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Delicious alcohol for 50c a pint, what's not to love?!

I'm pretty new to homebrewing, but am loving the shit out of it. I have done the mead in the past and that was a great success, but thought it was time to kick it up a notch so I bought a Brewing Kit from the local and an extra 15L fermenter and started my journey.

The kit came with a Black Rock Pilsner Blonde pack so I thought I would do that first to get used to it, and not worry too much if I fucked it up. I watched a shit tonne of youtube videos and read up a lot before taking the plunge, and learnt a shit load in the process but still made some stupid mistakes.


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First pour of the Pilsner Blonde

That Pilsner Blonde has just aged 4 weeks in the bottles today, but I tried a sneaky one yesterday and it was fantastic. Good flavour, a lot more carbonation than when I tried another (and even sneakier) time about 10 days ago - the bubbles just stopped coming after about 5 seconds of it being poured. Going to put a bunch of bottles in the fridge when I get home for the weekend.

After the Pilsner Blonde I did up a Mangrove Jacks Ginger Beer and I'll be bottling this today after work. A coworker did the Coopers Ginger Beer and it turned out fucking amazing, but when I was measuring the specific gravity of mine and giving it a taste it was rough as fucken guts! The ginger was overpowering and it wasn't sweet enough. I am hoping that the priming will sweeten them up a bit when bottled, and sitting in the bottles mellows the ginger flavour a bit. Fingers crossed!


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Pilsner Blonde all bottled up


With the other 15L fermenter I've made another batch of Ancient Orange Mead because it was fantastic the first time. After I bottle that batch I hope to get a bit more adventurous with my mead, using a more difficult recipe.

Ideally I want to brew my own cider that tastes like the Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime, but that will be a whole different can of worms as I'll be adding fruit and shit which is just asking for bottle bombs. Will probably do a kit cider first and then slowly change the recipe and try new things over a few brews.

Overall I'm having a great time doing this, it's a fun hobby and a little side project to keep me busy and entertained with a fun and delicious payoff. I love walking by the bedroom and hearing the bloop bloop from the airlocks!

So does anyone else homebrew? Got any tips/pointers? Favourite recipes?

And yeah, if I have any left I'll definitely bring a few bottles to the meet for you jerks to try :)
Beefyfife
How much does it cost for your setup? I love all things beer and I would be very interested in doing this considering my roots.
Fork
Beefyfife wrote:
How much does it cost for your setup? I love all things beer and I would be very interested in doing this considering my roots.


About $180 for the kit and ~$20 for the second fermenter. The kit comes with pretty much everything you need for your first brew (around 22L) including the fermenter, cleaning stuff, bench capper, caps, hydrometer, brew pack and dextrose, bottle brush and all that stuff.

Then for each new brew you get a brew pack, dextrose, some sterilizer all for under $50 and you're good to go.

It might seem a bit steep initially, but due to the volume of alcohol you make every brew you start making a profit with the second brew - assuming everything you make is drinkable ;)


Docilus wrote:
And this is in the Technical Junk forums because ???

Oops cheers, moved it to food forum.
Fork
Mmmmmm it is! I swear it makes my aim in CoD better too..

I got ~7L that's crystal clear, and ~4L that's pretty cloudy and will take a while to settle, but is still very drinkable.

It sits at around 15% alcohol, but is very sweet and delicious.

Next batch I'll probably try something different, start with a basic honey recipe and rack it into two secondaries and flavour each differently. Not sure what with yet though..
nusteyr
With the stuff that is cloudy, you could try racking it as this allows more of the sediments to settle (only so much can settle for some reason). If that doesn't help, camden tablets can generally clear it up but i'm not sure how it affects the taste though (its used in conjunction with potassium sorbate to inhibit yeast and increase clarification in cider).

ps: those bottles make it look awesome.
Shrewmkin
Fork wrote:
Mmmmmm it is! I swear it makes my aim in CoD better too..

I got ~7L that's crystal clear, and ~4L that's pretty cloudy and will take a while to settle, but is still very drinkable.

It sits at around 15% alcohol, but is very sweet and delicious.

Next batch I'll probably try something different, start with a basic honey recipe and rack it into two secondaries and flavour each differently. Not sure what with yet though..


From previous homebrewing experience 16% was the best you can get the alcohol volume too, without killing the taste for a higher alcohol volume. After you get around the 16%, it's about adding a crisper flavor depending on what you like, while maintaining that Alc Volume. Managed a 20-24% from memory, but the taste was horrible and wasn't as good as we were hoping.

I wish you luck on finding that sweet spot with the brews Frork, once you perfected the brew, put up the recipe for the rest of us.

Side note: I found with the 16%, if you are unable to find the sweet spot let it ferment some more for 4-5 months, usually around there you have a better idea on what needs to be added when you taste test it.
Wiing
how do you test the Alcohol Content?
Fork
Shrewmkin wrote:
I wish you luck on finding that sweet spot with the brews Frork, once you perfected the brew, put up the recipe for the rest of us.

It was only in the fermenter for ~4 months, but is already delicious. Can't wait to see what it's like after it's been aging for another 6 months.

I really like this recipe since it's so easy, everything you buy from woolies then just chuck it all together and wait.

  • 5L Capilano Honey
  • 3 Oranges cut into 8ths
  • 5 Cloves
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3tsp Yeast
  • Water filled to 12L

As I mentioned before, next time I'll probably forego the oranges/cinnamon/etc in the primary and do a few smaller batches in secondaries after a few months. I definitely want to try a vanilla one (with a vodka tincture) and something different - possibly berry or something.


nusteyr wrote:
With the stuff that is cloudy, you could try racking it as this allows more of the sediments to settle (only so much can settle for some reason). If that doesn't help, camden tablets can generally clear it up but i'm not sure how it affects the taste though (its used in conjunction with potassium sorbate to inhibit yeast and increase clarification in cider).

ps: those bottles make it look awesome.

Good point, as soon as I saw it going cloudy I should have siphoned it to my other fermenter and let it sit for another month. I did put finings in there ~4 days prior, and in the past that has cleared up my beer immensely. However when I put it in the mead it didn't foam up like it usually does in the beer.. I'm not sure if that's because it didn't work or just works/acts differently in mead..

The bottles look wicked, even better irl - but apparently I should cork them otherwise they'll get too oxidised =/


Wiing wrote:
how do you test the Alcohol Content?

As Shrewm said, you use a Hydrometer to read the Specific Gravity just after you put all the shit in the fermenter, and then again at the end. With those two values you plug it into a formula and it spits out the alcohol % which is pretty nifty.
Fork
It hasn't yet :(

Got nothing brewing at the moment due to holidays and shit, but I definitely plan to start a new mead and beer in the very near future!
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