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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?

djsuggz - 26 Feb 2015 19:34:05 (#301 of 663)

Same as with food really, as a non-recipe chef. There's meals I have made in the past I would love to recall with a snap of my fingers. Plenty I'd consign to the vortex, mind.

As you say, it's that now and again "this is fantastic" moment that's so ace.

Everything bubbling away under nice control, now.

Antimatter - 27 Feb 2015 13:57:32 (#302 of 663)

Brewing currently curtailed, I had a rotten bladder infection which has meant I have spent the last couple of months vomiting etc, all under control now but I have taken against our current stock of wine. I have 50 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and I cannot stand the thought of drinking them. This is most unlike me. So my thoughts have turned to beer, however, our Christmas tree this year was 7' tall, when I finally took it down at the end of January, the snows had started in earnest so it is now languishing in the garage and spitting out pine needles at every available opportunity. As we still have 11' of snow on the ground, I will not be able to move it to the wood pile until end of March at the earliest, so the garage is currently out of commission.

However, thinking it forward, that raspberry mead sounds interesting, what's your recipe axolotl?

djsuggz - 27 Feb 2015 14:05:16 (#303 of 663)

Yes, indeed, do tell, axo!

Hello Anti - lovely to see you. Could you pop a case of your SB over to my missus, do you think?

axolotl - 27 Feb 2015 14:55:26 (#304 of 663)

4.5lb honey 250ml white grape concentrate 1tsp grape tanin 2.5g mixed acid 12oz frozen raspberries 1tsp yeast nutrients Gervin wine yeastWater to 1 gallon

I started by boiling up a couple of litres of water, then dissolving in the honey. concentrate, tanin, acid, and yeast nutrient. Then I added the raspberries, still frozen. I poured the whole lot into a demijon and topped up to 1 gallon with cold water - the mixture was then at about 25C so I bunged the yeast in straight away. I racked after the first week and again after about a month - this helps to separate the wine from the solid particles of fruit. Finally, I used Kwik Clear finings to render it crystal clear (but bright red!) and bottled up.

Even if I do say so myself, it's the best tasting brew I've made in some time. I'm hoping it'll be even better by next Christmas.

Enjoy :-)

djsuggz - 27 Feb 2015 15:23:24 (#305 of 663)

More than half tempting that.

Be interesting to see where I might buy 4.5lb of honey for anything less than £££...

Pretty sure I can get all of it from either Wilco or my brewing shop.

Did you manage to get the raspberries out of your demijohn okay?

nemo75 - 27 Feb 2015 20:48:01 (#306 of 663)

Costco would solve the honey issue.

djsuggz - 27 Feb 2015 21:03:55 (#307 of 663)

One of those places you need a card for? I might know someone...

axolotl - 28 Feb 2015 21:49:15 (#308 of 663)

"Be interesting to see where I might buy 4.5lb of honey for anything less than £££.."

Aldi :-)

Raspberries came out fine. Because they were pre-frozen they quickly broke down into mush.

djsuggz - 28 Feb 2015 22:03:16 (#309 of 663)

I did wonder if that might be the case.

Aldi 'round the corner from us. I'll have a look-see.

Half tempted to do this as a little side project to the mass BBQ brew.

What sort of voltage is it, axo?

axolotl - 01 Mar 2015 14:31:45 (#310 of 663)

I reckon it's about 15-16%. Quite pokey.

djsuggz - 01 Mar 2015 14:54:39 (#311 of 663)

Ideal. I'll keep a couple of bottles back for us and spread the rest around mini kilner jars as gifts for chums for Christmas.

Nice one, thanks.

djsuggz - 06 Mar 2015 11:00:49 (#312 of 663)

Moving things on a bit, this weekend. Both the tubs of Pilsner and Choc 'n Treacle Stout have had a fortnight to putter away, so I shall, one by one, siphon them off their leavings, into a holding vessel, and then back again to be fined, before they go into sugared bottles next week. Then the work on the Exec pale ale kit, and the apple and pomegranate cider can commence with the larger vessels freed-up.

The two artisan reds are now behaving themselves. I need to get to firing up the gooseberry white wine at some point. Then it's just the mead recipe above to get working on, and we should have everything we need made, stored, chilled and matured nice in time for the big day (Sunday 16th August).

Lovely stuff. I might use the interim period to dream up a couple of other things, just for us at home.

axolotl - 06 Mar 2015 12:09:29 (#313 of 663)

Great stuff, Dj.

A couple of top tips. Firstly, to avoid the faff of measuring and adding sugar to each bottle, consider bulk priming: Add the sugar to the barrel just before syphoning into bottles. I've used this calculator for working our the correct amount of sugar to add:

Secondly, I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds it hard to get an accurate reading from a standard hydrometer when fermentation has finished or almost finished. An aquarium hydrometer (designed for salt water reef tanks) is a useful alternative for measuring low SG - it's roughly twice as accurate as a beer and wine hydrometer. They're also quite cheap - a few quid.

djsuggz - 06 Mar 2015 13:00:55 (#314 of 663)

Interesting. I've never really got 'round the measuring the whole 'how strong is it' element of things. I suppose I should, really.

I may well for bulk sugaring this time, having fined the stuff to a point of clearness. It can always settle again in the bottles if mixing in the sugar stirs up any remaining sediments.

djsuggz - 08 Mar 2015 10:00:04 (#315 of 663)

Findings into the two big brews now. Both smell pretty agreeable. A good 80 pints to bottle up next weekend.

djsuggz - 08 Mar 2015 10:02:11 (#316 of 663)

Will start on the pale ale, then, and the cider just after payday.

The missus laid waste the other bottle of Blueberry Pop cider last night. It smelled delicious having sat for a few months in the fridge in the garage.

Have to make some more of that at some stage.

axolotl - 08 Mar 2015 16:35:15 (#317 of 663)

"It can always settle again in the bottles if mixing in the sugar stirs up any remaining sediments."

When I've done bulk priming, I've always racked the beer/cider first. It's a little more work, but there's a lot of time saved later.

I must admit, I don't usually bother working out the alcohol percentage very accurately. But on the odd occasion that I have, an aquarium hydrometer made it easier (and I just happened to have one hanging around).

We really need to get our arses into gear and bottle some of this lovely raspberry beer.

djsuggz - 16 Mar 2015 15:00:39 (#318 of 663)

Right, well, progress has been made.

20 litres of Pilsner and 21 litres of Chocolate and Treacle Stout bulk-primed and bottled and labelled, all ready to spend some time carbonating and maturing in the garage. Lovely lovely.

The three wines from the first batch are starting to slow down, and the gooseberry white is now underway. Started the 'Razorback IPA' kit, yesterday as well, which should yield another 22 litres. It has hop pellets in the kit, which I have to pop into the mix on Thursday. Most exciting!

So, now it's just two more things to get going on: a big bucket of 20 litres of milady's cider (apple and pomegranate again would get my vote) and the excitements of the raspberry mead discussed above.

Pause for a bit to let things tick over, once all the items are underway. Might have a think about some more artisan red wine making, during the Summer months.

djsuggz - 16 Mar 2015 15:17:53 (#319 of 663)

I realise now, with back-stocks included, we'll shortly have more than 200 pints on the premises, and more than 80 bottles of home-made wine.


axolotl - 18 Mar 2015 12:46:32 (#320 of 663)

How did the bulk priming go?

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