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Beer
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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Beer  Reply with quote

I've had my 1st attempt at making beer from scratch today.  I'n no expert by any stretch but bear with me and I'll try and explein the process.

The aim is to steep a load of grain in hot water for 90 minutes to soak out all the sugars.  After the initial seeping, you drain  the liquid (wort) off into a boiler and then flush the grain with more hot water to get any residual goodness out.  Once you've got your alloted amount of wort you boil it with hops.  Hops are added at the start of the boil to make the beer bitter, and then at different times during the boil to add aroma and flavour.  At the end of the boil (60 - 90 minutes) you cool the wort and then add yeast, ferment and hopefully - hey presto.

I wanted to make something similar to my favourite beer - Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, luckily I know someone who had a good 'clone' recipe.

Here's the grain bill, 3.5kg of pale malt and 0.4kg of wheat malt



The set up of equipmet is on 3 levels so it's gravity fed the top container is a hot liquor tank (water heater), the middle is the mash tun (where the grains are steeped/mashed) and the bottom one is the boiler.

When I sort my garage out I'll build a 3 tier frame but the utility room will have to do for now.



Initially I heated 10 litres of water in the HLT and added it to the mash tun, then the grain was added.  The aim is to mash this for 90 mins at 66 degrees C as this is the optimum temperature to extract the sugars etc.

The grain and water make a lovely smelling malty porridge



After the 90 mins I was really happy that my mash tun kept the temperature at 66 degrees.  I drained the mash tun into the boiler and then sprayed more water gently over the grain to flush out the remaining sugars.  This is called 'sparging'





If there are any plumbers reading - my apologies for my soldering  

here are the hops I'll be adding at the start of boil, after 40 mins and 50 mins.  The tablet in the middle dish is a protoflac tablet - this will help make the final beer clear



Now it's time to start the boil...



Once it's boiling, time to add the hops



More later  
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 32894


Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


A very good guide.
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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bodger.

The boil has finished and I let it stand for 30 minutes before decanting into a fermenter, that way the hops settle and act as a filter so the wort is nice and clear.

Before I started the boil I moved ino my garage as it chucks out quite a bit of steam - I lost 6 litres of liquid to evaporation during the boil - I was aiming to have 23 litres left and ended up with 24 so I'm pretty pleased.

Here's the wort draining off - the sieve is just another filter for any loose hops





And here's the crud in the bottom of the boiler



You can just about see the copper hop filter in the bottom of the boiler - this is a 15mm copper pipe manifold with holes drilled on the underside to filter the hops from the tap.  By putting a hose on the tap you gey a syphon effect so you can pretty much drain a container even if the tap is above the base.

I've sealed the fermenter and it will be left overnight to cool down to around 20 degrees before pitching the yeast - anything hotter and the yeast will be killed off before it can do it's stuff.  A lot of people crash cool their brew so they can get the yeast in nice and early but I haven't got round to making a chiller - and they use gallons of water - so I just leave it in the garage overnight.
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Bryggmester



Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 211


Location: N.E.Essex

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cool my wort down by sticking the fermenting vessel in the bath which is then filled with cold water. At this time of year, with a top up of water to make the required volume, it would take about 90 mins to cool down enough for the yeast to be safely added.
Great pictures and an impressive set up. Hope the beer turns out well.
Copper Dragon brew some superb beers.
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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That beer has been fermenting for a week now, I took a sample to check the gravity of it to see if it's ready for kegging.  Obviously it would have been rude not to have a taste, and it is bdooly lovely   Even though it's not fermented out yet, I could quite happily have a pint of it as is.  It tastes very similar to the commercial beer its based on and far better than any kit or malt extract brew I've made before.

I also brewed a Caledonian Deuchars IPA clone yesterday using the same method, we've got a house full this chrisrtmas so I need to get plenty in!!
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SuzyJ



Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Posts: 18


Location: Bulgaria

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nicely done guide. I'm impressed.

Can wild hops be used? We have them growing near us and it would be nice if we could use them for something.
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Bryggmester



Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 211


Location: N.E.Essex

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent pictures, glad that it is turning out well  The trouble with using wild hops is that you won't have any idea of their alpha acid content ( which will govern the bitterness extracted from the hop ). The only way round this would be to do a trial brew and see how it goes, which would be rather risky, or to use them purely as aroma hops at the end of the boil when little bitterness will be extracted. It would be a crying shame to spend all day brewing and then find a week or two later that the resulting ale is inferior.
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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's brew No.1 kegged and bottled - can't wait to try it after it's secondary fermentation, it tastes lovely at the moment so fingers crossed it'll be good.  here's a pic of the bottle labels, a nod to my trusty mate who makes my car stink

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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I'd do some ahem, research last night so I cracked a bottle of this to see how it was going.  It tastes fantastic   by far the best beer I've ever made so I'm very happy.



I hink I need to add more sugar to the bottles when priming next time as there wasn't that much of a head, but apart from that, I'm a very happy camper.
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horace



Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 4214


Location: yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

   
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sapphire



Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 3327



PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the label on the bottle  
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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sapphire wrote:
Love the label on the bottle  


Glad you like it!!  The little bugger is constanly dripping with mud etc so it seemed the appropriate name
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Jonty



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 1572


Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got another batch of this on the go at the moment, it's currently mashing.  Luckily, my wife liked it so much I've been instructed to make some more!!
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 32894


Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The label on his cider is even better.








My son and I are going to crack this tonight and try it.
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Polly



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1552


Location: Stoke on Trent

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A brilliant post!  My hubby had just started to get into home brewing again when he had his heart attack - and promptly went off booze!  

Something has happened after the heart attack which has put him completely off most types of alcohol.  He can stomach the odd good bottle of bitter or ale or a small port but anything else makes him feel sick just looking at it - very odd to all of us who've known him through the years!  

Anyhoo, he'd just finished a lovely batch of licorice stout - it was gorgeous but he couldn't face it so he told his friend Phil to have it.  Phil kept turning up at our house with several empty pop bottles, going into the cupboard under the stairs and filling them up from the keg with a big dopey grin on his face before leaving to sit all evening with his muzzle in DH's best stout!    

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