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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?

moto748 - 27 Oct 2020 18:35:20 (#561 of 663)

Did you make the elder-flower champagne, nemo?

I feel this thread is ripe for a renaissance in the current climate.

I have just started another batch of beer, using the recipe and technique I first developed (consults notes) over 35 years ago. This only the second batch I've made since 1985, though. Partly cos the last lot was a big disappointment. However, I think (or hope) I know where I went wrong.

nemo75 - 27 Oct 2020 18:39:21 (#562 of 663)

Did you make the elder-flower champagne, nemo?

No. Somehow I missed the flowering this year. Maybe it was when I wasn’t going out much.

moto748 - 01 Nov 2020 17:59:01 (#563 of 663)

Beer looking good so far. Should be ready for transfer into demi-johns in a day or two.

BasilSeal - 02 Nov 2020 09:21:48 (#564 of 663)

could anyone advise me on my cider making.

I've got two 33 litre plastic buckets with sealed lids full of pressed apple juice from trees on the farm. initially i had some yeast i bought last year when i intended to do this but never got round to it so used that, put camden tablets in the juice and pitched the yeast in 48 hrs later. i hydrated the yeast in a jug with luke warm water two sachets of lalvin ec1118 Champaign yeast. poured half into each tub. nothign happened, after three days i realised that it wasn't fermenting, so ordered some fresh yeast to re pitch it and some yeast nutrient.

I also realised that one sachet of yeast wasn't quite enough for 33 litres so ordered 4 . unfortunately they only sent two, so i re pitched one with the two sachets and the yeast nutrient and within 24 hours it was bubbling away nicely.

two days later the missing yeast was resent and i did the same for the second batch. after nearly two days, still nothing is happening. is there any point in having another go at pitching the yeast? i've got a different batch of the same yeast in the fridge i ordered at the same time in case the replacement didn't come on time.

djsuggz - 02 Nov 2020 12:14:07 (#565 of 663)

Amateur hour suggestion?

Get the remaining supply of yeast that you have going in a luke(ish) warm cup of ‘sugary water’, and put it in as it is - already working. It might then start chewing on the sugars in the main body of the juice?

nemo75 - 02 Nov 2020 12:39:57 (#566 of 663)

The lids aren’t sealed while it’s working, surely?

BasilSeal - 02 Nov 2020 12:42:49 (#567 of 663)

er yeah, once i'd put the yeast into the juice i put the sealed lid and airlock on top, should i have left the lid unsealed until the yeast got going?

BasilSeal - 02 Nov 2020 12:55:16 (#568 of 663)

DJ, that's pretty much what i've done already, mixed the yeast with 100ml of warm water with a tea spoon of dissolved honey in it to get it going, then added it to the juice after about 10 minutes along with a cup of water with the yeast nutrient in it.

I did wonder as a last resort whether to get a jug full of the juice and mix the yeast and yeast nutrient with that and leave it to stand with a tea towel over it for a while before adding it back to the main mix.

djsuggz - 02 Nov 2020 18:53:55 (#569 of 663)

Yeah, I reckon I’d give it longer to get up to ramming speed. Tea towel and pop it near a radiator. Get it shifting a bit.

Antimatter - 02 Nov 2020 19:57:58 (#570 of 663)

Certainly try warming up the environs a bit. We certainly ran into problems when we had heat pumps installed and the latent heat from the furnace was no longer available.

moto748 - 09 Nov 2020 16:49:23 (#571 of 663)

Beer now bottled. This time I went to the expense of a proper over-centre crown-top fitting tool. Unfortunately, I discovered that it only worked on about 25% of my empty bottles. It's all about the shape of the glass under the lip. The remainder had to be hammered on with a hand tool. Now it's a question of just waiting to see it if it clears OK.

djsuggz - 09 Nov 2020 17:34:12 (#572 of 663)

I have some frightening Winter Wine and Mead on the go.

The former fermented for two months (from crushed grapes) and the latter is capsicumel mead using honey, lemon, raisins, demarera sugar and a couple of whizz bang chillis in the mixture for a week or two. It’s still ticking over, just slightly.

moto748 - 16 Nov 2020 15:34:21 (#573 of 663)

Started second batch of beer today. First batch bottled 10 days or so ago. Minor tweaks to recipe, but similar to last time.

nemo75 - 16 Nov 2020 15:47:27 (#574 of 663)

Silly question. Is it ready when you bottle?

moto748 - 16 Nov 2020 15:58:03 (#575 of 663)

No. Obviously, at a minimum, it should be left until fully clear, but the longer the better; it does make a real difference. First batch should be drinkable by Xmas, but it will be better in March.

It's pretty daft to go to all that time and trouble to make it, and then start guzzling it before it's ready.

BasilSeal - 16 Nov 2020 16:00:14 (#576 of 663)

another daft question, other than saving your empties, what's the most cost effective way of sourcing bottles?

moto748 - 16 Nov 2020 16:04:31 (#577 of 663)

Saving your empties is best, but home-brew shops do sell empty bottles fairly cheaply. I need about 35 for a batch.

nemo75 - 16 Nov 2020 17:05:54 (#578 of 663)

Oh sorry. It was a genuine question. I’ve never made beer.

djsuggz - 16 Nov 2020 19:59:11 (#579 of 663)

I think, with most of this stuff, the longer you leave it the better it gets, neems.

With beer, a teensy bit of sugar in the bottom of the bottle leads to it carbonating a bit. A month later the product’s way better.

moto748 - 16 Nov 2020 21:03:19 (#580 of 663)

As I mentioned upthread, the last lot of beer I made, a couple of years ago, was so disappointing I poured it all down the drain. Except that I kept back half a dozen bottles for reference, out of interest. I tried one the other night. It was not great, but 'drinkable', which it certainly wasn't at the time. The moral being, all beer improves with age, within reason. Of course it shouldn't be necessary to keep it anything like two years to be drinkable.

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