The Homebrew Thread

Discussion in 'Firkin Fun Bar' started by Frank_Grimes, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    Does anyone here brew their own beer or other liquor?

    I recently made the transition from Kit brewing to All Grain after purchasing the new Keg King Robobrew 35L brewery system, and I haven't looked back. The quality and different types of beer I can now make are worth the 4hr brew day and 2 week fermentation period alone. On top of this I moved from bottling to kegging with a Keg King Kegerator about 2 years ago. It's so much easier to simply clean and sanitise a few kegs rather than hundreds of bottles. Having beer on tap is great but a little dangerous as it's just so easy to pour one mid-week.

    I have a Stone and Wood Pacific Ale clone sitting in primary in my fermentation fridge now and a Vietnamese "Bia Hoi" style Lager currently on tap.

    Surely there are some more hombrewers around these parts...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  2. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114
    Lol.

    I too have just moved from kit beer to a robobrew.

    I have done 3 brews so far with it. A pale ale with citra hops, a little creatures bright ale clone and now have a blonde ale fermenting away.

    Stone and wood pacific ale is actually my next plan. What recipe are you using?

    Im still finding my way with the robobrew with only getting around 50-60% mash efficiency. Reason being that i was only using 15-17L of water for the mash, i should be using around 20L.

    Do you use the beersmith program? I highly recommend it to keep track of all your brews and it basically calculates everything you need to calculate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  3. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    Do you have a recirculation pump for yours? I've done about 7 brews on mine and I set up a pump and hose after the first. I also found that using rice hulls in the mash helped with stuck spare and efficiency. It also helps to give the grains a good stir every 20min or so.

    I've been using Brewers Friend as it's free but I will move to beer smith soon.

    The cool thing about this system is that with a recirculation pump you essentially have a Grainfather for half the price.

    I've used a recipe posted up by Snow over at Aussie Home Brewer. Will post it here once I have my laptop again. It's very close to the original. Basically it's 60:40 Ale malt Wheat malt, a small amount of Galaxy hops early for bitterness then a lot more late in the boil and dry hop the shit out of it. Like 70 grams dry hop...
     
  4. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114
    I havent made a recirculation system. I have just been manually doing it, every 15 min or so ill recirculate about 2 litres.

    My next brew im going to mash with 20L, some dude on a facebook page says he gets 85% effiency with 20L.

    Never used rice hulls before.

    70 grams is an absolute shit load. 20 gram dry hop with any hop is enough to give significant flavour. Havent used galaxy before. Hops inhave used so far have been cascade, amarillo, williamette, citra and saaz. So far i think cascade and saaz are my favourite. I think citra wouod be better in smaller amounts, the one i made with citra is quite strong, but its mellowinf nicely now.
     
  5. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    124
    I do BIAB with a 40l crown urn. I've been brewing all grain since about last September. Have been making some awesome beers, mainly pale ales, but a few ambers thrown in. I no chill all my beers, late hop additions go straight in to the cube.

    All served out of a keezer I built last year.

    I love the quality of beer I can make for so little $$$.
     
  6. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    124
    +1 for the 70gm dry hop on pacific ale clones, anything less won't do it justice.

    Brewsmith is awesome, very glad I made the jump from Brewers friend, you can install the one licence on up to 5 pcs so I've got it installed at work, on my home PC and on the lappy in the brewery. You can then save the recipes you're working on to the beersmith cloud and they'll sync across the pcs.
     
  7. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    I strongly recommend a recirculation pump. I have the $80 magnetic drive pump but you can even get away with the $25 brown pump from Keg King. It gives you so much more automation in the system. You just hit your strike temp, set the flow and you can just about walk away. I used 18l in mash on the weekend and sparged with 12.5l. The Grainfather website has a calculator for this and the dimensions of the Robobrew are very similar.

    They help with flow if your grain crush is a little too fine.

    A guy on Aussie home brewer mentioned he had spoken with the Stone & Wood team and they said they add an absolute shit load of hops late after primary.
     
  8. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114

    A robo is almost similar to BIAB, except the bag is a stainless steel pot with holes in it.

    My first all grain brews are still conditionint but its so much tastier than extract.

    Making your own beer is a lot cheaper but i have still spent a lot of cash getting set up. I would love to get a keezer but i am happy bottlint for now.
     
  9. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114
    I might look into the recirc pump. My next purchase will infact be a pump so i can pump cold water through my immersion chiller to make the cooling process a lot faster.

    Have you measured the temp whilst mashing? I find that the temp reading on the robobrew seems to be a lot higher than the actual temp. I have checked both the temp in the grain and mash water at the bottom and it can be up to 4 degrees different to what the robobrew says.
     
  10. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    Okay, here's the recipe I use for Stone and Wood PA:

    Type: All Grain
    Batch Size: 23.00 L
    Brewer: Snow
    Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Snow's Equipment
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00

    Ingredients

    Amount Item Type % or IBU
    2.80 kg Pale Malt (Barrett Burston) (2.0 SRM) Grain 60.87 %
    1.80 kg Wheat Malt, Malt Craft (Joe White) (1.8 SRM) Grain 39.13 %
    10.00 gm Galaxy flowers [14.90 %] (60 min) (Mash Hop) Hops 3.5 IBU
    5.00 gm Galaxy flowers [14.90 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 9.6 IBU
    10.00 gm Galaxy flowers [14.90 %] (20 min) Hops 5.9 IBU
    12.00 gm Galaxy flowers [14.90 %] (5 min) Hops 2.9 IBU
    35.00 gm Galaxy flowers [14.90 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
    70.00 gm Galaxy flowers [14.90 %] (Dry Hop 10 days) Hops -
    1.00 items Sodium Metabisulphite (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
    1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
    1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
    1 Pkgs American Ale (DCL Yeast #US-05 ) Yeast-Ale

    Beer Profile

    Measured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
    Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
    Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.43 %
    Bitterness: 21.8 IBU Calories: 430 cal/l
    Est Color: 3.3 SRM Color: Color


    Mash Profile

    My Mash Step Time Name Description Step Temp
    60 min Step 66.0 C
    10 min Mash Out 76.0 C
    Batch sparge 78C

    Rumour has it that S&W use a Kolsch yeast so I may try that next time.
     
  11. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    I have noticed fluctuations in temperature but nothing in the range you're seeing. The constant recirculation that the pump gives may help with this. I always use two methods of temp measurement to ensure I'm as close to required temps as possible.

    I've found running both elements while mashing helps stabilise temps better, but again this may be due to the pump also.
     
  12. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114
    How come you dont use pellets? Seems that the majority of brewers use pellets. Also, i have read that the general consensus is that mash hopping doesnt do anything that a 60min boil cant do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  13. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    124
    Pretty sure that's just the recipe from AHB copied and pasted.

    I've done pretty close to that same recipe, but using pellets. Comes out fairly close to S&W, more bitter though.
     
  14. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    The same person who spoke to the Stone and Wood brewers also mentioned that they use flowers exclusively. Flowers do tend to give better aroma and flavour when added late. I found some really cheap at a homebrew shop on the Gold Coast so I went for it.

    I've also heard that about mash hopping, but thought I'd give it a go anyway. I got 300 grams of Galaxy flowers for $12.50 so why not?

    Yep, courtesy of Snow from AHB.
     
  15. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    Is everyone else here using a temp controlled fridge for fermentation? I found that this was the single biggest improvement to the quality of my beer. Being able to set and maintain a constant temperature during fermentation dramatically improved my beer.
     
  16. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114

    Yeah. Onto my second batch using a fridge. My first few extract brews were just left in a room to ferment. Then i used ice blocks and a wet shirt then moved to a fridge. $60 from gumtree and a $30 thermostat. Fridge is only big enough for one fermenter and about 12 750ml bottles of beer to condition.
     
  17. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    124
    Yep, I've got 2 dedicated fermenting fridges under the house, one of them can fit 2 fermenters, I generally only do one batch in each though.

    It's probably impossible to make a good beer other than a saison in QLD without temp regulation.

    What yeasts do you guys use? I'm still on dry yeast, don't feel like I'm ready to use liquids or harvest used yeast yet.

    I've mainly used US-05, but lately I've been using BRY-97 and I think I prefer it. Next couple of batches planned are a cream ale and a saison and I'll be using Notto for the cream ale and Belle saison for the other.
     
  18. Chicken_Hunter

    Chicken_Hunter Coach

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    17,035
    Likes Received:
    114
    US05 is my go to yeast. I have also used a few of the mangrove jacks yeasts but they seem to have a lower attenuation even though it says on the packaging that its high attenuation. Us05 just seems to hit lower FG.

    Whats the actual benefit of using a yeast starter? All i have really heard is that it lowers the risk of infections as fermentation starts faster. Maybe one day ill harvest my own yeast, but i have a lot more things to fine tune before i work on yeast.
     
  19. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    124
    AFAIK Liquid yeast needs a starter as there aren't actually enough cells in a single vial to ferment a 5 gallon batch in a healthy manner, so rather than buying multiple vials of yeast you build the yeast up by fermenting it in a smaller batch (starter) to then add to the main wort.

    The only mangrove jacks yeast I've used was Burton Union and the beer was pretty horrible (it was a mangrove jacks premium bitter I think)
     
  20. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,622
    Likes Received:
    171
    A starter is really only necessary for higher gravity beers (>1.060) where cell count at yeast pitch is critical. By making the starter you are introducing the yeast cells into a lower gravity wort and allowing them to multiply and get moving before pitching into the higher gravity wort. If you dumped the yeast (dry or rehydrated) straight into the higher gravity wort there is risk that the shock will kill off the cells and your beer won't get started. Some people counter this by pitching double yeast packs. As you said though the starter helps fermentation kick off a lot quicker also.

    I use mostly US-05 and I have also started harvesting it and keeping in jars in my kitchen fridge. I recently did a Bia Hoi where I used Swiss Lager yeast but fermented at ale temperature (18degC). This allowed me to finish primary in four days and serve after only a week. The taste is very different to my usual brews as I used Vienna Pilsner malt and 1kg of boiled white rice in the mash. I'm still tinkering with this one. Think I might just stick with Ale malt and the rice, or even mix things up and throw a kilo of polenta in there.
     

Share This Page