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Home Brew

31 Mar 2012 12:09PM
Just wondering if any of you have ever tried making home brew?

I just love proper beer and thought it could be great fun to attempt to make my own, I've been reading into doing it, and have actually sent away for a book on brewing. So I shall read this and make my mind up and see if it's for me. One day I would love to have my own pub and sell lot's of nice proper beer and if it all goes well with my crazy new idea I might be able to sell my own. Yes your right I'm getting slightly carried away with myself but I guess you got to dream Grin

Current favourites are:

Stewarts - Edinburgh Gold
Stewarts - Pentland IPA
Brew Dog - Citra
Odell -IPA
Cairngorm - Tradewinds
Thornbridge Brewery - Jaipur
Anchor Steam Beer
Knops - California Common

What are your favourites so I can hunt them out and have a taste or two.

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keith selmes 16 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
31 Mar 2012 12:55PM
I tried brewing once. Only the simple kits, and very small scale, doing a few bottles at a time.
Unfortunately it was too good, and I found I had more friends than I realised.
I seemed to be always running out and needing to brew more.
Pretty soon I gave it up and went back to buying as required at the supermarket.

Then I had less friends but also less work, and I still had something to drink when I wanted it.

Nonetheless home brewing is a component in my retirement plan, the one for comfortable living on a reduced income.
I hope to do less of the grab and pay raids at the supermarkets, and spend a bit more time on quality living at lower cost.
MikeRC 15 3.6k United Kingdom
31 Mar 2012 2:07PM
15 years ago I was drinking a bottle of Southern Comfort every week I decided to try making some wine......useing the kits..tasted fine...I enjoyed making it and drinking it but I got carried away making far more than I could drink, I have a big cupboard in my garage and I bought a large wine rack, must hold 60/70 bottles.

Then I was drinking the Southern Comfort and the wine, my wife said I had a problem, I didn't think I had so to prove it I stopped drinking, just for a week or two I thought, but a week or two led to 15 years of my being teetotall.
...I even still have the last 2 litres of duty free Southern Comfort.

Apart from half a bottle, not mine, Smile when we are on holiday and go out of an evening, I've never drunk since.
...not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I do know that when I was 20 year younger with a cigar and a glass of SC I was a lot happier.

The wine is still in the garage and the Southern Comfort is still in the cabinet, I keep thinking I might break out a bottle but a bit worried where it might lead.

...gave away the King Edwards...to someone on EPZ actually.....bit too much temptation there Smile
ade_mcfade 16 15.2k 216 England
31 Mar 2012 2:39PM
brewed throughout the 90's - made being a student really cheap Wink Kits were 4-5 and add sugar, 6 in total for 40 pints

I also had the kit for brewing from scratch - malt, hops etc. - that was a better quality beer, but a lot more work. it's fun though - mum used to hate the smell in the boiling part though!

real ale is thriving in west yorks - way too many varieties to mention really, but Leeds Brewery are great, Daleside, Roosters, Thornbridge, saltaire and Kirkstall Breweries are all doing great stuff.

Leeds do 3 regular dark ales too - unusual to see; Midnight Bell is amazing
MrGoatsmilk 12 1.5k England
31 Mar 2012 3:49PM
I have brewed from kits a few times over the years both wine in bottles and beer in barrels, I have a kit to start this weekend if I get round to it that is. I would love to have a go at making beer from scratch and may do one day soon.

A friend has also just opened a home brew shop in Darlaston and is doing ok.

A local Brewery started up in his garage and now he has moved to a unit in Esssington, called Morton Brewery and supplies a few local pubs with his real ales, very nice they are too.
theorderingone 16 2.4k
31 Mar 2012 5:10PM

Quote:real ale is thriving in west yorks - way too many varieties to mention really, but Leeds Brewery are great, Daleside, Roosters, Thornbridge, saltaire and Kirkstall Breweries are all doing great stuff.

and in South Yorks too. Check out Blue Bee Brewery. They're Sheffield based micro-brewery and they do a very good range of ales from Pale to Mild. They always have some on at the Rutland Arms near Sheffield train station (which does some excellent food also).
adrian_w Plus
12 3.8k 4 England
31 Mar 2012 5:15PM
Hi Scott, if you like real ales then get yourself over to Paisley Beer Festival which is on from April 25th to the 28th. It features 160 different Scottish beers and a large selection of English beers featuring the breweries from Cumbria.

Like many here I used to brew my own right from student days up to about 10 years ago. Kit brews are OK but for really good results you can't beat brewing from 1st principles. It's a bit like using Auto program mode on your camera to start with then learning how to use it properly; good results from the start but that extra "magic" when you do the creative bit yourself.

One thing you will need if you start brewing are bottles to keep it in. Now it just so happens that I still have a lot of 2 pint screw top beer bottles from my brewing days. I no longer use them I ws thinking of dumping them but if you (or anyone else) can use them, your welcome to them for FREE! ( & thats an offer you get in Scotland very often!!Wink)
Photogeek 15 605 6 Wales
31 Mar 2012 7:36PM

Quote:Just wondering if any of you have ever tried making home brew?

I've been doing so for 30 years or more, My from scratch brews work out at around 15p a pint, and if I use a kit (I have to occasionally,. to review them) then it will cost around 60p a pint.

Is it as good as beer you buy in the pub . . . . No . . . . . It is so much better, in the 70's kit beer was pretty dire, but the premium 2 can kits are pretty damn good (not as good as all grain, but some of them come very close), and the yeast they are supplied with is a proper brewing yeast not a bread yeast like they were in the 70's

For those of you interested in brewing beer and making wines and ciders you might want to look at the following 'Brewing' Forums.

The Homebrew Forum
Jims Beer Kit
The Craftbrewing Association
31 Mar 2012 11:12PM
Hey guys really appreciate all this information which is very handy indeed, It's good to know that most of you have actually done it at some point and still actually do it. I know my brother in law has made wine and still has the kits for that, would that be the same gear to use as you would use to make beer?

Quote:I keep thinking I might break out a bottle but a bit worried where it might lead.

This is always a thought in the back of my head that if I was to start making my own would I then start drinking more because it's there. I feel I have the mind strength not for that to become an issue but I guess you just never know.

Quote: ( & thats an offer you get in Scotland very often!!)

Ha ha ha Brilliant and I know a friend who went last year so i may have to give him a call and get that sorted out.

I've had various ideas popping into my head on things to do since I'm signed off work at the moment with bust shoulder but I will actually have to wait until I get back to work due to no pennies. That's another thing, Sick pay is shocking so I really can't wait to get back to work.

Thanks for all the suggestions and thanks for the links Photogeek.

Tomorrow I have the joys of heading over to The Isle of Lewis to see another form of Home distilling which was turned into actual production at the newest Distillery in Scotland. When you see the distillery it's very much on a smaller scale compared to the other distilleries but it's certainly got some unique flavours on offer. Better idea of it here Abhainn Dearg distillery
keith selmes 16 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
31 Mar 2012 11:38PM
It's a very personal thing, but I haven't needed to worry about the amount of beer in my home.
When I could only afford the occasional bottle, I couldn't leave it in the cupboard very long, I could never resist the temptation and leave it for a special occasion.
So I did wonder about that, and people looked a bit worried if I told them.

However, when I could afford to have several bottles in the cupboard, I still only drank one.
One per evening perhaps, but just the one, very rarely wanted more. Lucky I suppose.
1 Apr 2012 12:47AM
Never liked King Edwards ( Invincibles, and what's the other?) but Southern Comfort was OK! Don't bother much at all with spirits these days, but I fancy trying wine making. Made home brew beer years ago. A lady friend gave me a bottle of Elder Flower wine she had made - lovely! Naturally semi-sparkling. Loads of Elder growing round here, I'll maybe have a go this year!
1 Apr 2012 12:49PM
I should go for brewing your own beer. Try different kits. There is a place in Sheffield, The BrewMart, I think, which supplies by mail order. They have a vast range of kits and different beers. I experimented with kits and obtained even better results by adding extra malt, and hops to the kits. Acquire a couple of the 5 gallon plastic barrels, which is better than messing about with bottles. You can also pressurise the barrels with C02 cylinders. I have not brewed for about 12 years now, and had to give up due to lack of space at home. It is easy to get things right and you will find that home brewed beers surpass a lot of canned beers.
MrGoatsmilk 12 1.5k England
2 Apr 2012 6:05PM
Due to this thread I started a new brew as of yesterday just a Tom Caxton kit that you add sugar to I shall be putting 40pints into a pressure barrel very soon after it's finished fermenting.

I tried a friends brew the other day it was a St Peters Ruby Red a 2 can kit which tasted amazing not unlike pub standard beer, I shall be getting one of those next as I have never tried a 2 can kit and they get some great reviews and there are a few 2 can kits under various names worth trying by the looks of things.

Photogeek 15 605 6 Wales
3 Apr 2012 7:23PM
As far a quality goes, 2 can kits win hands down (Apart from perhaps Coopers kits), if making a one can kit consider adding malt extract instead of sugar as this ensures that the beer doesn't thin out too much.

If you do fancy getting the best kits on the market then Design a Brew range from Hamstead Homebrew are pretty much unbeatable, several people I've tried with it have been unable to tell them apart from all grain brews (Which may not be a good thing Grin)

Barons have gone to market recently with an idea I had, which is to make a concentrated wort then package it but nowhere near as concentrated as traditional kits, these kits have had great success, again you just add water but because the kits are from a smaller brewery they can produce a wider range than most.

Kits tend to be optimistic on their instructions, 7-10 days fermentation and then a month before drinking (Better instructions on The Homebrew Forum Link Above), and get yourself a big helping of patience (or a liking for wheat beers Grin )

As far as drinking more because you have more, I actually stopped drinking when I was working for a brewery!!! My regular beers I brew on my 18 gallon brewery, and If I was to drink them myself I would only brew twice a year, the benefit is that I have several brewing mates that get together, brew a big batch and then split it 4 ways, which means I get good turnover of beer.
MrGoatsmilk 12 1.5k England
3 Apr 2012 7:49PM
I will have to have a good read of the forums you link to as I have been wanting to make a brew from scratch for some time now and really want to give it a proper good go and see where it takes me, I'm sure I know plenty who will help me sample the final brew Smile

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