Homebrewer03’s Weblog

Been too long!
October 13, 2015, 8:12 pm
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Have brewed in what seems like quite a few years. Mainly due to time restrictions at weekends.

Had a bit of a foray back into kit brewing which didn’t yield great results.

Getting back into All Grain with a big single hop Pale Ale. Brew day arranged for 25th Oct 2015.

Getting the kit all up together as its been in the garage gathering dust and all sorts! Its clean on the inside, just needs a bit of sprucing up. Just to think, earlier this year I did toy with the idea of selling my entire brewing plant…..

Now I brewed this back on 25th Oct 2015:

6000g Pale Malt
500g Torriefied Wheat
200g Granuated Sugar

Challenger @ 90 mins to give 36 IBU
Challenger @ 10 mins to give 6.1 IBU
Challenger 25g steep for 4 days after krausen

Wilkos Gervin yeast

Gave 1064 down to 1010 to give a shade over 7% ABV.


Lets get this show back on the road!
October 9, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Well I’m back after a brewing hiatus of 18 months work work work got in the way.

I’m kicking off the 2012/2013 brewing season with another visitation to the award winning Noar Hill Bitter. Slightly amended the recipe (omitted the small quantity of sugar)

The equipment behaved itself and I wasnt too rusty to start forgetting things.

Next up is a 6% Old Ale that’ll want a bit of time to age.

The 2010 Season
February 16, 2010, 8:12 am
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After the dissapointing tail end to 2009’s brewing season (lost 2 batches to infection) and not brewing since November I find myself with 300 empty bottles that require filling!

First in the mash tun for this decade is a Ringwood ‘Old Thumper’ clone. After seeing Graham Wheelers recipe I decided to use his grain bill with my hopping schedule. Using Wyeast 1187 Ringwood yeast in this one.

I’ve split the Wyeast into 2 batches and will be doing a Ringwood 49er clone next up.

Also hoping to return to two old favourites, Lagerish and Third Time Lucky. Planning to fit a Weissbier in there somewhere!

After those five batches I probably have another 3 to get down. May try out that big Barley Wine. Will also need a medium strength ale (possibly the Noar Hill Bitter) and whatever else takes my fancy.

11th March: Just bottled my Ringwood 49er clone. Was supposed to be Old Thumper but ended up with a 49er OG and colour!

Had a right mare with the Wyeast 1187. It stuck at 1020, as I had no other yeast spare desperate times called for desperate measure and I pitched a small quantity of bread yeast in an attempt to shift it (as rousing didnt work).

The bread yeast did nothing (which is maybe a good thing!) and by this time the other half of the Wyeast had been stepped up for my next brew; had to sacrifice it to rescue the 49er. Still only got down to 1012. Bottled after23 days in primary. If that beer turns out ok then I’d had a right touch!

Will stick to dried yeast in future. It may not be very charachterisitc but it makes beer without a fuss!

Will do and old ale next using the ‘Third Time Lucky’ recipe I did in 2009 as that was a decent ale.

What a start to 2010!

Well I’ve had a sneak taster of the 49er from the plastic tester bottle. Its only been in 4 days and not quite finished the warm week. Tasting OK in as much as its not infected – and these days I’ll settle for that! Didnt quite hit the 4.9% ABV as it stopped shy at 1012, ended up with 4.6% but the main is to produce a palatable ale.

Bought enough ingredients to brew the old ale, Lagerish and Wheat Beer.

Well its nearing the end of April and I’ve managed to brew the Old Ale and Wheat Beer – still got the Lagerish to do. I’m hoping to get an IPA and ESB in before the warm weather starts.

Well its May 11th and its ridiculously cold for this time of year. Great for brewing! I’ve taken 2 days leave to brew IPA and Bramling Cross ESB. I will also fit in a standard bitter and 2 batches of turbo cider before it (hopefully) warms up.

After a hot summer I’m pretty low on stocks. Its now mid September and I’ve only had one brew day since the summer break. I’m working alot weekends and finding it hard to fit those 8 hour brew days in. Planned is a mid 4% American Pale and I have 100g of Hallertau left so will squeeze in Lagerish. Winter aint Winter without a dark ale on the go so will look for a big bad old ale. I’ve been eyeing up the 3 pear tree’s at work and it seems a criminal waste to see all the fruit rotting away on the ground. I’ve always seen making ‘proper’ cider and perry as an awful, messy waste of time using expensive gear that only sees action once a year. This however, has not quelled the spark in me to mash up and collect the juice of a 100 weight of pears and brew a truly traditional perry. This’ll be for 2011 – try buying a fruit press off e-bay in September!

So whats new for the 2010/2011 season? Well I’m more steered towards the 60 minute mash and boil now. Also I’ve adopted the technique of acquiring most of my hop bitterness and aroma late in the brew (from 30 minutes or less). Yes, its a more expensive way of brewing hop wise but it does make alot of difference and gives hops a real chance to show their individual charachteristics.

I entered my ‘Temple Hill Strong’ and ‘Bramling X ESB’ into the Selborne Beer Festivals homebrew competetion. This was judged by 5 or 6 East Hampshire CAMRA members. Happy to say I won out of a field of 6. Glad it was that brew as well as the ESB was not my recipe.

Stuff for November 2009
November 10, 2009, 8:53 pm
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Lamenting the loss of my first brew due to infection. The JBK beer has definitely been struck by an acetobacter infection which has given the whole brew a vinegar taste. Unfortunately this wasnt picked up by me until it was bottled.

A double whammy as I re-pitched the yeast slurry into my Bohunt Best and lost that batch as well.

Not sure what caused the infection. Just got unlucky I suppose. These were the last 2 brews of 2009 and wouldve seen me through to 2010. I’ll be beerless at Christmas!

Sutton CBA Comp.

Its the Sutton CBA competition on 14th November. I’ll be going up with Scot and Wiggy as support! I’ve entered 3 ales this year; A Mild, an APA and a Standard Bitter.


Brewing season 2009/2010
August 24, 2009, 8:25 pm
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September is looming up. I see this as a start to the brewing season.

I’ll be kicking it off on 28th August with an American Pale Ale, closely followed by a Gales ‘Butser Bitter’ clone, a darker style Best Bitter and a Scottish 80 shilling. I’m hoping to get all these in bottles before the end of September.

Later on I’ll be brewing a 12.5% Barley Wine, maybe a Wheat Beer and having an attempt at brewing a Ringwood ‘Old Thumper’.

I’ve bought a 25kg sack of Pale Malt from a local brewery as this seems a more cost effective way of brewing. If I store the grains correctly there’s no reason why they shouldn’t keep for the best part of a year.

Hoping to put 4 entries into the Sutton Show this year. I brewed a nice dark grained Standard Bitter in July which shows promise. I’m not sure whether or not to enter it as a mild – think its a tad too bitter for that class though.

I’ve been a bit adventurous with grains and hops as I have been guilty of brewing with same ingredients for the last two season. This will give me a chance to see what they bring to the beer (with a bit of experimenting).

Technique-wise I’m now doing the full liquor treatment with CRS and DLS to adjust my brewing water according to the style of beer I’m brewing.

I’ll also be looking at how I hop my beers. Usually I do a full 90 minute boil with a bit of steeping after switch off. Someone advised me to try and extract most of my bitterness with late additions. This will mean using more hops but I’d like to see what difference it makes. My beers always seem suspiciously un-bitter!

Looking forward to a great season and getting some good brews stowed away.

I’m also looking foward to the colder months to see if that IPA I brewed in April will finally fall bright :-p

Nearing the end of the season
April 27, 2009, 7:26 pm
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Yep, I reckon we’re in for a proper summer. This means May-August may be too warm to ferment in (as I don’t have a temperature controlled environment).

At least I’ll have 4 different beers to keep me in stocks until the weather cools down for the important Autumn brewing season.

So whats new for the next season? Kit wise I’m happy with what I have. I wouldnt mind putting a longer hose on my chiller so I can crash cool in the kitchen. This will mean I can perform 100% of the brew day in the house thus enabling me to brew in all weathers.

I’d also like to start introducing other varieties of hops and grains into my recipes. I’m guilty over using the same 4 types over and over again. I’m looking at using American hops and Special B malt in my next brews. I’ll also be using Roasted Barley to reduce the amount of Chocolate malt I use. This should make my porters less harsh.

I’ll be kicking off the Autumn season with a single variety APA hopped with Cascades, a best bitter, a Gales Butser Bitter clone and a Scottish 80/-. I have 7 brews planned to be in bottles before the end of the year. After the above 4 I’ll be brewing a standard Porter a Barley wine and Wheat Beer.

It has occured to me that I’ve messed up brewing schedule wise. Next season I’ll brew the summer ales no later than February and get the winter beers on in March/April. I left it far too late to be brewing summer ales.

April is THE month to brew
March 30, 2009, 6:33 pm
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Well any month is really, weather permitting. If we get a decent summer this year then May-July could be too warm to ferment in. I’m hoping to get another 3 brew-days in before the end of April.

Next up is a traditional IPA using Fuggles and Goldings hops added at 10 minute intervals to make a 50 IBU brew at around 6%. I’ve gone for a more traditional English slant rather than using American hops as I have an APA planned for later this year.

I’m hoping to age the batch for at least  9 months, willpower permitting!

I’ll just be using Pale Malt and just under 6% crystal as I used these in my Deuchars IPA and was very happy with the colour – just right for an IPA.

Hopefully will brew Saturday unless life gets in the way…

I’ve just re-read a few posts and am alarmed at how much I use the word ‘hope’! Just about sums up brewing really 🙂

April also seems a ridiculously busy month with little opportunity to brew. I’m wanting to get some quick conditioning ale on next to give me a summer drinker and maybe brew the IPA later in the month as that won’t be mature until nearing the end of the year. Creating a rolling stock isnt easy and its nice to have maybe 3 different beers on the go.

Looks like I may need to take a couple of days leave from work as Its now the 1st of April and I still have 3 brews to knock out!

Brewed my IPA yesterday. Didnt get the gravity I’d hoped for; Brewsmith calculated it at 1063 and I only got 1060. Not sure what went wrong, I didn’t overcollect or use any unproven techniques. When mixing the grains I noticed the pale malt was quite ‘floury’. I usually exceed OGs quoted by Beersmith so I’m blaming poor quality grains!

I also made a bit of a cock up with the hops. On closer inspection of the Goldings packet the AAs were quite a bit higher than I’d anticipated. Luckily as I still had 2 addtitions left to make I cut down the amount added. This only made the difference of 1 IBU which ain’t nuffin’.

I’m so glad to be using Safale 04 as my main choice of yeast. I did switch to Nottingham for a while. After moving back I’ve really noticed just how charachterless Nottingham is – there’s virtually no yeast profile to it at all.