Brew Day!!!

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Got my first ever homebrew ticking over down in the garage, a red Irish Ale!

It wasn't a complicated process for my first attempt, wanted to keep it cheap and simple so went with 15 litres of all-grain fresh worts from a brew shop, all to be brewed in a Coopers 23 litre brew kit I picked up a few weeks ago.

Started off by cleaning and sterilising all the hardware, didn't take long as it's never been used before so it was all pretty clean.

Next up was the dry yeast hydration.... 15mins in 30 degree water according to the instructions.



Oxygenating the worts followed, this was done by pouring from height into the fermenting vessel to create plenty of foam then splashing in another 8 litres of water.

Over the next 5 minutes I carefully added numerous spoonful's of worts to the hydrated yeast to balance the temperatures.... The internet tells me it's easy to kill yeast with "temperature shock" so I took it pretty slow before pitching.


Temperature sitting at approximately 20 degrees which I understand is OK for an Ale.


OG recorded at 1040


Now..... just have to wait! I don't have any fancy temperature control measures in place, tomorrow will check how the brew is progressing and I'll address any issues as they arise. The garage stays at a pretty stable temperature though so potentially the only issue could be the extra heat being generated through the fermentation process.

If it gets up over 22 degrees then I'll set up an ice bath with towels wrapped around the vessel to bring the temperature down into range..... I'm hoping it will tick along nicely without intervention but we'll see how it goes!
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Location
Hobart
I have been thinking sometimes on brewing, as I have plenty of room at the garage for it and I got mates here caming home regularly to play pool and drink. A question is... you really "save" money, or it is like shaving?, just another way to keep spending a lot of money?
 

Chad

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Location
Melbourne
I have been thinking sometimes on brewing, as I have plenty of room at the garage for it and I got mates here caming home regularly to play pool and drink. A question is... you really "save" money, or it is like shaving?, just another way to keep spending a lot of money?
Once set up the costs are down. I haven't bought 'gear' in years as its all stainless and lasts . Buy your grain in bulk and you fill a keg for $25 or less if its a wheat beer etc. Thats about $10 a carton. You can make decent beer with just a 30lt electric urn on the cheap.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
whittlesea
I have been thinking sometimes on brewing, as I have plenty of room at the garage for it and I got mates here caming home regularly to play pool and drink. A question is... you really "save" money, or it is like shaving?, just another way to keep spending a lot of money?
Like wet shaving it can save money if you are happy with what you've got or you can go down the rabbit hole buying every new gadget and upgrade that pops up.
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Day 2:

Went down to the garage at lunchtime, 24 hours into the brew..... great joy, fermentation!!!!

Temperature was up, a small foamy krausen had formed and convection currents were actively moving through the the brew



With the temperature getting up towards 22 degrees I decided to get all technical and took a trip down to the big green shed to spend $5 on a big green tub :)



Temperature this evening has dropped down into a safer range.... still not much in the way of a krausen but still seeing convection

 

Drubbing

110% Smiley-Free
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Location
Perth, WA
I have been thinking sometimes on brewing, as I have plenty of room at the garage for it and I got mates here caming home regularly to play pool and drink. A question is... you really "save" money, or it is like shaving?, just another way to keep spending a lot of money?
For some, it's just another hobby money pit. I've got my 2nd brew on the go, a pale ale. I've gone the quick and easy route. I use the extract kits from Coopers (which has most of the hard work in a can), packaged fermentables and then bottle conditioning (sugar or drops) for 2-3 weeks. It's easy and cheap. The kit + lager cost me $100 for 2.5 cases of beer. Subsequent brews I just buy the extract + ingredients, which will be around $30

The lager I made was perfectly fine smashable summer beer, but a bit bland. That's lager. The pale will be better as it's a more flavour full beer, but needs 2 more weeks in the bottle.

To make better beers, It's simply a matter of the same simple process, but adding a few extra ingredients, which don't take any longer or need special equipment. My next batch will be an English ESB - Cooper English bitter extract, extra dry malt, and 2 boiled and strained hops into the fermenter, with a good ale yeast sachet.
 

Drubbing

110% Smiley-Free
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Location
Perth, WA
Day 2:

Went down to the garage at lunchtime, 24 hours into the brew..... great joy, fermentation!!!!

Temperature was up, a small foamy krausen had formed and convection currents were actively moving through the the brew

With the temperature getting up towards 22 degrees I decided to get all technical and took a trip down to the big green shed to spend $5 on a big green tub :)

Temperature this evening has dropped down into a safer range.... still not much in the way of a krausen but still seeing convection
I wouldn't stress over the temp too much. So long as it doesn't get too warm for too long. Most mainstream style beers using an average yeast, won't get big krausen either, nor will it last long.

I had no temp control on my lager, which comes with an ale yeast, which prefers 18-21C. Mine was varying from 14-21 each day due to the ambient temp in my laundry. It turned out fine. Clean, clear, good head. Just a bit bland, like a lager. If I brew it again, I'll use it as base and use ingredients additions from Coopers beer style recipes to make something more interesting.

My pale probably spent half its fermenting far too warm, as I got a warming belt, but I left it on most of the time. For 4 days it was around 24C. Still turned out fine. Cracked a bottle today and it's still quite flat, But so was my lager until week 3. From what I've read, most home brew beer will get better the longer you store it (within reason), whereas commercial beer has a shelf life.
 

Drubbing

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Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Location
Perth, WA
Thanks @Drubbing , I reckon I'll go for a Coopers DIY pack too, as it is actually, the Pale Ale, the staple beer when people is around as is cheap and reasonable good.
I think the coopers cans are pretty good, based on 2 brews. Like all extract cans, they probably need a bit of pimping at the mixing process to get cracking beers. Coopers has heaps of recipes using their cans on their DIY site. Some get a bit advanced, with cracking grains and such, but many just require adding boiled up hops, extra dry fermantables and quality yeast - all of which are dirt cheap at brew shops.

Pils and lagers can get a bit tricky here in Oz, as lagers and lager yeasts prefer to ferment at lower temperatures - 14-18 I think. So the keen home brewers look into getting old bar fridges and use an external temp controller. Basically using the fridge as an insulated box.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Location
Hobart
I think the coopers cans are pretty good, based on 2 brews. Like all extract cans, they probably need a bit of pimping at the mixing process to get cracking beers. Coopers has heaps of recipes using their cans on their DIY site. Some get a bit advanced, with cracking grains and such, but many just require adding boiled up hops, extra dry fermantables and quality yeast - all of which are dirt cheap at brew shops.

Pils and lagers can get a bit tricky here in Oz, as lagers and lager yeasts prefer to ferment at lower temperatures - 14-18 I think. So the keen home brewers look into getting old bar fridges and use an external temp controller. Basically using the fridge as an insulated box.
Thanks for the extra tips. I think soon I could be able to make lagers, as spring advance, Van Diemen's Land is a bit colder than average mainland :)
cheers
Fer
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Location
Hobart
Yes, Tas would be ideal. It's easier to warm a fermenter up without lots of gear, than it is to keep it down.
I shall cheek the garage temperature, but also if there are beer that goes well in 25-27 degrees. I do live in an old, cool house that includes a large pool warmed though solar panels in summer time (I do care of the house, that's why I can live cheap :) ) so maybe there is way to place a fermenter inside it, as I am the solely user of the pool. That remains me I should soon start cleaning up it after the winter and make it functional...
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
whittlesea
Just to clear some things up. Lager yeast should brew at12 -16 no more and ale yeast 16-20.the exception would be some Belgian strains that can go mid 20s but expect lots of fruity and spicy yeast characters.the other thing is homebrew keeps worse than commercial craft beer. The pros keep oxygen ingress to a minimum and contamination is not an issue usually with cleaning and sanitation procedures that far exceed what can be achieved at home.the old leave it longer is to cover up for bad brewing practice such as under pitching and not using oxygenation.using the tin yeast(about 1/3 of what you need) being a big culprit for newbies.if it takes your beer a month to come good your practices need upgrading.hoppy beers start to fade in 2 weeks or less and a pale beer can oxidize in a month stored warm.if it's taking a month to carb bottles your yeast health is poor.likely from the under pitch and fluctuating ferment temps and low dissolved oxygen at the start.a wheat beer for instance should be 5 from grain to brain keggingadding 5-7 days if bottled any longer the beer goes downhill. Hazy ipas have a 1 month life tops before going downhill fast.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2015
Location
Adelaide
I brewed a Czech lager from a fresh wort kit a few years ago, had the fermenter set up in a 200L foam box with a wall thickness of 10cm. Two frozen coke bottles a day kept it at 12 degrees for the full time. If only I could replicate it.
 
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