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Home brews

Minivanman
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Home brews

Any homebrewers around here?

Have some 'el cheapo' lager on the go at the moment, but have just found some Razorback IPA on line for £24 including postage. Tesco (bless their cotton socks) have reduced theirs from £35 to £30. 

 

 

 

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Re: Home brews

I've been a homebrewer for over 30 years now, AG for past 20+.
Most of the time the el-cheapo lives up to the name, go for a kit with at least 3Kg of malt extract in it for best results, or use 2 tins for the brew with NO added sugar.
Minivanman
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Re: Home brews

Same here, and tried a fair few over the years only to find that higher price does not always mean a better brew but what a difference these last few years have made with quality. My first attempt was also 30 years but the results were not so good - a bit like those home cook in the bag curries we used to buy! 

Never tried AG, but one of my nephews is well into it.

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Re: Home brews

Must be 50 years ago that I last did some home brewing, had a go at everything, wines using elderberries, bananas, figs and concentrated grape juice and virtually anything that could be used safely for fermenting.It was possible to get a wide range of wine yeasts depending on what wine you were making.

As for beer, grew my own hops and heated barley in the oven for some period of time, used the last inch of beer in a guiness bottle as a starter yeast.

Guess I had as much fun making the stuff as drinking it !

In those days one of the main reasons for brewing your own stuff was cost and there were many small shops who specialised in providing all the items you needed.

I am curious though, why do people still brew their own beer and does it taste as good as the commercial stuff ?

For example I live in a part of the counry where weatherspoons sells a pint of John Smiths for £ 2.10 so would there be much saving in brewing your own.?

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Re: Home brews

Personally I wouldn't drink JS's or any draft beer.
Cost well with all grain, it costs me about £8-£10 to produce 20L (roughly with electric etc). So about 45p a pint.
As to "as good" as a craft brewer we say BETTER!

But mostly I don't compare to commercial beers, mostly since I can't afford to buy them. I tend to brew long gone beer, stuff I used to drink the in the 80/90's. Like Ruddle's County and Theakson's OP (although you can still buy that). Along with lighter beers like Timothy Taylor's Landlord.

There are craft brewers out there who like to brew clones as close as they can get to the original. But personally as long as it is a quaffable pint I am happy. I don't do competitions either, mostly since there ain't any local clubs here, Edinburgh is closest but with Scottish DD laws you can't even have ONE pint now, and busing it isn't practical or cost effective (around £12 return)

@mini come and join us at http://forum.craftbrewing.org.uk or http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk
Plenty of brewers there. Both extract and AG. From beginner to commercial.
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Re: Home brews


gleneagles wrote:

Must be 50 years ago that I last did some home brewing, had a go at everything, wines using elderberries, bananas, figs and concentrated grape juice and virtually anything that could be used safely for fermenting.It was possible to get a wide range of wine yeasts depending on what wine you were making.


 

Yes I did all that back then. Fun watching the real fruit/veg start fermenting and cake up on the top. There were also a lot of good shops around with ample cheap ingredients. Not so good now.

First wine I made was potato. After a year I opened a bottle and it was sort of vile/drinkable so it got dumped at the back of a cupboard and forgotten. Years later when I gingerly opened a bottle it was wonderful. A lot better than many commercial offerings. It was a sad day when the last bottle was emptied.

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Re: Home brews

These days I don't drink much, simply because I cannot take it !

In my younger days I could shift 9 or 10 pints in an evening but now 2 pints or 2  glasses of wine seems to be the limit anything more than that has me nodding off.

We have a family do arranged later this month for our golden wedding anniversary, ? where has the last 50 years gone ?

Anyway the drink is likely to be flowing freely so not sure how long I will be able to stay awake.

Smiley

Minivanman
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Re: Home brews

You sound like you know your stuff Wink

Might give the all grain a go, trouble is the canned stuff is just so good and easy to make! As for cost that really does not come into it for me as I just like pottering about and making the stuff. Nothing like a barrel bubbling away in the kitchen. Same with keeping our own chicks, growing veg and even fishing, no great saving if any sometimes, just the sheer pleasure of doing it yourself really.

You can still buy Ruddles I'm sure but the cost of pub and bar beer really shocks me. Not the best place to compare but had a pint near London City airport before flying out a few weeks ago and a pint of Brains dark cost me a whopping £4.70. 

Lots of small beers brewers popping up around is here in Wales but again rather expensive although no doubt really nice.

Thanks for those links Hairy, will check them out Smiley

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Re: Home brews


gleneagles wrote:

These days I don't drink much, simply because I cannot take it !

In my younger days I could shift 9 or 10 pints in an evening but now 2 pints or 2  glasses of wine seems to be the limit anything more than that has me nodding off.


I am just the same. Used to be able to down several pints and vodkas but no more. One pint or glass of wine is enough now.

 

A few weeks ago after a particularly difficult day I met up with a friend and just decided to get sloshed. I suffered from that for almost a week. Gone are the days I could go out all night then do a day's work.

 

At least the fact that I do most, if not all, of the driving means I don't drink anyway.

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Minivanman
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Re: Home brews

Interesting to read your potato wine tasted wonderful after a few years as I made some bramble and some plum wine two years ago and tasted it after a year - it was gross. Left in the shed for now so hope for it yet I guess..... fingers crossed. It looks nice anyway! 

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Re: Home brews

Ahh the long lost days of yesteryear.
10-12 pints some days, now after 3 I struggle.

I also used to make my own wine back in the early 80's, fruit based as a rule, went down great with my family (and friends) but I didn't drink it, I only drank beer back then.
I still knock up the odd demijohn of wine to try, my parsnip went down well at a meet up a few years back.

I only do All Grain 'cause of the cost, being on a low budget, every 1p counts. With a real kit at £24, making something similar for 1/2 means I can afford to brew it. Mind you, you do come up with the ... that would make it much easier only £nnn ;-).

I managed to get a GrainFather last year for my birthday, and it has made the process so easy compared to my old 3V system, start to finish in 6 hours usually.
Minivanman
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Re: Home brews

Have you ever put your beer into a keg?

Looked into doing it but not sure the cost and bother is worth it plus of course I'd need somewhere cool to store it. Better with the bottles I think, just take a couple out from the shed and cool them down the day before. Perhaps if I was a lot younger (and I mean a lot) and planning a party. Thumbs Up 

 

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Minivanman
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Re: Home brews

Grainfather? Blimey, not cheap are they.

http://www.grainfather.co.uk/

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Re: Home brews

I have been keging for the past 30 years, I gave up bottling way way back too much hassle. I have 5 HB BeerSpheres.

Never used to bother chilling them as I prefer ale to lager. 20 years ago when I went back to uni, I had 3 on the go at a time.

Now moved to cornies (which is why I brew to 20L). Along with a fridge (our old main fridge on which the thermostat went, now replaced with an STC1000 to heat and cool as necessary). Holds 2 cornies. That meant also getting a gas bottle (hassle that was as no supplier locally) but it is setup now.

Also got another fridge off freecycle for fermenting in  (stc controlled as well) (just a small under counter one.)

 

Yep the GrainFather isn't cheap but it will last me for years hopefully. I saved for a year to buy it lEmbarrassed

 

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Re: Home brews

Yes like a few here used to have a few drinks dinnertime back to work and then out for the evening and lots more.

Until you start to wobble a bit.

I even had a mate that had his own cure for the wobbling bit.

He used to wander outside and do a bit of projectile vomiting. The Exorcist had nothing on him. Then right as rain off he went with the drinks again.

I have to agree with the few drinks dinnertime now becomes nodding off time.