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  1. +1 Good post, Roger. Mrs Beeton wrote a home almanac and it was a best seller in the late 19th century. It was aimed at mainly middle class wives. It is still easily available in facsimile form today. In the cookery section, a recipe calling for rabbit, began with the instruction: First catch your rabbit. To the home brewer today, a similar instruction might be : First get your malt.
  2. I have found over several months of brewing I am left with a vast assortment of yeasts, hops and steeping grains (mostly medium crystal). Since my local supermarket always has tins of Mex Cerveza and Aust Pale Ale on the shelves, I build a recipe around them. I use BrewMate software (free on the web) to design a recipe, aiming for a balance of bitterness/sweetness and alcohol (ABV). The final colour, I don't really care about. Some of the brews I make can not really be classified into BCJP styles but, they are still beer and are very tasty. So, use up all your leftovers, observe the golden rules ( hygiene, quality ingredients, brewing temperatures) and quality beer will be your reward.
  3. I do my dry hopping by steeping the hops in a jug in the fridge for a couple of days and then strain into the FV after fermentation has finished. The resulting liquid is very bitter. Technically, this method adds no IBUs but my tongue and palate tells another story. Be careful with dry-hopping if you want to add flavour/aroma and do not over do it. But saying that, dry hopping is well worth doing.
  4. Yell for Dobbin, the draught horse, to come in and clean the mess up.
  5. My last bottle of Dr Smuto's Golden Ale.
  6. OK, boys, The consensus is that you drink what you wanna drink. Always was like that and always will be.
  7. My, my, my. You guys are really high tech, eh? What about a fish pond aerator going flat out all through fermentation?
  8. Tezza, Glad to hear your brew turned out alright - it was a fairly basic recipe. By now you should be using steeping grains - medium crystal to start with, preferably milled for you, at around 250g - 300g per 23L. Grains will add body, colour and flavour. I start steeping in the fridge 48 hours before brew day in a couple of jugs at a ratio of 3 parts water to one part grain enclosed by cling wrap. I pour the liquid into the wort through a strainer. You can sparge by tipping the grains back into the jugs and refilling with cold water and repeat the process. Top up the FV to your required level. Also, start experimenting with different yeasts and hops. This is when the real fun starts. Good brewing, mate.
  9. Roger, I am pretty sure that Dobbin is trying to help you. Please give him a large draught of ale daily - as a tonic - as well as the spent grains.
  10. Great answer, I knew you guys wouldn't skimp on us :-) The truth is, I too was a little worried about water getting behind the seal in the old caps, but have never had any infection issues because of it. How many times do you recommend re-using the new caps? Not being a tight arse, it's just handy that they're reusable considering they only come in bags of 30 or whatever and I don't always have spare caps on hand. Cheers Asking a question like that is like asking how long is a piece of string. I have used my current collection of caps about twenty times and will continue using them until they fail to seal the bottle securely.
  11. A postscript to the above. I am down to my last two bottles of Dr Smurto's, and these were drawn from the dregs of the FV, below the level of the tap and full of spent yeast slurry. At bottling I was able to gain about 4 longnecks doing this by putting a funnel in the bottles and pouring direct from the top of the FV. The yeast settled down nicely and IMO are the best tasting of the entire lot. So, fellow brewers, DON'T waste the dregs in the FV. Bottle it and give it time to settle and mature. You will be well rewarded
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