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Thread: Home Brew

  1. #1
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    Home Brew

    I was given a home brew kit for my Birthday, and we started our first brew on the weekend.

    Anyone here brew their own? I know you do Andy (keen to try some).

    What styles do you guys Brew?

    Anyone brew Belgian style beer (Duvel/Chimey style beer)?

    I know that in Germany, homebrewers don't use any sugar (as by law, "Beer" can only contain malt, hops, yeats and water). I assume they buy malted barley and use that. I don't know how the bottle fermentation works though. Anyone know if it is possible to brew without sugar here???

    Btw - In Germany, there is a limit on how much homebrew you can make per year. When someone reaches their quota, they throw a few grains of rice in each batch after that, so it isn't "real" beer anymore, and therefore isn't covered by the quota.

  2. #2
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    Dont brew myself at the moment but i have done in the past. Used to make a ripper mead. When i get things settled down a bit here (sheds etc.) i will be starting up again. Gotta have a binge drink while i,m playing with the old landy in the shed.

  3. #3
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    Hi mate,

    Just got myself a home brew kit too. Currently making my first brew of a Porterhouse.

    Interested to pick up any tips too.

  4. #4
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    Until you get the hang of it, use Coopers kits. They are foolproof and palatable. I like Real Ale, Draught, and Stout. I use either a kilo or 1.5 kilos of raw sugar or brew enhancer. Absolute cleanliness of equipment and bottles is absolutely necessary.
    URSUSMAJOR

  5. #5
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    Talking Home Brew

    G'day Ben

    Been brewing for the best part of 20 years. There are purists n plodders. Not sure where I sit on that scale but my advise is pretty simple.

    To start out with, by the kits in a can. Brew something simple like a draught or an Ale. Follow the instructions and you can't go wrong.

    There is a couple of simple rules,

    Rule 1 Clean,
    Rule 2 Clean
    N if you missed rules 1 & 2 guess what rule 3 is?

    Clean.

    Once you have built your first brew using sugar and following the instructions you can start to experiment.

    The kit or Wert (pronounced Wort) is a boiled down version of the same thing that CUB puts into its 20,000l fermenters. If you want a good book to read grab a copy of "The complete guide to Home Brewing in Australia" by Laurie Strachan

    Using the pre prepared kits you can build a very good quality brew but because of the quantities brewed per batch (usually 31 x 750Ml bottles) being able to do it consistently is key to success.

    Success comes from having a robust repeatable process. I brew doing the following;

    1. Sterilise everything using 1 tablespoon of household bleach per 4 litres of water,
    2. Swap the sugar out for Dextrose (brewers sugar, made from Corn)
    3. Take care with the temperature, in Tasmania I used to use 4 litres of boiling water and 18 litres of cold water. Here in QLD I'm using 1 litre of boiling water and 21 litres of cold water.
    4. I guess it goes without saying that the cleaner the water the better so if u can nik RO or Distilled water from your iminent colleagues in the schools of science then do so you will get a much better result than with tap water.
    Thats enough for now, don't want to scare you. Have a go n tell me how you get on.

    Cheers,

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by isuzurover View Post
    <snip>

    I know that in Germany, homebrewers don't use any sugar (as by law, "Beer" can only contain malt, hops, yeats and water). I assume they buy malted barley and use that. I don't know how the bottle fermentation works though. Anyone know if it is possible to brew without sugar here???

    <snip>
    And one part William Butler Yeats:

    I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.


    Cheers
    Simon

  7. #7
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    We've brewed beer for about 8 years now, it's an aquired taste and like St3pho_62 said you need to make sure that your gear is clean because bateria love the warm environment.

    Coopers are a good start, I've messed around for years with different combos of sugars, extracts and adding a whole range of weird and wonderfull stuff. But I found that its best to buy two cans of beer and stick them in the same brew, no extra sugar or anything like that.

    Then there is your setup, you will probably be using bottles to start with which are a real pain to fill and cap when you have a 20 litre brew but unless you want to fork out about $500 on a keg system most beginners use bottles, oh don't make 40 liter brews, or if you do get 4 cans, the key is to get a beer with a nice body.

    We used to use bottles and have just moved onto a keg system so I have 118 640ml bottles going for $50 if you want them, and you can have a little taste while your here too

    I've had more success with darker beers, stouts and bitters. For some reason I can never quite get the lighter pale ales or pilsners to turn out perfect.

    Oh and don't go into this thinking you can replicate your favourite drink or you will be dissapointed (unless its VB ), when you get better at it you will find that the stuff in pubs is rubbish and you can taste the chemicals more.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips guys! I already knew about cleanliness though!

    Currently brewing the Coopers lager that came with the kit. Will move on to ales next, as I prefer to drink them.

    Chilly - porterHOUSE is a cut of meat, Porter is a German style of dark beer which tastes very nice (Hoepfner Porter was one of my favourite beers at our "local" when we lived in Germany). And in Utah we found a beer called "Polygamy Porter"

    Duncan - I like your method of using 2 tins of beer (and I assume 2 sachets of yeast?). I remember a guy telling me his beer was half pale ale and half stout - I thought he used half a tin of each, but it sounds like he used your method. Will have to try it. Duncan - are your bottled the brown plastic ones? I have a bunch of them, but if I need more I will get onto you. I know someone who uses plastic coke (1.25L) bottles - anyone else tried that?

  9. #9
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    There are tons of places on the interweb that you might find useful tips and contacts.
    Here are two:

    Homebrew - OCAU Wiki
    (Excellent links at bottom of page)

    AussieHomeBrewer.com
    (A good little forum)

    For cleaning I use the magical pink stuff that most home brew shops sell, it doesn't smell and is a lot easier to rinse off than bleach.

    Personally I go for the bitters but me best mate is into dark ales, we also do lots of ginger beer and apple cider for the girls (we have also been known to partake as well).
    Don't worry too much about all the fancy stuff, it still tastes pretty good following the instructions of the side of the coopers and Brigalow cans.

    The only think that I don't like is cleaning all the bloody tallies. A cordless drill and a long bottle brush is the best method that I have used, however I have seen modified dishwashers that worked pretty good aswell (but unfortunately I don't have one).


    Just beware: you WILL gain weight.

  10. #10
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    About 40 bottles are dark green ones, the rest are dark brown. they are all glass bottles.

    No I use just one sachet of yeast with the two cans. Although you can try using both, there isn't really any rules with homebrew just learn the hard way

    We tried coke bottles once but they blew up, maybe I put too much sugar in the bottles but I was never brave enough to try it again and lose my precious beer.

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