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Home Brew Beer Kits

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by yottie, 12 Dec 2020.

  1. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    That seems very expensive for home-made and the sherry must be a very cheap one. I would defy anyone to tell my home output at 75p from the better shop bought wines and beers.
     
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  3. What value would the equivalent store bought wine be?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 23 Dec 2020
  4. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Impossible to answer. Everyone has differing tastes and ideas of what is acceptable. I sometimes exchange bottles with friends and everyone enjoys my wines - wish I could say the same for some of theirs sometimes ;) I've bought a few bottles of spirits for this year, more than I usually buy for Christmas, I have had no inclination to buy any wines or beers.
     
  5. GeoffinWales

    GeoffinWales

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    Just joined this site I homebrew a lot and the cheapest site is brew2bottle always had great service and they are the cheapest. What really helped us enjoy our homebrew experience was to build a kegerator and start with Corni Kegs, hated the faff of bottling but kegs at 19l are far better and get a great pint. Can also recomend the 7 day wine kits (30 bottle) just done a Chardonay and its great.
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Before I moved I kept careful records and tried many tweaks, the important thing is only to alter one thing at a time, so temperature was very carefully controlled, but today I know what I want, so not so carefully controlled.
     
  7. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    We've brewed some lovely IPA's, Stouts and a Belgian Dubbel (9%abv).

    Cleanliness is the key, sterilising tablets for the barrels and bottles. Far nicer thany any shop bought drink imho.

    Our sits under the stairs when brewing, seems correct temperature summer and winter.

    20200609_202702.jpg 20200609_204408.jpg
     
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  9. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    You can control nearly everything, except the ingredients - the ingredients are natural and will vary from batch to batch. My previous batch of white wine ended up in the bottle with a very light yellow tinge to it, the batch I bottled last week, was colourless and tasted much more refined. Both bought as the same kit, from the same source.
     
  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Of course must agree, however early days I tried more water, less water, more sugar, less sugar, and sugar replacements, and seem to remember said use 1 kg sugar and slowly increased to 2 kg and it was too bitter, and had an after taste, so reduced again but then realised the same after taste could also be due to brewing in summer when too hot, which could be got around by using a different yeast, so same bitter after taste can be amount of sugar, temperature, or yeast used.

    So the big question, do you brew as a hobby, or to get cheap beer, they are not the same, and as a hobby the more control you have the better, but even large brewers often have the grain grown by independent farmers, and even malted in independent malt houses. It needs a lot of space to malt the grain, as an industrial process you want your beer to have a distinctive repeatable taste so people will buy the beer by its trade name, we all know what Guinness tastes like, but a Stout will vary in taste.

    I have considered cheating in a way, when I made prohibition series of drinks the basic method was brew sugar, add charcoal to remove the taste, rack off then add the taste you want to the brew at around 21% ABV, often with a lot of added sugar as well. So you could do the same with beer, make a low ABV brew, then add the alcohol made from sugar after, so the bitter after taste from sugar is removed, but not the wanted taste of the beer.

    Commercial they do this by freezing, but under British law this is considered as distilling, so you need a licence, and also needs to be very cold, well below the -18°C of household freezer. But 21% ABV is about the limit for brewing, so you can by blending get a beer to 10% ABV as home brew, but is it worth it? On starting home brew I think every one looks at a high ABV, then one realises we brew so it tastes nice, not to get drunk, so the lower the ABV is the better, as that means the more we can drink before falling over, so around 3% ABV means high enough so it keeps, and low enough to drink as a session beer.

    I love Morrisons own Bitter around 2% as can have a BBQ and drink the stuff all night without falling over, but with Carlsburg Elephant or Porta you don't drink much before you throw a track.

    So I home brew for cheap beer now, bag of sugar and can of concentrate and cover keeping at 20°C for 3 weeks or more, then bottle in old pop bottles so easy to bottle and you can test without opening if pressure is OK. i.e. keep it simple.
     
  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I don't drink or brew much beer, mostly wine. I stick to kits and it is part hobby, part a means to enjoy wine without the expense. I have just bottled 5 gallon of red and 5 of white. We both enjoy a glass each day with a meal.

    I may have already mentioned it, but I use an Opensource gadget for keeping a constant watch on my wine or beers progress and gravity, called an iSpindel. It floats free inside the FV in an over sized test tube, the angle it floats at dependant on the SG, which it then reports back every few minutes via wifi - along with several other details. My FV sits on a heated panel in winter, insulated with a temperature controller holding it within 0.5C of the set temperature.

    So my process is - set the FV up, drop the iSpindel in, seal it up and just leave it undisturbed watching the progress of my fermentation on my laptop. It is much more accurate than an hydrometer and certainly much easier to read.
     
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  12. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I also have a heated pad 18W and a thermostat to maintain the temperature, and to be frank found the hydrometer readings not so important once temperature is controlled as the beer kits take the same time each time, so set up and forget for 3 weeks, however know people who will not use kits, and want to boil there own wort, select the yeast and add all sorts, they claim all there own work, although buy in ready malted grain, use things like spray malt so not really all their own work, it just costs more to make.

    I have to admit the two can kit was better, but nearly double the price, I can buy ready made beer at 90p for 4 cans not the best but OK as good as home brew, so unless home brew cheaper not worth doing for cheap beer, but as a hobby great.
     
  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    We don't like too dry a wine and if left to fully ferment, it will become very dry, so the constant watch on the SG makes it easy to catch it at the sweet spot. The occasional 5 gallons of beer I have brewed, yes I can just let that fully ferment, before bottling with 1/2 a spoon of sugar for the secondary fermentation.

    I have no idea what bottled and canned beers cost, I have never bought any - I only drink draft beers in the pubs (remember pubs :)
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Yes made a mistake with cider, fully fermented it is so dry, but the pulped apples mean hydrometer will not work, you don't really have a start SG as it is taking sugars still in the apple pulp, even the commercial stuff from the farms is a problem, when you first get it, then it is sweet, but fermenting has not stopped, so it gets drier as time goes on. Seem to remember there is a pill which stops the ferment, but never used them.
     
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