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Started by Hundredsand on Sep 12, 2013 10:09:05 AM
Bung an Airlock in the Demi-john

If you've got stuff brewing in the cupboard, are you doing it because it gets cheap result, or is a tasty little hobby which can cost more than buying a bottle of plonk?

Shabbyman - 26 Nov 2013 16:15:24 (#28 of 663)

I did well with orange/grape juice a while back using 5l water bottles to ferment in. It's definitely bottle aging that makes the difference, and storage on their sides is supposed to keep the corks from drying out.

OneOfOne - 26 Nov 2013 16:32:28 (#29 of 663)

Mr Ron our superannuated brewdog swears by a scottish heavy kit, it comes out looking like brown ale, and tastes like it too. Not bad at all.

This keeps his throat wet, drinking a good two or three pints any night - he has a couple of brew barrels and a couple of pressure kegs to store/dispense it and that keeps him going.

carterbrandon - 26 Nov 2013 22:25:17 (#30 of 663)

Mr Ron

This is the voice...

Piscineaste - 26 Nov 2013 22:34:17 (#31 of 663)

Suggzy - just found this thread. If you want a brewing kit, go to these guys:

http://www.massivebrewery.com/

(Disclaimer - the guy who runs it is a good mate of mine).

You're not in ThatLondon, are you? Only the Craft Beer Co in Islington runs a very good homebrew club. Your local CAMRA branch should be able to point you in the direction of something similar.

djsuggz - 27 Nov 2013 11:47:12 (#32 of 663)

Thanks for all that Pisci

I'll have a look at your mate's site when it comes to buying all the stuff I need in the New year. I had one equipment set in mind that seemd to do everything, but can cheerfully have my mind changed.

A club? Hmm, possibly. As with most things, I would want to be able to lay claim to a certain level of proficieny before I went out to talk about it at a club. I am Captain Amateur in almost every aspect of life...

Post deleted by user
Hundredsand - 03 Dec 2013 17:34:12 (#34 of 663)

Noticed a bit going greenish around one of my demijohn bungs. On removal, there was small amount of liquid trapped between top of bottle neck and bung smelled vinegar. Sort of concerned it getting into the wine, so decided to rack off into bottles and a few Kilner jars. Gave some to friends with instructions to drink soon. Got favourable comments.

The wine was fine. Dry. Lovely colour. Made with 2/5 white grapes, 2/5 elderberries, and 1/5 apples, plus addition of blackberry jam.

djsuggz - 03 Dec 2013 17:41:04 (#35 of 663)

Jam. Now there's a notion. Hmmm.

Full of enthusiasm for home booze projects, right now, following a first visit to gf's parents up in Scotland. They're veterans of country wine making, cider making and twiddled vodkas, gins and whiskies. Nice people, they brought me an early Christmas present in the form of the book 'Drink Your Own Garden'. Out of print these days but it's nicely pitched for know-nowts like me.

Hundredsand - 03 Dec 2013 18:33:11 (#36 of 663)

My own homemade jam.

SinnerBoy - 09 Dec 2013 17:18:41 (#37 of 663)

Hundredsand -

The wine was fine. Dry. Lovely colour. Made with 2/5 white grapes, 2/5 elderberries, and 1/5 apples, plus addition of blackberry jam.

Did you add pectolase? The jam will contain pectin and make the product cloudy.

Hundredsand - 09 Dec 2013 17:26:05 (#38 of 663)

Yes, I added pectolase. However, the jam contained no pectin. I made it using plenty of sugar, that's all. The wine is crystal clear and a beautiful colour.

SinnerBoy - 09 Dec 2013 18:03:10 (#39 of 663)

It may not have been on the list of ingredients, but it will have had pectin. It's often included under the guise of mixed fruit, ie plums.

Hundredsand - 09 Dec 2013 18:16:36 (#40 of 663)

Fruit skin contains natural pectin, I guess. Commercial jam has it added, so they can use less fruit and sugar to make bigger profit.

These days, commercial jam tends to go off more quickly because of the addition of pectin, which is why I just use plenty of sugar in my homemade jam.

I put pectolase into my wine must the day before adding yeast, or something like.

SinnerBoy - 10 Dec 2013 16:01:21 (#41 of 663)

These days, commercial jam tends to go off more quickly because of the addition of pectin, which is why I just use plenty of sugar in my homemade jam.

Pectin's simply a naturally occurring carbohydrate polymer, found in some fruits. In the past, the plum growing industry in Britain did very well, as plums contain a large percentage of pectin.

It used to be that plums could be added to jam, labelled as strawberry, raspberry etc. EU rules changed that and said that such jam could only be sold as mixed fruit jam.

As far as I'm aware, most jams have the same % of sugar as they ever did, but less, or no artificial preservatives, which could account for them going mouldy. For what it's worth, I can remember jam, home-made and commercial, going mouldy from a very young age.

Tomnoddy - 10 Dec 2013 16:29:12 (#42 of 663)

Gin sitting in a demijohn and three Kilner jars over sloes. This should keep us in sloe gin from next summer for a couple of years at least.

The downside of a very good year for sloes is the cost of 4 litres of cheap gin. The upside is over a gallon of sloe gin :0)

djsuggz - 14 Jan 2014 21:03:29 (#43 of 663)

2014 update.

The pre-mulled effort went down very well at Christmas. I'll do that again, but the blackberry and coffee effort remains my strongest concoction to date, I think.

Three things on the go at the moment:

1/ A straight out, two-bucket one-week kit my mate bought me. Smells a bit synthetic and is taking longer than a week due to lack of consistent temperatures in Winter.

2/ A Cab Sauvignon flavoured by steeped dark chocolate and Serrano chillis. Experimental, that one. Feel it ought to work.

3/ A Chardonnay that will have lime, lemon, lemon grass and ginger in the cooled top-up water.

Antimatter - 15 Jan 2014 01:55:50 (#44 of 663)

We get a very good Barolo kit here, which includes a pack of dried Elderberries, might be worth considering.

We don't have Demi-Johns here, we have Carboys. Larger basically. Makes about 30 bottles at a time. I find that the cheaper packs of grape juice work fine, the extra you pay for expensive kits just isn't worth it. We just mix it all up, sling it in the furnace room and two weeks later reap the harvest.

djsuggz - 15 Jan 2014 08:24:42 (#45 of 663)

Yeah, when I get the brewing kit I have lined-up for purchase for my birthday, it comes with a substantial fermentation vessel that you use before you pipe it off into a pressure barrel.

What I might do is buy a second such bucket (Carboy) and do something similar when I go away for a couple of weeks in the Summer. Leave it (a big kit's worth) a fortnight to ferment, then on returning home siphon it out into the other one and add finings etc. then let it settle. Could be a good route to a decent but cheap supply of everyday drinking red.

Jinkjude - 15 Jan 2014 14:45:01 (#46 of 663)

I'm currently waiting for 80 pints to condition in barrels. I think they're still months away sadly. I'm keen to do the hops thing this year too.

Rhubarb wine sounds great...we have plenty of rhubarb twice a year here.

OneOfOne - 15 Jan 2014 15:12:33 (#47 of 663)

We're going to set old Gaffer Ron up as our local brewer. We drink enough of his beer as it is, so we decided to buy a pressure vessel and install it in the poker house.

Ron will do us brews and fill it up when it's empty, and we will have a cash box for 50p a pint to cover his costs.

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