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Matt

Archive Boiling up some honey...

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Racked off the brochet last week, has cleared already. Super fast for a mead, but I think the brochets do that. Is a lovely deep red color. Smells divine too. I caved and added vanilla pods cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves. Threw in some finings just now and gave it a good shake to disperse so its kinda cloudy again. Will hopefully be able to stabilise with sulphite and sorbate, backsweeten and bottle this weekend. Photos to come once it clears out again. Deliberately went for a lower ABV (~12%) with the hope of it aging a bit faster. Have been looking at boil in bag all grain brewing (for beer). Think I'll make a plastic brew kettle this weekend or next with a couple of jug elements in it + filtered drain tap + embedded thermometer. Should be nice and cheap if I can find the right plastic bucket, need at least 40 litres, 60 would be better. Thick walls. An old fermenter would be ideal. Electric heating will allow thermostatic control of the mash which is super handy.

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They settle fast, usually because all of the proteins are cooked and thus coagulate and precipitate out; becoming solid quickly. Like blood when you put it in the frying pan with a steak, it turns grey and solid. It also changes the flavour! I should take some photos of the recent mead making.

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Matt, rather than worrying about thermostats and sealing jug elements, I use a fish tank heater in my 60l plastic barrel for fermenting. About 20 or 30 dollars from tradme. Wrap an old blanket around and it will keep 30degC no problems (even in winter) Sent from my U8160 using Tapatalk 2

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What about one of the mini plastic barrels? They go about 120 liters. Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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Search barrel plastic on trademe, $33 Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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[quote name='prananz']Matt, rather than worrying about thermostats and sealing jug elements, I use a fish tank heater in my 60l plastic barrel for fermenting. About 20 or 30 dollars from tradme. Wrap an old blanket around and it will keep 30degC no problems (even in winter) Sent from my U8160 using Tapatalk 2[/quote] Hah I got a u8800 on tapatalk =) Much prefer my ancient IBM keyboard though. Blimmin Brochet has started bubbling again, shake up has kicked off some more fermentation....Cloudy as again.... No way of checking SG as it's in a carboy and I haven't sprung for a wine thief as yet. As far as the beer brewing goes I've decided to go with a separate mash stage rather than BIAB, setup as below... 2x 20L pails for the mash/sparge water + to boil the wort during hop additions. I would have preferred a single, larger vessel but nothing suitable right now. There is a guy on TM selling 60L drums, but pick up only from Hamilton. A stainless keg would be ideal, would need an engineer to install the heaters + taps though... Money I would rather spend on grain/hops right now! These have been made from some cheap pails I got off trademe, quite thick HDPE so should handle the heat. Elements come out of 2x $13 cordless jugs from the warehouse. Already come with silicon gaskets, all I needed was a 38ml holesaw, took me 10 minutes each. Really simple to set up, no wiring required, just happens that a standard PC power cord will fit onto the connectors. Have installed a tap on each pail as well. Might add some photos a bit later. Takes around 40 mins for 10L of tap water to reach boil. Acceptable, but will look out for some super cheap jugs on trademe over the next few weeks. Have made a mash tun out of an old chillybin, some braided hose and vinyl tubing. Intructions all over the internet. So yeah, jug elements are for boiling, not maintaining ferment temps. For that Ive got a gizmo I made from an arduino, LCD, LM35 and SSR that can switch the freezer or a lighbulb on or off depending on set/current temp so got that covered already. Got ingredients for a very hoppy IPA coming monday, so following Sat will be brew day! [quote="Love Honey, post: 33403, member: 257"]They settle fast, usually because all of the proteins are cooked and thus coagulate and precipitate out; becoming solid quickly. Like blood when you put it in the frying pan with a steak, it turns grey and solid. It also changes the flavour! I should take some photos of the recent mead making.[/quote] Would love to see those! I am quite excited about the brochet, it really is a lovely color. Dont want to take pics until its fully cleared out though =)

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One other thing to note. The hotter the fermentation; the longer it will take to age. This is a rule of thumb, with some variance due to yeast and sugar source. It is caused by the higher levels of phenols formed during a high temperature fermentation. A colder brew will take longer, but will be more palatable at a sooner date. Less flavor of hot mouthwash,; more crisp nutty flavours.

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Thanks for the tip.... So I guess the thing to use is a low temp yeast, in a temp. controlled environment... Or brew in winter...

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[attachment=4128:name] All bottled up as it had cleared right out. Lovely color eh? FG was 1.004 so a bit dry, but works well. Tastes young (hot/boozy!) but the spices come through nicely, cloves give it a fiery tail.....Calculates at 12% ABV Have stabilised and off to the garage for some serious aging....

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[quote name='Matt'][ATTACH=full]3804[/ATTACH] All bottled up as it had cleared right out. Lovely color eh? FG was 1.004 so a bit dry, but works well. Tastes young (hot/boozy!) but the spices come through nicely, cloves give it a fiery tail.....Calculates at 12% ABV Have stabilised and off to the garage for some serious aging....[/quote]Looks exquisite!!!!!!

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Wondering how many days supply that works out to.... 14 bottles I can count...

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[quote name='Derek']Wondering how many days supply that works out to.... 14 bottles I can count...[/quote] Yep, 14 bottles =). Might save these guys for special occasions... Not going to be anywhere near it's potential for at least six months anyway. More of a beer drinker, gonna brew 6 gallons of IPA next weekend.

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[quote name='Matt']Yep, 14 bottles =). Might save these guys for special occasions... Not going to be anywhere near it's potential for at least six months anyway. More of a beer drinker, gonna brew 6 gallons of IPA next weekend.[/quote] I have 5 gallons of "Newcastle Brown" type brewing now.... A Mangrove Jacks pouch kit I was given last weekend by someone up the road who just bought a fermenter barrel, but didn't want the kit it contained. Not really my preferred type of beer, but couldn't turn it away (the "beggars can't be choosers" rule). She is going to make cider the hard way... she has a fruit grinder (as in wicked sharp rotating blade type device) and a proper little press....

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Have a look at all grain brewing, not that much harder than kits, but gives you a lot more variety and some would argue quality.... I've just got set up for it, see above post. Most of my gear is re-purposed crap I had sitting in the garage.... Never brewed anything before these meads, but I (naively?) think once you've got the basics down the rest is pretty easy.... Will let you know how my first boil goes....

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Matt if you are going to get into beer mashing(which is the way to go) i will give you my thoughts, it hopefully may fast track you into decent beers straight off. dont get pulled into all them silly recipes over the net which have a lot of different malts. keep it simple,,, you want to pick one or maybe two base malts and mash only the one malt alone for each of your first of many beers. the idea is you want to know what flavour suits you, what you like in base malts first, thats why its called base malt. i like pilsner malt so thats my main base malt and basically the only malt i use today anyway. after you get the taste of it, or which one you like or understand it, then its easy to tweak with maybe 10-20% of another type of specialty malt so you can understand where your flavour is going.. i like 10-20% sugar(or better again Belgium sugar candy) added to my base malt to give the beer a nice dry crisp taste. when buying malts taste them in the shop, they are all different and will have a massive impact on your base malt(or base malts) and the end taste to your beer.. using many malts on your first beers will never let you understand what you are tasting or really doing. thats why my advice from someone who has tried many a silly net recipe to keep it real simple first so you will not get disappointed for really that style of brewing is more about a flip of a coin style beer. my best beers today are using only pilsner malt with additions of home made toffy(Belgium candy) or honey. nz hops, motueka and or wakatu,, hop additions and the many types also give you a different end taste through the boil. using honey instead of sugar,,,,, i'm still finding it a bit tricky, one should never over heat the stuff for beer i think. it can give long fermenting problems and can also treat you to a stuck fermentation. but it is a real nice dry addition, comes out a lot drier then normal sugar. my favorite yeast is 550 whitelabs or its equal. rack beer when fermentation is almost finished so you can save good clean yeast when you are bottling. that yeast is $20 to buy and why not save it, but you need to rack off all the hop and dead yeast to do this beforehand. doing this to early can also give you a stuck fermentation so dont be to keen, usually after 6-7 days you are fine.. from brew day to drinking it is usually 3-4 weeks for me and its seriously good,(thats typical ale yeast but) very few people who do kits around me can compete in the good range i feel:rolleyes: kits are ok for dark beers,, dark beers are worth the idea of the many amount of different malts for some reason, hard to go wrong with dark beers, also one of my favorites. try to keep to ale liquid yeast,,, lagers are also a time waster. if you like lagers treat your ale like a lager, many wouldnt know the difference seriously. i base my brews on Belgium strong ales like the trappist beers who use lager malts(pilsner) and are super simple recipes. all my beers are 6 to 10% and you probably wouldnt believe they are over 9 %,,,,,,,,,,,,real nice to sit down and relax with at the end of the day:sleep: but seriously not a driving beer of any sort.

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[quote name='Derek']She is going to make cider the hard way... she has a fruit grinder (as in wicked sharp rotating blade type device) and a proper little press....[/quote] Any idea where she got it from? I'm after a small apple juice / cider set up. :geek:

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[quote name='Shaun']Any idea where she got it from? I'm after a small apple juice / cider set up. :geek:[/quote] I will enquire...

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[quote name='Shane']Matt if you are going to get into beer mashing(which is the way to go) i will give you my thoughts, it hopefully may fast track you into decent beers straight off. dont get pulled into all them silly recipes over the net which have a lot of different malts. keep it simple,,, you want to pick one or maybe two base malts and mash only the one malt alone for each of your first of many beers. e they are over 9 %,,,,,,,,,,,,real nice to sit down and relax with at the end of the day:sleep: but seriously not a driving beer of any sort.[/quote] Hi Shane, thanks for your advice! My first batch should be ready to bottle tomorrow if it has cleared up by then, its[URL='http://craftbrewing.co.nz/recipes/hop-monsters/epic-pale-ale'] this [/URL]epic pale ale clone, all grain. Sitting in temp controlled freezer at 5 degrees cold crashing, put some gelatin in it yesterday to help it along. If its still cloudy tomorrow Ill leave it another week in the primary. Ive been reading about harvesting yeast, washing it sounds kinda simple and good economy, although I will be doing this off the hops/trub etc. I have read here and there that racking to a secondary is now thought of as unnecessary and potentially risky? I know what you mean about keeping it simple, kinda why I chose this recipe, in that it only has cascade hops (A LOT!) so I will really be able to get their taste. My wife wants me to do a 'normal' beer next so I will do her a Czech pils with bohemian pilsner as the base plus a bit of carahell, I think this is for head retention? Germal perle for bittering @ 60 mins + saaz at 30 and 15. I have the tech to lager so may as well use a lager yeast and do it properly, at least for the first time. Reading other forums I havent heard much of adding sugar to get a nice crisp finish, I guess this makes sense? Have packaged all my honey for last season and turned the rest into mead so wont be fiddling around with honey in beer just yet. Man you brew some big meads! I am considering just buying a sack of ground pils malt, I hear ya, much cheaper than buying it as required. Need to investigate further re storage and shelf life. I have gone kinda getto with the brew kettle, its a 50 litre HDPE pail (used to have pool chlorine in it) with a tap fitted + two jug elements for heating. Works really well I can get 30L water to boil from cold in ~40 mins. Mash tun is equally ghetto, owes me around 15 bucks (I already had the chilly bin). On my APA I hit mash temp spot on and OG was only 0.001 off. Cooling is still an arse but keeping my eyes open for cheap copper. Have been in the garage this PM knocking up some beer crates out of a bit of cheap decking, have been well and truly bitten by this hobby =)

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Matt actually you sound like you are a old hat at this already the only risky thing i have found in racking into secondary is a possible stop of fermentation,,, loosing that yeast cake off the top of the ferment to early in its ferment,,, the yeast need to be well into that second stage of fermention before any thought of racking. not sure about lagers and this yeast cake, its been so long since i did one. yeah casade is real nice,,its also a favorite of mine, i lov them hoppy beers,,,,, hoppy and strong. when i first started i did a Cezh pilsner funny enough, that was what partly got me tuned into Belgium ales strangely. i found certain ales are very similar in recipe wise and one can fast track everything compared to having to truly lager your lager for long periods of time. in ales, one can still use lager techniques to get something similar, kind of cheating. often the cloudy game is in the yeast itself. i was once a fanatic of lagers myself(normal beer) then i found white beer(wit beer, wheat beer, weizen) in ukraine, kiev square trying to fix a hangover from the night before. this seriously changed my life,,,, ales became "normal". i was served from a tap this cloudy white thing,,,,,,,, i looked at the Ukrainian dude who didnt speak english at all as in "is this a bl**dy joke" wow what a day that was in 39 degrees. love to go back again, i still cannot replicate that particular beautiful beer, that was amazing. i traveled through europe exploring this style of beer, Hoegaarden is the main one available here,,," might ring a bell". i'm limited with cold crashing for my house is on alternative power,, a extra fig or freezer is another 3-5 grand in batterys on top on what i already have, so. yes a sack NZ pilsner malt is a great idea(its what i do) it can sit around happily for 3 months in a barrel and longer. your system sounds easier then mine i feel,,, darn lpg gas adds another 10-15$ to my boil-ups. i'm looking for a wood burning concrete copper to heat and boil,, will make a stainless steal insert instead of the copper insert to make it hold a bigger boil(but these old coppers are like hens teeth now) cooling i have finally just decide to get one of those heat exchangers you pump the wort through($200)[url="http://thebrewhouse.co.nz/beer/61"]Cooling | The Brew House - your local home brew store[/url] i scored 300+ Grolsch bottles some time back for a few hundy,,,,, they are the best, watch trademe for these. i never wash them, just rinse and stand upside down on special racks until bottling again. for bottling i like to go heavy on the priming sugar, a lot of the info on the net on this seems to me be more under undercharged beer to me. usually max of around 275grams sugar to 25 litres wort, 11grams to the litre, but this is fine for me becuse i can always let pressure off in a cold frig if they are a bit to high(again this is best done with the grolsch bottles with lever tops,,, easy) not to be done in normal caped bottles of cause. yes its a cool hobby and brewing has come a long way compared to 20 years ago. the worst thing about it, you will produce a beer you will drink every night, so look out. strangely bought stuff from the supermarket is never that great on ones pallet every night if you aren't a alcoholic. so look out.

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When you say 'in a barrel' do you mean one of those plastic 200L things with the sealable lids? I have about 20 slicker pads that I froze down a couple of days before brew day, it kinda worked but still took a couple of hours. I did the contiki thing around europe a few years back, think I spent around £2K on booze in 6 weeks, and it gets pretty cheap the further east you go ha ha. Was pretty crook by the end of it. You have convinced me (not hard!) I will do a white beer once the lager is tucked away in the cooler....

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oh yeah as in head retention,, one has to be doing something very wrong to not have this. maybe ph or water problems. my pilsner malt only gives me fantastic ice-cream. one thing about brewing one has endless scenarios to change the most basic of recipes. any difference or deviation can change a beer dramatically.. a good tool to get is a refractometer for gravity readings, its a must and only $60. the old hydrometer is a big handicap and creates many a problem.

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Im not going to start fiddling about with recipes until I have a few successes under my belt (literally!), too scared of stuffing it up at this stage and grains/hops get expensive. Would be keen to grow my own hops actually, but am planning to move in a couple of years so not rally worth putting them in. [URL='http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/brewing-hefeweizen-hefeweizen-recipe-232219/']This[/URL] hefe looks easy, and brewers coop sell [URL='http://www.brewerscoop.co.nz/beerProds.php?id=SUMA&menu=BEIN']German wheat[/URL], I assume its the same as wheat malt... No stepped or decoction mashes.... Yeah I saw your refractometer in the photos on your other post. Am tempted eh, sounds like it will save a LOT of mucking about. Some quite cheap ones on ebay....

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When you say 'in a barrel' do you mean one of those plastic 200L things with the sealable lids? yeah anything thats sealed to stop light and humidity,, 60-70l barrel is good enough for a sack. my mead has actually stolen my 70l malt storage barrel at the moment:)

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yeah hefes are fantastic and real easy, i use a lot of oats in mine(y)

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Would be keen to grow my own hops actually, but am planning to move in a couple of years so not rally worth putting them in. i have some growing here(hops) what kind i dont really know, why myself i dont use them,, brother dose. such a secret "the world of hop growing" so much more then cannabis:cautious: one needs a stupid licence to grow these to sell for beer??? they are real easy to dig up and move when dormant. one can harvest from these also in the first year of planting, they grow wickedly. they are like grapes or maybe ginger, easy to transplant and can be cut into multiple root stocks. they die back to nothing in the winter,,,, lov to get the motueka strain myself. which are the king of bittering and are somewheres around frazzle country which is worldly famous for them:)

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