The Homebrew Thread

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

  1. Amin Yashed

    Amin Yashed Juniors

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    Nice, thanks for the info mate. I've looked at the home brew forums & the guys there talk to the point where I dont understand wtf they're on about
     
  2. Hardcore_Fan

    Hardcore_Fan Juniors

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    Temperature control is the biggest factor at reducing off flavours in home brew. Yeast are sensitive little critters and start producing unwanted esters at undesired temps.

    If you want to experiment with these flavours and still have a drinkable beer, make a saison. Saison yeasts like temps
    above about 28 degrees. You can taste all sorts of spice and fruit flavours in
    A saison, these are desired flavours though.

    Brew an ale at 28 degrees you will get similar off flavours but they aren't very nice.
     
  3. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    Hombrew shop still don't have any Galaxy in so I used the Pacific Ale grain bill with a new hop called Fortnight on the weekend. It's an Aussie developed hybrid of 5 popular US hops and is apparently getting rave reviews. I've seen mixed reviews on the net but I gave it a go with 5g FWH and 25g in the cube. Will dry-hop with the remaining 70g and see how it goes.

    I've got a Simcoe pale ale to do next and then I'm going to have a red hot go at a Czech Pilsner.

    After that I've got a hankering for another raspberry saison, and then maybe I'll finally have a go at that dessert stout.
     
  4. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    It can be a bit daunting what with all of the acronyms and terminology but the best way to learn is simply ask questions in the forums. They're all friendly and are only interested in learning and sharing knowledge about making better beer.
     
  5. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    {insert crickets chirping noise}

    Quiet around these parts. I've just set up my kegerator again after taking some time away from brewing to move out of my house.

    Looking forward to getting back into it.
     
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  6. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

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    Get back on the horse, I've been brewing non stop, just not posting.

    I built a stir plate and have been making starters for most of my beers which seems to be making a big improvement. Made an Irish Red with wyeast 1084 and it is spectacular. I've also got my first proper lager lagering right now, it is a german pilsner using w34/70, it should be going in a keg sometime this week.

    Also have a dry irish stout and a best bitter with EKG and styrian goldings in cubes ready to pitch.

    For the last couple of months I've been on a "no american beers" challenge, it has been pretty fun and is going well so far.
     
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  7. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    Are you using fresh wort starters from no chill? Or are you making them with DME?

    I was on this path just after Christmas and had assembled all the parts to build my own stir plate. I was super keen to try fresh wort starters using the leftover wort underneath the tap in my kettle. Never executed it though.

    What would you say the overall improvement is? Better flavour? More distinct lack of off flavours?
     
  8. Hardcore_Fan

    Hardcore_Fan Juniors

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    Yeah I have been thinking about moving away from American style hoppy beers myself.

    Want to look at making an ESB or kolsch next.

    Got an oatmeal stout in the fermenter ATM.

    Just added my last tap to my keezer so it's now finished. I now have 5 taps and it looks good.
     
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  9. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

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    I've done both, mostly DME though. I've got my water levels so well configured that I rarely have any usable wort left after cubing!

    Overall improvements are faster ferment, no off flavours and being able to harvest yeast before pitching. I've also got a mate who I've started sharing yeast with so it really makes the cost of a smackpack insignificant.

    If you use leftover wort just make sure to dilute it to around 1.035 for best yeast growth and health.
     
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  10. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

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    How are you able to keep up with production for 5 taps? I struggle with 2!

    I haven't made any progress on my 1v build other than buying a 100l pot. It will be awesome to get 2 cubes out of each brew eventually though.
     
  11. Hardcore_Fan

    Hardcore_Fan Juniors

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    It has taken me about 4 months to have 4 kegs in the keezer at the moment, the 5th will be the oatmeal stout in a week or so.

    Once you get more than 2 kegs it obviously takes longer until the kegs become empty if you are drinking from them evenly, allows you to eventually keep adding more. I also concurrently had an apple cider fermenting at the same time I had a beer fermenting.

    On tap at the moment I have apple cider, Australian lager, IPA and an Amber ale.
     
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  12. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    Yep - I found absolutely no problem keeping 3 taps running. I usually keep an easy drinker that needs to be replenished regularly, and then two exotics (IPA/Saison and a dark) that will obviously go a lot slower.
     
  13. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

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    Kegged the German Pils last night, still needs 2 or 3 more weeks lagering before it will be where I want it to be. I quick carbed a softdrink bottle full and drank it while watching the league last night and thought it tasted a little rough, but then went back to drinking a blonde (which is a pretty clean and smooth beer) I've got on tap and damn it was chalk and cheese in terms of smoothness, the Pils made the blonde taste so estery and yeast driven, it blew my mind.

    I pitched the dry stout the other night too, decided to ferment at 20c to get a bit more yeast character going, smells pretty great so far. Looking forward to trying a few more liquid strains.
     
  14. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

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    Hmm, maybe I've got a drinking problem...
     
  15. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    Do you mean the Pils is coming out smoother? Or the Blonde?

    No such thing.

    Well, an interesting observation - I put down a Pacific Ale using new Fortnight hops instead of Galaxy in mid-May. Then promptly broke up with my GF and moved out of the house with the brew fermenting away happily at 18deg. 2 weeks ago I finally got back into the house to move the rest of my stuff out and I tasted this in the fermenter. It seemed ok so I kegged it and threw it in my Dad's brew fridge to cold condition. I finally tasted the carbonated product on the weekend, and it has turned out pretty good for having sat in primary for about 2 and a half months...
     
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  16. TiggaPlease

    TiggaPlease Guest

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    Sorry, Pils coming out smoother. The 1272 that the blonde is fermented with seems to have a bit of a rough edge.

    2 1/2 months primary!!! That's crazy, glad it has turned out well.

    Brewed another lager last night.

    75% Pils
    25% Vienna
    Touch of carafa II for colour (only 20g or so)

    1.042

    Saaz at FWH, 40 & 15 for about 30 ibu

    Will chuck it on a big jar of fresh 34/70
     
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  17. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    I just tried my hand at a Balter XPA clone on Sunday:

    21L Batch
    3kg BB Ale
    1kg BB Wheat Malt
    0.2kg Carahell

    10g Centennial FWH
    25g Centennial 5 min
    25g Amarillo 5 min
    25g Citra 5 min

    OG - 1.046

    Will dry hop with the following at the end of primary fermentation:

    65g Centennial
    75g Amarillo
    75g Citra

    I was going to no-chill this beer but instead I tried something I've wanted to do for a while. Instead of putting the 5 min hops in the cube, I added them as per the recipe and then at flameout I waited a few minutes before dumping the ~90deg wort into the cube, sealing it up and placing it on the first step of my pool - effectively chilling it. It got down to "warm" quite quickly so I'm actually impressed with the method as it chilled the wort but used no water. Might try it again.

    I have a Simcoe Pale Ale that has just started fermenting tying up my fridge so this will have to wait a week or two before going down. Initial thoughts are that the colour is a little light against the original, but will save all judgement for a proper side by side once on tap.
     
  18. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    Long time no update.

    I just tested the upper limits of my system with a 7kg grain bill for a Modus Operandi Former Tenant clone. Nailed OG and really happy with the intense aroma coming out of the fermenter. I'll do a proper side by side with the real deal to see how close I've got.

    Currently on tap:

    1. Simcoe Pale Ale keg-hopped with 90g of Galaxy
    2. Fall Down Brown American Brown Ale
    3. Balter XPA clone
     
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  19. Hardcore_Fan

    Hardcore_Fan Juniors

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    Any of you guys in QLD enter the Qld amateur brewing comp?

    I didn’t get any medals but my best score came from what I thought was my worst beer which was a 34.5 for my American Amber.

    I also entered a lager and an IPA.

    IPA fell short because it was about 3 months old at the time of the comp and was lacking that big hop punch so got marked down for not being to style. It’s about 5 months old now and it’s stoll quite hoppy IMO.

    My lager fell short because the judges said there was too much malt character in it for a lager and my mash temp may have been a bit too high. So once again marked down for style. One of the judges also noted some slight oxidisation in it. May have been from when I bottled from the keg.

    I just kegged a centennial pale ale. It’s such a good hop and wanted to do it as a single hop brew.

    My next brew I want to try an American/summer style wheat ale. Probably going to do 50% wheat 25%pilsner 25% ale malt. Going to use some left over centennial and citra. Will aim for about 15 IBU &60 min and 5IBU @ 5 min or something like that.

    The next brew after that I want to do an ESB. I have some left over EKG so will be using those.

    So basically looking at some easy drinkers for summer
     
  20. Frank_Grimes

    Frank_Grimes First Grade

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    Good on you for entering comps. It will be a true validation of your ability and can give great feedback as you've posted.

    I would do it, but I just don't think I'd have the time. It's hard enough for me to do any brewing as it is.
     

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