1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Home brewing kits ....

Discussion in 'La Cuisine' started by Aliboy, 23 Jun 2010.

  1. Liverpool-Lad

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,519

    Location: Liverpool - UK.

    If anyone likes proper IPAs get a Festival Razorback IPA kit. Comes with 2 sachets of hop pellets to dry hop halfway through the fermentation.

    Top kit.
     
  2. Kimi

    Mobster

    Joined: 25 Feb 2009

    Posts: 3,599

    Im thinking about doing my first cider. I was wondering, i have a coopers home brew kit which i have used to make a few nice home brew beers. Do i need any additional equipment? and also has anyone got a good link to a n00b friendly cider recipe?
     
  3. Garfo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,866

    Location: The Asylum

    u can buy it all in a can m8,not meant to be that nice though from what my friend tells me :rolleyes:
     
  4. robj20

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Apr 2007

    Posts: 10,254

    They are plenty nice enough, they probably didn't leave them to condition long enough.
    My ciders are left for at least 8 months before i start drinking them.

    The Magnum ciders are very nice. I have just done a plain apple one and added Passion Fruit, and a Raspberry and Lime cider.
     
  5. Kimi

    Mobster

    Joined: 25 Feb 2009

    Posts: 3,599

    Can you? i didnt realise, like a coopers kit? i think i would prefer to make my own with some apple juice but not really sure how to approach it, will research on hombrewtalk tonight:)
     
  6. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    I can't believe how nice this Wherry is! Just tried a bottle after 6 months in the bottle and it's better than a lot of the shop bought ales I have tried. The head lasted till the very last drop as well. Really impressed. I dont think i'll go back to the single can kits as this is on another level to the coopers one I did before it. Well worth the extra.

    How long can these be stored? They probably wont last much longer anyway, but just interested how long they could be stored in the glass bottles.
     
  7. VeNT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Jan 2003

    Posts: 20,702

    Location: Cornwall

    Looking at getting into homebrew after xmas,
    would people recommend a keg over bottling for a new starter?
    also what kit/website does everyone use or is it better to go for a local brewshop?
     
  8. FrenchTart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 31,310

    Location: Manchester

    I'd recommend bottling. You can drink the end result sooner and kegging is a bit more annoying I've found.

    Are you thinking of going kits or all grain? I would recommend all grain to be honest (though I guess as you're posting in the kits thread you're thinking of that?).

    If your local brew shop is any good then they are worth going to. Where I am the only local option is a terrible shop with staff that don't know what they're talking about and a rubbish selection so I tend to go online. The Malt Miller is arguably one of the best places you can order from: http://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/index.php
     
  9. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,350

    Location: Higher Walton

    Out of interest what shop is that as i was googling for somewhere around Manchester the other day.
     
  10. FrenchTart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 31,310

    Location: Manchester

    It's this one:

    http://www.thebrewshop.com/

    A few friends of mine have had better experiences than I have but still not great.

    Generally speaking I'm all for supporting local businesses but only if those businesses are even half decent :)
     
  11. seabiscuit

    OcUK Staff

    Joined: 12 Jan 2009

    Posts: 2,269

    Location: OcUK HQ

    While I don't want to disagree with Frenchtart, for adifferent perspective we used pressure barrels for most of our brews very happily. Where bottles can take weeks to condition, in a barrel it can be drinkable in a week or so. Bottles are great as they can go in the fridge and are easy to take round to a mates, but a barrel let's you poor just as much as you want. It doesn't have to be a whole bottle. A barrel is just one thing to clean rather than 40 bottles and 40 lids.
    We have bottled and it's also good. Bottles can be got from friends and local pubs pretty easily for free so that reduces initial cost of getting started. At the end of the day it's whichever you prefer.
    Main thing is have fun whatever you do.
     
  12. FrenchTart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 31,310

    Location: Manchester

    To be fair my kegging experience has been with mini kegs rather than full on pressure barrels - I'd be tempted to believe that proper pressure barrels are a lot better to use :)

    Personally I find most bottles are done within a week (obviously by 'done' I mean drinkable - they improve with time as you'd expect) but I do tend to go out of my way to keep them warm.
     
  13. Liverpool-Lad

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,519

    Location: Liverpool - UK.

    Replace the water with apple juice :D
     
  14. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,350

    Location: Higher Walton

    Ok, i've decided to be a fantastic son and buy my dad some home brewing stuff for christmas and we can then brew it together. Since he works abroad it'll be a good way to spend time with him when he's home (and i get somewhere to keep the brew kit whilst also being able to have cheap beer :D)

    Is it worth getting a kit or trying the all grain method? Does the latter have a steeper learning curve and need considerably more research?

    Does the brew need to be kept somewhere warm during fermentation or is a garage a suitable place?

    Reading the above i'm trying to decide between bottling and a keg. I have no problem buying the keg but if i'm wanting to transport some back to mine would i be better going for the bottle or could i brew in a keg and then pour it into bottles once done for transporting?
     
  15. FrenchTart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 31,310

    Location: Manchester

    Okay, last things first:

    You can keg most of it and bottle the rest. Pretty much everyone that kegs does this anyhow as far as I'm aware :) Be aware that you may need to add different amounts of priming sugar to the keg than you do to the bottle.

    It varies depending on the style of the beer but as a rule you'll want to keep the beer itself at ~20C. Normally the beer will be a few degrees above ambient temperature whilst the fermentation is going on. If you're storing it in the garage and it's going to get cold you should try either a brew belt or covering the fermentation vessel (FV) with a lot of insulation. A duvet may work. It really depends on how cold your garage gets. Don't ever cover a brew belt though as there's a danger of fire.

    All grain (AG) is definitely more daunting at first but once you get your head around it it's actually really not any harder. Slightly more time consuming but also much cheaper and arguably produces better results. When you use a kit you're basically skipping out the first part of the brew that you would do with all grain (the mash and the sparge) so in terms of convenience you definitely win there.

    Having played with one disastrous attempt at kit brewing many years ago I found that just jumping in at the deep end and going AG worked far better for me and wasn't all that stressful. It helps if you've got someone else that can show you how it's done but you don't need that as long as you read up properly and plan things out.
     
  16. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,350

    Location: Higher Walton

    Cheers you Tart :)

    They've got a fairly big double garage, but the rear section is partitioned off and the boiler is in there so hopefully that would help. I think that for the sake of ~£25 its worth getting a brew belt though having looked at them. The one i saw doesnt seem to have any thermostat though. Do these self regulate to keep it at optimal temperature?

    I live about 30 mins away from my dads (I live in Chorley and he lives in Ramsbottom, being local i presume you roughly know the area.) As such i might stick with the kit method to cut down on the number of trips i have to make and with him being busy and working away its probably best to have minimum interaction. At least to start with as we're finding our feet. I presume that the equipment i buy initially would be transferrable if we decided to do the All Grain Method?

    Also a few years back he experimented making his own wine but apparently it was a disaster. Would some of that equipment be useable? I'm heading to see my mum tonight so might have a nosey in the loft to see what they have.
     
  17. robj20

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Apr 2007

    Posts: 10,254

    I use a brew belt in conjunction with a thermostat maintains what ever temp i choose that way. You can get them very cheap on the bay.
     
  18. FrenchTart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 31,310

    Location: Manchester

    Yup. This is what we have. In some ways it may be overkill in this weather though as we found that it never got above our target temperature so the belt was on 24/7 anyhow. That said, we're brewing 60L batches.

    No problem :)

    Yeah, I know that area a little though not super well. I have friends in Ramsbottom at least. Assuming you're going for the standard starter size of 30L you'll need to transport 2 x 30L vessels - one boiler and the FV (and also the pressure keg eventually). Aside from that the kit parts take up no space at all. I do recommend getting a starting kit (as in, a "starter brewing" kit, in addition to the actual beer kit) from a brew place. Some of the components in it are a bit rubbish but it's good for making sure you don't miss anything first time round.

    I would imagine most wine making stuff wouldn't really be usable beyond perhaps the sanitiser and the airlock. Both pretty cheap parts so I would just get new replacements to be honest. You could use a demijohn to brew but it's not ideal imo (just a little more hassle to use).

    Once you move to all-grain the only new piece of equipment you'll need is a mash tun. These can be built very cheaply from a cool box and some other components. Don't worry about that for now though :)

    On the subject of it being cheaper to build rather than buy outright I would strongly recommend looking into building your own boiler. Basically you get one of the heat-safe FVs and some cheap kettles from tesco/sainsburys and smoosh it all together. Build costs tend to be around the £25 mark for a 30L boiler - buying one pre-made would probably be £80-£120.
     
  19. seabiscuit

    OcUK Staff

    Joined: 12 Jan 2009

    Posts: 2,269

    Location: OcUK HQ

    Just barreled a "Ditch's Stout" last night. Fermenter might have been a bit close to central heating pipes as it's got a bit of an estery, banana smell to it. Tastes great from the sample though.
     
  20. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,350

    Location: Higher Walton