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Everything posted by Beervis

  1. I take the point about elbow grease and scrubbing like your life depends on it, but evidently with gear like PET bottles that is more difficult. Personally, I don't clean, I just soak. Remove any obvious dirt deposits, rinse off with hot water - that goes for FV, spoons, bottles, bottling wand etc - take apart anything that can be taken apart and then soak overnight, drain rinse and starsan. I still get the odd dud PET bottle, but I don't think I can be any more thorough than I am without making the process boring and painful. Not to mention damaging the lining of the PET bottles. One reflection I've got on this topic is potential for soaking solutions to not be strong enough? We're all trying to save money on brewing, and the branded cleaners can be expensive, possibly the solutions just aren't strong enough or left to soak for long enough?
  2. From what I've read, I think the attraction of 'no rinse' is the main reason most people have switched to star san, that and the fact that it has become the industry standard. Doesn't mean it's any better, obviously, but I think that has become inferred from the fact that it's more popular. Since I moved house and have fly screens and a cleaner newer kitchen and temp control I've never had an infection. Nothing else about my cleaning routine has changed and I had a couple infections before when I was brewing under the house at my last place. My theory is opportunistic infectors had an easier time there. That is, despite the brewery wash and star san.
  3. I see so when they say 'low carb' or 'no carb' they are talking about residual carbohydrates in the wort? That makes sense although I think the general public would typically associate calories / carbohydrates as being the same or similar. Like when they claim a beer is 99.9% sugar free, I am sure at least some of the punters would take that to mean it had no calories.
  4. Sounds like an interesting experiment, and I can see the point of wanting a 'crisper' beer, but IMO that classic 'dry' taste is what I associate with crap beer. Soda water with a hint of beer and an aggressive bitterness with no late hop flavour. I know that's not what you're looking for but anyhow. Is this how they achieve those 'no carb' beers? I always thought that was ridiculous since anything with alcohol in it is by definition not 'no carb', I think Asahi is pleasant enough for a dry-er beer. I'm only drinking it for the bottles but it's not too bad. Do they achieve that 'dryness' with rice/corn? I'm sure I can actually taste the rice in that beer. Interesting stuff as always
  5. I'm enjoying this thread, looking forward to hearing how that Nelson saison turns out, Captain. I'm not really up with how to describe beer flavours, but I've enjoyed a number of commercial Saison's, the best one I remember was 8 Wired when I was in NZ. It wouldn't be a Saison if it wasn't a bit funky, but that beer also had quite a 'clean' taste funky, but fruity as well, around 5% My experience brewing with the Belle yeast is that while the taste was nice, and has mellowed a bit with age, it had a kind of dank, cloying taste to it that was hard work at first. I thought I'd fermented it too low in temp but after reading this thread I think thank god I did, otherwise I'd be in the horse shed!
  6. Sounds like my situation exactly. If I brewed in a 30L FV I wouldn't have anywhere to put the beer! Plus if there is too much beer around I might just drink it and that is not good for me trying to keep hold of my girlish figure! That's a tough one hey I've found drinking in moderation is a useful tool to have as a brewer (well probably necessary!!) because I can build up stocks without being tempted to drink stuff before it's aged enough and can keep a few different flavours around without them getting demolished in a week or two . Each to their own like you say Kelsey, but for me that's kinda an argument against kegs as well, it'd be just there, pre-chilled, delicious and foamy and easy to pour - it'd be harder to keep that willpower going. I find not having a bunch of bottles in the fridge means I know I have to wait for a few hours and that stops me going overboard.
  7. that's good to know, it's a question I'd been meaning to ask for a while. I suppose when you think about how much you can harvest from the yeast cake, it makes sense that a bit of cold wouldn't do enough to remove all the yeast.
  8. That's such a winner that deal. Bulk buy and save! The winner for absolute ripoff goes to an un-named major home brew supplier - I bought a 250gm bottle of their brewery wash - it was just sodium carbonate and it was $6.50!
  9. OK I think I've figured this out. Seems that a lot of brewer-specific cleaning powders/soakers are just sodium percarbonate after all. Maybe in a higher concentration and without as many/any additives as Dysan or Coles Oxy-action, but at a much higher price point per volume. So I'd probably be better off going back to some kind of unscented Napisan style product, choosing one with a higher concentration per volume of sod perc.
  10. Thanks for that John, plenty of food for thought there! One of the factors that attracted me to doing extract in George is what you've mentioned in your post - because of the small volumes you could do things like SMaSH's with just 1 can of extract and one hop, or with a small spec grain steep and would be a great way to practice/experiment without creating lots of work for yourself. What you mention about being limited by the IBU's actually reminds me of the craft kits themselves... it's kinda only useful vis a vis Coopers recipes if you want something strong and rich. Which is the point I suppose but it does feel limiting. No way you could make a light beer from a kit in George. At the moment I'm looking at developing a couple of 'house' beers that I will always have on the go, a kind of basic always in the cupboard brew. I'm thinking single hop extract pales and hefeweizen, or something along the lines of your pacific ale idea. I don't really like s+w either but I think a hoppier version would be ok. All grain makes sense too, because with the small volumes you could do that mash in a big pasta pot on the stove and wouldn't really need any other equipment. Like maybe 17L for an 11 L batch? BIAB, strain into fermenter, bang. You'd be able to chill in the kitchen sink then too, wouldn't have to bother with cubing the wort or buying a chiller or any other expensive gear. Thanks for the advice, I've got a lot to go on now! Paul
  11. This isn't very scientific, but if I'm in doubt, I soak and soak again. preferably with something that smells like it'd give you multiple organ failure if ingested. I find the cleaning products a bit confusing because everyone has an opinion on what's best and brew stores often sell their own repackaged gear that isn't called the same thing as the original product - possibly the same chemical makeup though. Example - I've been using a product called 'EGA cleaner' which has roughly 60% alkaline salts. Another one from Brigalow which is much higher, 97% alkaline salts. I've noticed that a lot of home brew companies charge outrageous prices for what are essentially cheap chemicals repackaged in tiny amounts. So with this cleaner/soaker, am I getting value for money, or chemically would Napisan style sod perc blends be just as good?
  12. I think an OS series with a box of BE3 is still better than most of the commercial megaswill Definitely wait at least 5 weeks I reckon. Something more hoppy might be ok earlier but K+K's definitely don't drink them young. Case in point, I'm drinking the Ruby Roo pale ale at the moment, it's got a Rooibos tea infusion - tasted like kit twang and was all round awful after 5 weeks, been a couple months now and it's quite nice! Glad I didn't chuck it.
  13. I find it interesting that those temperature variations much such a big difference in AG brews. I kinda assumed that was just fussy brewer talk and you'd be able to get away with a fair bit before noticing any difference. Good to know! Hope the next one turns out better for you :)
  14. Most of what I've read about sodium met is that its been superseded by the no rinse style sanitisers, not that it doesn't work or anything. I suppose any extra rinsing is a PITA but it's not like you're doing it every day. I use the spray on stuff, some variant of star san from the LHBS. But I make sure I soak the sh*t out of everything including bottles, overnight or for almost a full day in alkaline salts . I don't know for sure, but I think that might be close to PBW in terms of brand names. I've been considering going back to Napisan to save money, but after reading threads like this I'm not sure it's worth saving a few bucks if it might compromise the brew.
  15. Yeah I agree, you could probably soak it in bleach or something but sounds to me like it's time for a new one.
  16. I've looked at that recipe section a thousand times and must've missed this one - looks really nice. Will have to give it a go!
  17. Thanks, yes it's an interesting combination of flavours I wouldn't be sure what to expect either, but looks interesting for sure. Did you control the temp much or just let the saison go nuts? The last saison I made turned out ok, but I think I brewed it too cold so didn't end up with much of the characteristic saison estery taste. Did you find any one flavour dominating? That's what I'd be worried about not temp controlling at least a bit, the saison overtaking the hops/roast. I'm in the mood for experimenting at the moment, particularly if it involves the little fermenter, so I'll be giving this one a go!
  18. Some great advice has been given here already so I won't repeat it - just wanted to add that all my beers tasted the same before I got a brew fridge, except for one.. But they were all K+K's that were fermented with kit yeast and no temp control and no hops. I think the non-stout kits are often not that different anyway. I don't think your problem is infection. I suppose all infections aren't created equally, but you should be able to pick 'infected' flavours out of a beer pretty easily, and your neighbour and dad both seemed to like them. Anyone who's an experienced wine drinker would notice that immediately I reckon. Based off the recipes I'd like them too, sound like nice drops. And you're right, the amount of hops you're using should definitely be noticeable. I put a 10gm teabag of Galaxy into a 22L APA+ 1kg LDM (2 packs kit yeast) and it was very noticeable. The other day I did a steep of 30gms Chinook into a Bootmaker Pale Ale and it was the only thing I could taste taking SG. It was aggressive even, practically jumped out of the tub and gave me a slap. I'd recommend using an extra pack of yeast - I never bother rehydrating and I don't brew temps as low as Christina recommends and I still get good results. Not saying you shouldn't, definitely rehydrate, I'm just lazy and have read conflicting reports about the usefulness of it. I follow the Coopers recipes too and they generally recommend brewing ales at around 20 depending on recipe. I'm wondering if it's either not aging the beer enough - I'd give it 4 or 5 weeks - or whether it's your pallet. Do you usually drink like the most expensive most hoppy small batch wet hopped hazy IPA or whatever at your local craft pub place? Or exclusively drink DIPA's at home? To get some of those more aggressive hop flavours takes a lot more hops. AG recipes for big IPA's usually have heaps. Maybe it's that. 1 last thing - underpitched beers with lots of fermentables might taste a bit sweet. 2 last thing - kit taste/twang shouldn't be detectable under all those hops. Well not for me anyway and I think I'm pretty fussy This is a confusing one for sure!
  19. I have one big Coopers fermentor and one craft size (10L) both going at once, and that works ok for me. You could try using the craft tub or a similar size to do small batches. What about using a plastic bucket style? You could probably find something at Bunnings that would do the trick. From what I've seen most of the dedicated fermentors are taller and skinnier than the retrofitted bucket style ones. I used to have an old one that was really just a plastic bucket fitted with a tap, and it was shorter and fatter.
  20. I suppose the easiest way would be to triple all ingredients up from 8.5L to 25.5L and use the collar, would end up being a pretty expensive beer to make. Could probably make an extract version for cheaper that would have a similar flavour profile. I've noticed that's what Mr Beer does in the states, they sell the Coopers 6 gallon fermentor, 30L whatever it is, but not the 1.7kg kits, so they ship all their 19/23L brews with 3 of the craft cans and some BE/grain/hop additions. That would be the easiest way, but I'm sure two cans plus extra malt and hops with a bit of fiddling would make an equally nice brew for a bit cheaper. And a bit more sessionable to boot. Could make it to 19L for example just with an extra kit can and maybe scaling up the hops a bit. I might try that I think for first experiment, then see how alcoholic it turns out and how it tastes. You'd like to hope that the taste test method is changing opinions... and I'd say it certainly is, given the success smaller breweries are having selling up to the big boys at the moment. But I think it'll take a while for our culture to change and catch up. There are plenty of ppl out there who've tried more flavourful beers but prefer the megaswill. There's always guys on the forums trying to make megaswill clones for example... I sometimes wonder how we went from being an English colony, that presumably imported nice beer brewing skills from the motherland, to a country that produces some of the worst commercial beer I've tried. It probably happened gradually, as companies adapted their recipes to cut costs and take advantage of tax arrangements that favour swill. I still remember when Pure Blonde first came out, some of my mates were raving about it, and I tried some and thought shit! It's getting worse! It's actually getting worse! Well it's not an issue anymore, I don't have to drink it, I can make something better and cheaper at home
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