriously though. I probably wouldn't attempt in a flat unless you have a massive airing cupboard to put it in or something. Though it really depends on how you go about it - there could be different ways. I think my Dad did it once in big plastic tubs with lid like paint comes in!

I'll let you off about the labels as long as they are funny and you send me a bottle. :blink:

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Laine talks rubbish about space. All you need is space in the airing cupboard for a 5 gallon plastic barrel.

One tip I have learned from talking to people - sterilise EVERYTHING - including the spoon you stir it with. You can and will fuck it up if not and it will be like drinking vinegar. I screwed my attempt up as did my Dad. Some of the blokes who drink in the pub where I work reckon their home brew tastes as good as the ale out the pumps.

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Also, don't print out comedy labels or give your beer 'funny' names - nothing puts me off as an ale drinker than a awfully named ale. Be classy!

I'm much more likely to drink something at a beer festival if it has an amusing name, classy is boring.

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I usually find amusing name - rubbish ale. ^_^

Also a lot of them are just repackaged ales anyway, they lug out the same ones with different seasonal comedy names.

St Austell brewery in Cornwall taught me that! Cornwall is full of crap 'funny' ales. St Austell don't do that, obv. I could murder a bottle of Clouded Yellow right now. :wub:

Maybe at the next beer fest I go to I should get over my snobbery and only pick badly named ales.

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St Austell brewery in Cornwall taught me that! Cornwall is full of crap 'funny' ales. St Austell don't do that, obv. I could murder a bottle of Clouded Yellow right now. :)

I could do with a pint of Tribute now...

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  • 4 weeks later...

You might get that bottle after all, Laine.

All of a sudden, after nothing being mentioned about it for three weeks, several of my friends have decided they're going to get a homebrew kit too, maybe two each. So in theory we'll be able to churn out around 350 pints every month.

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  • 1 month later...

Wilkinsons do loads of good homebrew stuff. I particularly like Woodford'es Wherry, ale. I mae a barrel over Christmas, and while it's not as great as stuff from a pub it was certainly drinkable, and really easy to make as long as everything is cleaned correctly it's pretty hard to mess up.

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It's in the front room. The yeast doesn't smell much to be honest. On the other hand, the front room is rarely used. I don't think Mrs Scribblor would be happy with the smell pervading all through the house.

Bottling comes in a week and a half. I'd better start guzzling booze so I've got enough empty bottles. 40 pints!

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Just bottled my first kit brew, Youngs Brew Buddy.

Unfortunately used brewing sugar, just been reading online that you should really use spraymalt or beer enhancer as the brewing sugar leaves a twang, that it definitely has at the mo.

Going to try a Wheatbeer kit at the weekend with spraymalt.

Anyway the fruits: (cloudyness should settled during secondary fermentation, they rest for 2 weeks now)

post-1433-1276728201_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bottled my first 40 pints this morning. Took another specific gravity reading and it's apparently 4.2% at the moment. I imagine that'll go up after secondary fermentation?

It now needs to rest for at least a week, and should be as mature as it'll get after 4. I had a few mouthfuls when I was bottling and it doesn't taste half bad. Should be really nice after maturation.

I used granulated white sugar, by the way. If it tangs up too badly I'll get some brewer's sugar for next time. Checking on Jim's Beer Kit though, they seemed to agree that brewer's sugar isn't necessary as you often end up with some tang anyway. Fingers crossed mine isn't spoiled by the Tate & Lyle!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Scribblor how did it pan out?

I put my 2nd kit on yesterday, Coopers Wheatbeer. Expecting much better results this time as I used 1KG of Beer Kit Enhancer. A mate made the Cooper Wheatbeer with Brewing Sugar and I definately rated it so cant wait on these to be ready, should be about 4% when they finish, think I'll give it 2 weeks in the Primary fermenter...

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It's drinkable, certainly. Weird aftertaste from the first mouthful - that 'tang' I've heard about, I suppose. But that goes away after a couple more swallows and then it's just nice bitter. Not great - you wouldn't pay pub prices for it - but it's cost me around 50p a pint, so I'm not complaining.

I need to find out if you can add flavours to kits, next (ginger, chilli, what have you). I've looked into making it from scratch and it seems like I'd need loads more equipment (as Laine suggested earlier) at the price of many hundreds of pounds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brew #2 - Coopers Wheatbeer.

Tasted nice when bottling (well the sample taste - its flat when you bottle!) and smelt good. Used Beer Kit Enhancer instead of brewing sugar so hoping it does not have a taaaaannggg!

60 bottles but cougld have eeked another few litres out before i got to the sludge. Retail Corona bottles are shite to re-use , the neck snapped on 3 occcasions when capping :(

post-1433-022612000 1280387601_thumb.jpg

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