What are you brewing?

Discussion in 'The Speakeasy' started by YetiDave, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. My setup's nothing too fancy - I'm just following basic brewing kits at the moment and stocking up on supplies for Christmas. I've got Black Rock 'whispering wheat' bottled and it turned out okay, maybe a little too sweet as I used a combination of malt and sugar. I've just cracked open a couple of bottles of Cooper's IPA though and it's fantastic, sharp and bitter and according to the hydrometer readings I've got an ABV of around 4%, however I think the secondary fermentation bumped that up as it tastes quite a lot stronger. Does anyone else brew their own beer? What have you got on the go?
     
  2. And to add to this - I'm trying my hand at mead today. Just a small (5 litre) batch to start off with
     
  3. I'll have a blueberry wheat brewing for the wife tomorrow, and fermenting is an Arrogant Bastard clone. Also have a Stone IPA clone on tap along with an Oatmeal Stout. Mead sounds exciting, and I may try it sometime in the future. My dad just started making brandy, and turned out a pretty good plum (both white and red) version about a month ago. Kyle
     
  4. Blueberry wheat sounds fantastic! How legal is it to brew your own spirits in the states? I thought it was illegal here due to the potentially high methanol content but I spotted yeast for whiskey mash in my local brewing shop earlier so I guess that can't be right. I was introduced to plum brandy by a Romanian friend - a relative of his who is a nun brewed up some fantastic palinka, a serious kick ass powerful type of plum brandy and flavoured with rose water and he was kind enough to pass a couple of bottles along to me. I just transferred my mead to the demijohn and it doesn't look too appetising but it smells great - lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel heated into it :thumbup1: and now comes the long wait
     
  5. I have an oatmeal stout and a hefe currently on tap. Also have a caramelized Scottish 80 a week in the primary.

    Been brewing for a few years now, switched to all grain after 3 extract batches. Next up is a Belgian blond in a few weeks
     
  6. Scottish 80? :confused:
     
  7. I've got a 2.5 gallon batch of Morgan's Iron Bark Dark Ale in my carboy right now. Over the summer I tried a Cooper's draught kit which gave excellent results. Also on the go: 1 gal. batch of apple wine and a 1 gal. batch of mead. It sure is fun to see what can be done with yeast. This might lead me back to bread making...
     
  8. Apple wine? Can you share a recipe? I have literally 100 plus cooking apples still on trees that need using and I've wanted to try cider but can't afford a press, apple wine sounds interesting :smile:
     
  9. jod

    jod

    Taking a break from brewing/winemaking for a bit here. Went in with 2 other fellows two years in a row and we made two barrels of cider. I have plenty on the shelf for some time. On stock I currently have: Cherry mead, plain mead, spiced mead, cider, gooseberry wine, peach wine and a couple bottles of other stuff I can't remember. Here was the recipe we used for our barrel cider: 1 used Jack Daniels whiskey barrel, 75lbs sugar, 1 case frozen orange juice, about 8oz of salicylic acid, and fill the rest with fresh-pressed cider. I made an air-lock for it, and was instructed by the "cider-man" to NOT TOUCH IT UNTIL AFTER THANKSGIVING! This is a recipe that has been in use around here for some time. The JD barrel gives the cider a beautiful taste. We re-used the barrel the second year and it came out great, but not as strongly flavored as the first batch. Don't know if that will be any help to you or not.
     
  10. Sure, here's the recipe I found online - although I've forgotten where. I think I was reading up on mead at the time!

    Apfelwein
    ------------
    5 US gal. apple juice
    2 lbs dextrose
    1 pkt (5 g) Montrachet yeast

    As a five gallon batch is a bit much for myself, I've done a few 1 gal. batches, trying out different yeasts and sugars. I've found that it takes about six weeks. It doesn't hurt if it waits around a bit longer than that ;). Here's what I'm trying right now:
    3 L apple juice
    3 cans of apple juice concentrate
    1 pkt wine yeast (Lavlin EC-1118 or perhaps Red Star Premier Curvee)
    I can find the apple juice, concentrate and Lavlin yeast all at the local grocery store, luckily. The end result is quite enjoyable.
     
  11. Just cracked open a bottle of my first attempt at sour beers: VERY happy with the results!!

    It was the Sans Le Chat recipe in Wild Brews
     
  12. From bjcp guidelines:
     
  13. And Scottish 80 from BeerSmith:
    Description: Cleanly malty with a drying finish, perhaps a few esters, &on occasion a faint bit of peaty earthiness (smoke). Most beers finish fairly dry considering their relatively sweet palate, &as such have a different balance than strong Scotch ales.any smoke char is yeast/water-derived &not from the use of peat-smoked malts.

    Profile: The malt-hop balance is slightly to moderately tilted towards the malt side. Any caramelization comes from kettle caramelization and not caramel malt (and is sometimes confused with diacetyl). Although unusual, any smoked character is yeast- or water-derived and not from the use of peat-smoked malts.

    Ingredients: Scottish/English pale malt. Small amounts of roasted barley add color &flavor, & lend a dry,slightly roasty finish.English hops.Clean,relatively un-attenuative ale yeast.Some commercial brewers add small amounts of crystal/amber/wheat malts,&adjuncts such as sugar.

    On brandy:
    Apparently it's legal to make here, as there's not distilling involved. I do believe that's where the illegality of high-test spirits (whiskey, vodka, etc.) comes in, as the danger of steam blowing up and/ or reacting with copper is the concern. But, since brandy is in essence just strong wine that's fermented out there's no real danger involved.

    Someone mentioned bread making. While I really, really suck at it (it's about on par with my shaving ability....) I like to save a few cups of grains from a batch now and again and make spent-grain bread. It's delicious, if not a bit husky. I've never actually gotten the bread to rise properly, so it's probably even better than I'm having once it's made proper.

    Off to brew what's now going to be a blackberry wheat! Kyle
     
  14. Aaaah yes, I hadn't considered that brandy isn't distilled! Let us know how the blue fruit wheat turns out :laugh: I'm going to have to attempt to make something with these apples during the week I think

    On another note - the mead's starting nicely (I got an air lock flooded with yeast but that was quickly sorted out) and I've realised that the sound of a bubbling air lock is very hypnotic, I could watch and listen to this for hours...
     
  15. A very clever and resourceful friend of mine had suggested to me to post an ad on Craigslist for trading cider from my 5 apple trees for the use of their apple press. The one response I had to this ad proved very successful. They brought their press over and we spent 5 hours shaking apples off trees onto tarps then scooping the apples into the grinder and then down into the press. It was absolutely fantastic. We had so much fun. We pressed 24 gallons of apple cider and as promised I gave them half the bounty. With my 12 gallons, I gave several gallons to the friend who had suggested the idea, and then I prepared the rest of the cider for freezing for later and then also placed about 5 gallons of cider into a carboy to make HARD CIDER.

    In this 5 gallon carboy with the cider I mixed in sugar and then Champagne yeast. I used the champagne yeast because I had run out of the 1116 yeast. Then I set up the carboy with an airlock and let it go a bubbling for about 10 days, what was it now, 2 weeks? Something like that...life got busy and I lost track of time...and then Voila! Today, I poured from the 5 gallon carboy into smaller one gallon glass bottles and then poured from the gallon bottles into green liter bottles. 17 completely filled bottles...and the 18th filled enough for a treat when I finished the project. And it wasn't over, yet...

    Now that the hard cider was into these liter bottles, I needed to cork them. I had rented a wine bottle corker from a local brew supply shop for 5 bucks and now was ready to use this gadget on my hard cider bottles. I was so afraid pushing down on this lever that my bottle would break and I'd have cider everywhere...but it did not break. Just when I thought I was giving it too much pressure, that little ol' cork went right on down the neck of the bottle. That was pretty cool. And pretty simple too.

    Since this is my very first batch of HARD CIDER...I don't really have anything to compare with it. But I do know that the Champagne yeast made this batch VERY dry. And I am currently sipping from the 18th bottle. Yeah...the bottle. I like it.:001_smile
     

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  16. Should have carbed it! :)

    I'm on my fifth batch or so of the cider. My wife loves it. I'll stick to my ales...

    I've got an ESB to bottle and ingredients for a belgian trappist ale. Once I pick up a larger kettle I'll be all set for some All-Grain goodness. Already have a mash tun built :)
     
  17. I just took a trip down to the brew shop and found a Scottish 80 kit :thumbup1: I'll be getting this on the go tomorrow!
     
  18. What kind of brandy do you get in the states? Never heard of an undistilled brandy unless you are talking about the old applejack where people left the "hard" cider to freeze then poured off the liquid containing the alcohol.

    Do you have some form of undistilled brandy over there? How do they get the strength? Never seen a yeast that will ferment to over 40%BV

    Curious!

    Gareth
     
  19. people will call any strong fruit wine brandy. its not really brandy, it is just fruit wine and some of them get to 15 or 20% depending on yeast and available sugar.

    and by people i mean old people or rednecks :)
     

  20. In that case I'ma make me some redneck brandy! My uncle found some of his old brewing equipment hidden away in his attic and said I could have it :w00t: I shall soon be the proud owner of a 5 gallon pressure barrel and a 5 gallon fermentation bin with heating element so this apple wine's gonna be started soon
     

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