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The Beer Thread

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44 minutes ago, mim731 said:

@Slapnut I'm intrigued by this, having often looked at those kits but been put off by how complicated they might be. Did you need to buy much kit for this?

It's one of these https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-thirsty-devil-red-ale-beer-brewing-kit-18kg/p/0468414 with a sealable bucket which are about a tenner. You sterilise the bucket pour in the powder and fill with hot water. Then you wait 6-8 weeks. Finally you run it through a sieve and bottle it.

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1 hour ago, Rey_Piste said:

It's one of these https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-thirsty-devil-red-ale-beer-brewing-kit-18kg/p/0468414 with a sealable bucket which are about a tenner. You sterilise the bucket pour in the powder and fill with hot water. Then you wait 6-8 weeks. Finally you run it through a sieve and bottle it.

I mean, it’s not quite as simple as that, but yeah it’s a fairly simple set of instructions. Please don’t sieve your beer though!

@mim731 The kit Rey has linked is £16, but overall I spent close to £100 in total for the kit, the fermenter, the bottling bucket which I used to transfer the beer into before bottling, the siphoning kit, bottles, caps and capper, and then various bits and bobs like the stirring spoon, thermometer and hydrometer. Now I’ve got all the actual equipment, all I’ll need to be buying is the ingredients and new bottles. For example, the kit I’ve currently got brewing was £25, and I’ll probably just reuse the bottles.

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15 hours ago, ReturnOfTheMack said:

Off to London on thursday for a couple of days to celebrate the wife's birthday. Can any London folk recommend any decent pubs with a good selection of beers, preferably with food available?

Also had a can of this at the weekend. Bloody cracking beer! 

de-moersleutel-mmm-tubed-meat-from-a-wall.jpg

Whereabouts are you staying? Craft Beer Co was mentioned earlier, and it is good - the one in Angel is particularly nice. And does food.

Edited by Chris B

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1 hour ago, Slapnut said:

I mean, it’s not quite as simple as that, but yeah it’s a fairly simple set of instructions. Please don’t sieve your beer though!

@mim731 The kit Rey has linked is £16, but overall I spent close to £100 in total for the kit, the fermenter, the bottling bucket which I used to transfer the beer into before bottling, the siphoning kit, bottles, caps and capper, and then various bits and bobs like the stirring spoon, thermometer and hydrometer. Now I’ve got all the actual equipment, all I’ll need to be buying is the ingredients and new bottles. For example, the kit I’ve currently got brewing was £25, and I’ll probably just reuse the bottles.

When I did it, I just had the bucket with no return valve on to. I had a sieve in the funnel when bottling, because the kit I used had a ton of sediment in the bottom of it. I did add a bit of extra sugar around 2 weeks in to kickstart a second round  of fermentation. I also just used washed and sterilised 2 litre coke bottles. It was a perfectly serviceable bitter by the end.

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

 

Whereabouts are you staying? Craft Beer Co was mentioned earlier, and it is good - the one in Angel is particularly nice. And does food.

Near King Cross.

 

 

Edit:  Also I love the home brewing stuff. My setup cost very little and I love playing about with kits to get used to what flavours can be added. A few things I love are lactose (milk sugar, doesnt really ferment so the beew is sweeter), tonka beans, and I'm starting to play with using wood chips to simulate cask conditioning.

Edited by ReturnOfTheMack

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45 minutes ago, ReturnOfTheMack said:

Near King Cross.

In that case, the Craft Beer Co in Angel is good - lots of options and does food. Also, the Euston Tap (literally outside Euston station) is fun for tastings.

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On 2/3/2020 at 7:47 AM, Slapnut said:

I just started a second batch on the weekend, one of the Tiny Rebel Cwtch kits, and I’m already seeing an improvement - the smell is already much better and the airlock was bubbling within hours, so I know it’s all going to plan. If this one turns out OK, I’m having a go at my own recipe.

Update: this turned out shit. Really bitter with nothing to counteract it. It just tastes like a cheap lager.

Nevermind, I’m still having a go at my own recipe. I picked up some dried malt extract and some hops yesterday, so we’ll see how that goes.

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43 minutes ago, Slapnut said:

Update: this turned out shit. Really bitter with nothing to counteract it. It just tastes like a cheap lager.

Nevermind, I’m still having a go at my own recipe. I picked up some dried malt extract and some hops yesterday, so we’ll see how that goes.

You really don't want to sieve your beer after primary fermentation is done because it'll introduce oxygen to the beer. Oxygen is death to finished beer, it'll stale it giving it a cardboard / papery flavour (best case) and green apple and acetic flavour (worst case). Sediment is fine. It'll pack down in the bottle given long enough - keep it very cold will promote this and speed it up. Otherwise it changes the flavour very little and won't cause you any harm.

On 2/3/2020 at 2:49 PM, Chris B said:

In that case, the Craft Beer Co in Angel is good - lots of options and does food. Also, the Euston Tap (literally outside Euston station) is fun for tastings.

Euston Tap is good but has no food. Craft Beer Co in Angel is a good shout, yeah - loads of taps both keg and cask but again no food. The Lighterman in Granary Square has good food and has a permanent Braybrooke tap. Braybrooke make some of the best lagers in the country in my opinion. The Little Creatures brewpub in Kings Cross is pricey but good and has food. The Queens Head is a short walk from Kings Cross and it's a really great little pub - bit lesser known. Classic in feel, piano in the corner, great range. Brew House and Kitchen is another Brewpub in Angel near Craft Beer co. Ok food, ok ish beer. Sourced Deli in St Pancreas Station has a good range of local bottles and you can drink in. The Parcel Yard in King Cross station is a massive Fullers Pub with lots of their range if that's your sort of thing. They do food in there too. That's about all I can think of. If you're travelling further afield, I've got more ...

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32 minutes ago, Chris B said:

They seem to be under the impression they do food on their website:

 http://www.thecraftbeerco.com/islington-menu

Ahh, nice one. I stand corrected. I knew they did in some but thought that was one where they didn't. I've had a burger in the Covent Garden one and it was petty good.

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9 hours ago, Chunk said:

You really don't want to sieve your beer after primary fermentation is done because it'll introduce oxygen to the beer. Oxygen is death to finished beer, it'll stale it giving it a cardboard / papery flavour (best case) and green apple and acetic flavour (worst case). Sediment is fine. It'll pack down in the bottle given long enough - keep it very cold will promote this and speed it up. Otherwise it changes the flavour very little and won't cause you any harm.

Oh absolutely, I’ve not gone anywhere near that advice (sorry @Rey_Piste).

I’m not sure why this one turned out so bad, I followed the instructions to a tee, almost obsessively at times. Maybe it’s just not a particularly good kit.

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Tried an experiment. I took a Bulldog Brew Easter Stout kit, added extra sugar to take it to 10% (well, managed 9.8%). After fermentation finished I added vanilla paste to the equivalent of 3 pods. I let that settle through for 4 days before bottling. When bottling I divided 3 litres between 2 cola bottles and started fractional freezing. Eventually I got down to a 500ml bottle and a 330ml bottles worth that I believe is at around the 19% mark. No idea if it will be any good, but experiment and all that.

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On 3/4/2020 at 7:26 AM, Slapnut said:

Oh absolutely, I’ve not gone anywhere near that advice (sorry @Rey_Piste).

I’m not sure why this one turned out so bad, I followed the instructions to a tee, almost obsessively at times. Maybe it’s just not a particularly good kit.

When I did it I just had 2 litre pop bottles I cleaned and disinfected, the sieve was really only there on top of the funnel to to stop any large particulates from entering the bottled final product. This was because near the end of the initial fermentation I added  some extra sugar to kickstart it off to give it a bit more oomph and I was just literally just pouring it straight out of the bucket I used the brew kit in.There was a lot off dead yeast floating around since it produced a fair amount of co2, so it was causing it to float up off from the bottom.It was drinkable, but a little bland with the only real taste to it being a sweeter than usual after taste than you would expect from a ruby bitter ale.

If I were doing it today I would make sure use a syphon pump method and to use smaller bottles. I would still use some method to strain out anything from entering the final bottled product. I found the large bottles to go stale quite quickly once they were opened. So out of the original 10 litres I lost approximately half a litre to spillage, another half a litre near the end which was just really murky and full of sediment. I also lost one 2 litre bottle because it got knocked over and split as well as over a litre from a bottle which I didn't consume quick enough once opened.

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