new beeeeer

Okay so I’ve been doing some really boring idk how were going but this one I just did then.

250g cracked crystal malt for 50 minutes in 2L of water then 15g golden hops for 30 minutes. Should have been 30 for malt but missed the timer.

Added black rock pilsner o think and something amber malt can I’ll check later.

1040 on the hydrometer

Made 11/11/2013

@
Also accidentally sterilized for an hour longer than needed

Fourth Beer

God damn there’s quite a lot that’s gone through my head, but this year has been busy as shit. I literally JUST bottled the fourth beer, the Pale Ale. It was (I think) ~32 330ml bottles and 10 740ml bottles. I was actually so busy I’d never topped the water level up to the neck in the fermenter, so probably going to have a pretty shit beer hey? Fuck it who knows, we’ll see what happens.

Uh.

Yeah I’ll update more of my thoughts tomorrow maybe.

Third beer, Fourth Beer, Beer Shed.

First, beer shed seems to actually be pretty awesome. the two lights and the bench works out pretty well. Still need to scrub the walls and floor a bit better and I’m also thinking of making a new frame for the lights so I can screw them into the roof.

It’s pretty tight though so taking photographs has been tricky, I’ll just have to make a panorama or something.

Third beer, the Boags Premium was bottled Sunday 5 February 2012. There was definitely oxidation on the top so I only bottled 2/3 of it split between 15 x 750ml long necks and 10 x 330ml stubbies. 

Fourth beer has been bought and is going to get put on in about an hour and a half, this time Cascade Imperial Voyage Pale Ale, 1kg dextrose and 0.5kg light malt.

A mate of mine has a spare fermenter so my plan for this time is leave it in mind with the heater for a week, then siphon it into his one for a second week before bottling. Been reading shitloads on homebrewing and apparently it’s a great way to get a clearer beer.

Beer shed plans.

So in the rental I’m currently living in there is a shed in the backyard split into three sections:

Backyard shed

  1. Is powered and is currently an exercise room, with carpet. Not ideal for wet beerness, especially the shaking from a treadmill.
  2. Is powered and filled with storage stuff.
  3. Is not powered, has a single window where light doesn’t enter, has a door that just barely closes and is pretty fucking dusty. But it only has my stuff in it, it has a bench and a shelf going on the long side and a set of shelves on one of the small sides.

This third shed will be my beer shed. Today I spent a few hours going to a few hardware stores casing out outdoor lighting, outdoor extension cords and power boards that I could use to make the beer shed into a brewing paradise. Or atleast serviceable. Should be purchasing these with my next pay.

What I’ve set in are:

2 x 150w Lights with stands and brackets - $11.90

1 x 500w Light with stand and bracket - $14.90

Extension Cord + Power Board - $22

2-3 Crates - $8-12 depending on what I choose.

I’m not that sure about how bright certain wattages are so I’ll try and find someone who knows or try and google/youtube it to figure it out, but two or three lights should work a treat and they’re fairly cheaper than I expected.

The crates are tricky because I didn’t think to bring a bottle with me, but there were good stacking crates that didn’t have lids and some stacking(ish) crates with lids. I’d rather get ones with lids, because if the room goes back to being dusty or I have to clean it quite frequently I’d rather keep everything fairly sealed then clean constantly. Condoms on the fermenter tap? I think so.

The extension cord and power board were from a cheap place, because the awesome industrial versions were like $100 and I’m not quite ready for that. If the power board doesn’t work I might just plug the fermenter straight into the extension cord and use a head torch whilst it’s still summer, then save up for a better powerboard. What I need to do is figure out how much power will be used from an immersion heater and 2-3 lights.

Regardless, then I’ll be able to grab a chair, have my bottle capper and all my equipment in the one place, not ever have to move the fermenter for bottling and be able to store empty bottles in there when not in use.

The last thing I’ve thought of is getting some device that can read and store temperatures over a month or something, so I can keep track of the weather in the shed vs out the shed. This’ll be important because like I said, it’s fairly dark, and if it keeps cool I could store my long term beers in there too.

Hopefully photographs to come soon!

Fucksticks (Third Beer)

I forgot to post that I had started on my third beer!

It was started on Friday 27th of January, it’s a Boags Premium which is:

1 can Black Rock Colonial Lager

1 Half’n’Half

Kit yeast

Which should make a 5% alcohol. Once again I forgot to Hydrometer as soon as it was all in the fermenter, but on the second day it was 1011. This is really annoying, because it’s Wednesday today, I worked on Monday and Tuesday, and I honestly can’t remember which day it was I started the beer. I bought the beer kit stuff on Friday, but went home early because I was sick. Regardless I’ll just stick with Friday.

On Monday I found an amazing forum of resources: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/

They had a ‘n00b’ thread that was quite inspiring and good to read, although half of it I didn’t understand. I probably will if I move onto extracts or mashes.

The important thing that I’m going to do with this beer is Hydrometer properly, daily, to keep a track of OG. I won’t bottle it exactly at 2 weeks, I’ll bottle it when the reading is perfect and stays perfect for a few days.

I’m now going to write a second post about the hopefully soon to be beer shed!

UPDATE [02/02/2012]: Hydrometer reading 1010. I’m a bit worried the ring around the airlock wasn’t in properly and was letting air in.

Bicycle Beer Holder

This is amazing, I was trying to find if there were any DIY ways to make 6-pack holders when I stumbled upon this.

Some reflections on my second beer

So I might, if I get around to it, update this more on this coming weekend but here are a few things I’ve realised whilst doing my second beer, although first maybe some back story.

Ette, my girlfriend, was planning on moving back to Melbourne on Saturday 21, so we decided to put the second home brew on down at her place in Kingston, so we could bottle it just before she goes. A few plus’ to this was the fact that we could have it fermenting anywhere, because it was just the two of us, and her house stays quite cool so it was easier to control the temperature.

However this meant I wasn’t always on hand to help out with problems, and because of this the beer was oxidised, which is a bad thing but doesn’t mean the whole thing is wrecked. After doing some reading I think the problem was that Cascade Lager brews at a lower temperature (18-20 as opposed to 22-24 Celsius) so when it was at a steady 24 from the heater  it really made the yeast mad and it all bubbled up through the airlock and out onto the bathroom floor. After it was done doing that there wasn’t any water left in the airlock, so it got a bit oxidised. So lesson learnt.

Once again I didn’t take a start Hydrometer reading so that I could calculate the alcohol % at the end, because I had left it back at home when we started the brew, and through some of the other steps. I also did a reading when we figured the fermenting was done, but I haven’t done a second reading since. I really need to get a better sterilising thing so that I don’t have to turn a 5 minute job into a 2 hour job.

On the lighter side, because I have the capper I’ll start doing my bottling half pet half 330ml glass bottles. I’ll probably also figure out a better bottle cleaning system/storage so I just have to sterilise them rather than having to wash them all then sterilise them. It took about 20-30 minutes of soaking and 30 minutes of washing for 14 bottles.

Finally I’m going to buy a bucket. Because this time I had a 2L jug and it still involved quite a few back and forth trips for filling the fermenter and for sterilising the bottles.

Look who got a beer capper!
The second beer is ready to bottle, we’ll be bottling it today even. It’s a Cascade Lager but it’s had some problems, it all bubbled quite a bit over at one stage and so the air lock had no liquid left in it, so there was some oxidation.
However, after checking The Home Brew Shop website they said just bottle 2/3 of it rather than throwing it away which is what we’re going to do. 2/3 bottled is 20 750ml bottles, so ‘cause Ette is moving back to Melbourne we’re using 14 330ml Squires and Little Creatures bottles for her to take with her and 13 750ml PET bottles. This is pretty exciting, ‘cause I haven’t capped glass bottles before so it feels real. When I get back to my place and start the third brew I’m going to look into completely turning the third shed into a beer shed with the capper, fermenter and storage for the bottles.
Possibly more photographs later! 

Look who got a beer capper!

The second beer is ready to bottle, we’ll be bottling it today even. It’s a Cascade Lager but it’s had some problems, it all bubbled quite a bit over at one stage and so the air lock had no liquid left in it, so there was some oxidation.

However, after checking The Home Brew Shop website they said just bottle 2/3 of it rather than throwing it away which is what we’re going to do. 2/3 bottled is 20 750ml bottles, so ‘cause Ette is moving back to Melbourne we’re using 14 330ml Squires and Little Creatures bottles for her to take with her and 13 750ml PET bottles. This is pretty exciting, ‘cause I haven’t capped glass bottles before so it feels real. When I get back to my place and start the third brew I’m going to look into completely turning the third shed into a beer shed with the capper, fermenter and storage for the bottles.

Possibly more photographs later! 

Second beer!

So last night Ette and I started the second beer, a Cascade Lager! I’m posting this from my phone so can’t really be bothered typing much more but ill have to write a final blog for the Crown Lager! Brent out!

I have been lax

there is a lot to type, but I don’t have the energy to type it.

However, in short, after 3 weeks bottled the home brew tastes wonderful.

I could not be happier.