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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 - 17 Apr 2015 12:43:08 (#361 of 662)

Yes, thanks, that makes a lot of sense to me now - bit dense at the start of the day, I've warmed up the grey matter now. I am thinking of using either 2 x Wilko tins of malt extract, or some of their bags of malt spray, dissolved into a comparatively smaller amount of kettle-boiled water. I like very much the idea of a hop/special grains tea, made with a muslin bag and then chucked in the main fermenter when it's cooler. Sort of a pot pourri approach, into which I could add a bit of floral flavour. It works well with the top up liquids for the demijohns of wine that I make.

deadmanwalking23 - 17 Apr 2015 12:43:58 (#362 of 662)

latest batch of chocolate and treacle stout

Hey Suggz, did you add the chocolate and treacle yourself? If so how and when?

Shabbyman - 17 Apr 2015 12:52:12 (#363 of 662)

2 cans of extract is a good way to go as you get more body, flavour and head retention in your finished beer. Adding sugar ups the ABV but gives a thinner result.

TheRenegadeMaster - 17 Apr 2015 12:53:00 (#364 of 662)

I am thinking of using either 2 x Wilko tins of malt extract, or some of their bags of malt spray,

House brew (sourced from Wilko's penge) is one tasteless lager kit, one tasteless bitter kit, one bag muntons spray malt (which seems to be 50% dextrose), brew til ready ish, then make a hop tea out of 50g citra from the malt miller online. It is awesome

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 13:22:14 (#365 of 662)

Yep, no worries at all, dmw.

Once I had mixed the Wilko kit in with the boiling water, and topped up with cold water to 20-odd litres, I quite simply upturned a jar of Tesco value drinking chocolate (a tub's about 90p) and a tin of Lyon's Black Treacle (a quid, over the road in Home Bargains).

I then stirred it in, to get rid of any lumps, pitched the yeast and stuck the lid on. It really works jolly well.

This time round I worked on the mass-priming principle. The second batch of this last year got bit fizzy, primed by the bottle. It's better to put 90g of sugar into 20-22 litres' worth. Just a light agitation and a bit of head in the glass on pouring.

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 13:25:47 (#366 of 662)

House brew (sourced from Wilko's penge) is one tasteless lager kit, one tasteless bitter kit, one bag muntons spray malt (which seems to be 50% dextrose), brew til ready ish, then make a hop tea out of 50g citra from the malt miller online. It is awesome

Excellent! How do you make the tea? Just steep the hops in a bag in boiling water for a while?

deadmanwalking23 - 17 Apr 2015 13:32:58 (#367 of 662)

Think I'd like to try and chocolate and treacle but not sure about on a whole batch, you think I could do it at the bottling stage for a few bottles to taste?

TheRenegadeMaster - 17 Apr 2015 13:33:55 (#368 of 662)

split into 3 batches . boil first lot in a saucepan at 60 degrees for 45 minutes. poor into top of fermeneter at end

boil second batch at 80 degrees for 5 minutes

boil 3rd batch at clsoe to boiling for 90 seconds.

each time just pour in top of fermenter before racking. it disturbs the sediment a little bit but it seems to work for me. plus you can definitely tell its citra.

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 13:35:28 (#369 of 662)

Not terribly easily, no, as the ingredients are a bit gungey and sticky and whatnot. Plus you want time for the flavour to get into the booze.

However, could you consider, once the initial stir and top up to 20 litres work has been done, pouring off a few litres and doing a small, doctored brew alongside the main one?

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 13:38:48 (#370 of 662)

each time just pour in top of fermenter before racking. it disturbs the sediment a little bit but it seems to work for me.

And, presumably, racking the combined liquids mixes the hop tea into the main brew sufficiently to gather the taste in each bottle?

What sort of quantity of tea to malt brew do you make? 1:20?

TheRenegadeMaster - 17 Apr 2015 14:19:57 (#371 of 662)

there seems to be sufficient time for the mixtures to mingle. top of the funnel sits below the water line.

I tend to ferment in a bucket, fine, transfer to pressure barrel (purely for ease of dispensing, plus removal of most of the lees, i don't tend to pressurise), settle again for a few days and then just bung in the hops and bottle soon after. It's about 1:20 ish, yes. possibly a bit less. It's the main reason i add the spraymalt in to beef it up in advance before it is watered down. This stuff can keep for months, possibly a year or more due to both hop and alcohol content, but i've never had the patience to leave it for long enough to find out.

KittyKarateRedux - 17 Apr 2015 14:24:19 (#372 of 662)

If it ever gets warm and sunny I think I'll have a go at making Kvass http://natashaskitchen.com/2012/02/19/angelinas-easy-bread-kvas-recipe/

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 14:32:37 (#373 of 662)

Ooh, that looks interesting, Kitty. Thanks for sharing. Bet it's an interesting taste.

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 14:34:12 (#374 of 662)

I'm brimming with enthusiasm for making some slightly more artisan beer, now. Going to look online for hops.

TheRenegadeMaster - 17 Apr 2015 14:40:49 (#375 of 662)

Heh, due to its popularity, citra hops are now unavailable at the malt miller. oh well, a switch to a pioneer / chinook blend it is. I've been off the brewing due to moving house, but will be on it again with a vengeance in a few weeks and am properly inspired by the stout options of this thread.

KittyKarateRedux - 17 Apr 2015 14:46:07 (#376 of 662)

A Russian colleague brought me a bottle of kvass as a thank you present. It's definitely a bit unusual, kind of sweet and sour, heading more towards sour the longer you have it.

djsuggz - 17 Apr 2015 15:28:54 (#377 of 662)

I like the look of Cascade hops, by the description.

If I did a bulk buy off that site, even with a few delivery costs I could be making a brew at about 55p per pint, I reckon. V tempting.

djsuggz - 20 Apr 2015 11:58:45 (#378 of 662)

Raspberry mead is slowing, but still going.

Time to rack it off into a fresh vessel, I think. Want the finished product to be super clear.

djsuggz - 22 Apr 2015 09:17:38 (#379 of 662)

Job done.

Lovely colour, pleasingly sweet and strong already.

It'll be working for a while longer, I'd say. Happily it doesn't seem to 'leave' very much. Good clean brew.

Shabbyman - 23 Apr 2015 08:20:59 (#380 of 662)

Reading back I think I see what you mean about boiling and hops. You could do an extract boil and add hops but it seems unnecessary if you're using a kit as it will already have hops added for bitterness and you have the hassle of cooling. You could up the bitterness by using hop extract, but the hop flavour largely comes from additions during fermentation and conditioning (if you use a keg).

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