Author Topic: Homebrew thread  (Read 7172 times)

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #240 on: May 21, 2020, 02:10:55 PM »
I made a porter back in April. It's all gone now. Make of that what you will.

Still got one bottle of the coconut porter left, saving that to see if the flavour improves. I was dead proud of that one, didn't want to down it all too quickly.

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #241 on: May 21, 2020, 08:30:38 PM »
The St. Peter's Golden Ale Glory Vole has been an odd one. Pitched the yeast on Thursday last week, by Day 2 it had produced a good 15cm of alarmingly foamy krausen and the airlock was bubbling like a mofo. Fermentation was going like the clappers until about Day 4 when the airlock went quiet. Took a hydrometer reading last night (Day 6)- original specific gravity was 1038, and from there Glory Vole has only made it to 1020. Still smells a bit too sweet as well, not much krausen but clearly it's nowhere near ready.

Did the kit come with  a very aggressive strain of yeast that shot its load too soon, like the crap fast action baker's yeast you get in supermarkets? Did the warmer weather fuck things up? Should I try pitching a bit more yeast? Or am I just being impatient?

I've got a brew stuck at 1020, although that's been in the fermenter for 3 weeks. I'd give yours 2 weeks before worrying about it, then if it's still too high give it all a bit of a shoogle or stir and wait a few days.

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #242 on: May 21, 2020, 08:40:08 PM »
Mine was quite slow for the last week or so but was still noticeably dropping as I checked it every few days. I was also advised to give it a slight jostle and I think it helped.

I've tried mine and it's alright, bit too hoppy and I think I might've opened the first bottle a bit early as it seems to have gotten better since or at least I've gotten used to it. It's better than I've managed before but know I can do better with practice. I've ordered a 'special gravity' lager, whatever that is, to get back on the horse.

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #243 on: May 22, 2020, 06:02:51 PM »
Just bottled the Glory Vole! I have also decided I don't trust my hydrometer. It seems to be calibrated correctly (it reads 1000 in tap water) but it's telling me my beer is 3.97% ABV and it tastes a lot stronger than that. The previous two batches also tasted stronger, and the effects certainly weren't equivalent to those of session ales.

Got some ale bread proving now, again made with ale yeast as well as ale in place of water. Fingers crossed this will work.

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #244 on: May 22, 2020, 06:06:31 PM »
Just bottled the Glory Vole! I have also decided I don't trust my hydrometer. It seems to be calibrated correctly (it reads 1000 in tap water) but it's telling me my beer is 3.97% ABV and it tastes a lot stronger than that. The previous two batches also tasted stronger, and the effects certainly weren't equivalent to those of session ales.

Got some ale bread proving now, again made with ale yeast as well as ale in place of water. Fingers crossed this will work.

That brew 2 bottle has them quite cheap. I bought a trial jar from them for about £2.50 as the plastic tube mine came in split and noted that bunging in a hydrometer was only about a quid or so extra.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #245 on: May 22, 2020, 06:07:12 PM »
Sorry, had a bit of a CaB break last week.

I find stuff I’ve brewed tastes “stronger”, I suspect it is due to the beer being fresher than were used to and it usually ages out. Same for Seb’s hoppiness - by the time it is aged enough to be nice to drink, a lot of those off flavours (over hoppiness, strong booze taste etc) have calmed down.

Reading back through, it sounds like you had a slightly stuck fermentation. Swirl the bucket around if it happens again to reintroduce more yeast into suspension. Stupid old yeast, can’t even do the one thing it is supposed to do right.

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #246 on: May 22, 2020, 06:14:38 PM »
Cheers- and yes, I gave the bucket a good swirl and that seemed to get it going again.

The last batch of ale bread I made was a slow-rise affair with lots of proving, this dough I've just made with the aggressive golden ale yeast seems to have expanded a bit more aggressively too.

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #247 on: May 22, 2020, 06:49:51 PM »
Ohhhhhh yeah:


FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #248 on: May 22, 2020, 07:03:30 PM »
Phwoarr

Blue Jam

  • From the mind of Ricky Gervais
Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #249 on: May 22, 2020, 07:12:06 PM »
I have no idea what strain that yeast is (the packet doesn't say), but I know I'd buy another St. Peter's kit just to get more of it for my Glory Vole rolls. Tasty and light AF.

Recipe:

250g strong white bread flour
250g strong wholemeal bread flour
10g salt
40g fermenter yeast slurry
350g ale from said fermenter

Mix and then knead for 5-10 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes then knead for about 15 seconds. Repeat that last step two more times. Do it one more time and let it rest for an hour. Put the oven on at 250 degrees C. Divide the dough into six pieces, shape them into rolls and let them rest for an hour. Mist the oven, slash the tops of the dough balls and bake for 15+ minutes depending on how good/crap your oven is and when they're ready.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 07:22:54 PM by Blue Jam »

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #250 on: May 22, 2020, 07:57:24 PM »
I’d guess it’s a Safale S-04 or similar based on the style and ruggedness of the yeast. I wonder if you giving it a shake reinvigorated it a bit so it got over the stuck fermentation for your beer and wasn’t knackered when you used it for baking vs just allowing it to ferment and drop out, then scooping it up after?

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #251 on: May 22, 2020, 07:58:33 PM »
+1 for the lazy knead (10 seconds knead, leave 10 minutes x3).

It’s the absolute best.

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #252 on: May 22, 2020, 08:11:33 PM »
Dan Leppard method innit. Bread Hero #2 after Richard Bertimet.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #253 on: May 22, 2020, 08:17:46 PM »
Dan Leppard method innit. Bread Hero #2 after Richard Bertimet.

Gentle Dan is one of my bread heroes, that knead/wait thing was a revelation in my early 20s. I can’t think of a second one, my mate George from uni maybe.

Will look into this Bertimet character, thanks!

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #254 on: May 23, 2020, 04:53:35 PM »
Bertimet is a staunch advocate of the slap'n'fold method, which you sometimes see contestants using on Bake-Off because they know better than that dough-fucking Paul Hollywood:

https://youtu.be/sOjSp5_YiF0

Got Dan Leppard's book for Christmas, tried the sourdough recipe with the long proving and minimal kneading and it was the lightest bread I'd ever made. Now I use a combination of methods- Bertinet's slap'n'fold followed by Leppard's lazy mixing. I'm feeling confident enough in my breadmaking that I can wing it now. As long as the dough isn't too wet or too stiff it'll probably turn out alright.

Just prepared some flatbreads with harisaa paste, roasted peppers, feta, mint, coriander and spinach- Moroccan pizza essentially. The yeast slurry was all lively and honeycomb-like even after a night in the fridge with no added sugar, the flatbreads have just gone in the oven now and they should puff up a treat.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #255 on: May 23, 2020, 08:34:25 PM »
I have two Dan Lepard books (my wife got me them for successive Christmases when I started baking about 10 years ago - I think she was sick of eating my below-par loaves). One is excellent (“short and sweet” I think?) whereas one is ludicrously complicated (“the handmade loaf”) to the point where it nearly put me off. I bet if you had the patience you could use it to make excellent stuff, but I found it all a bit intimidating.

I’m impressed you’re getting so much use out of the yeast! I’m a big fan of dry-frying my flat breads in the cast iron pan if that’s an option. Looks more impressive for the punters as well.

Never heard of this slap’n’fold (sounds like an early Madness LP) but will investigate - if frosty-haired wanker Hollywood doesn’t like it, it must be alright. Thanks for the tip!

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #256 on: May 23, 2020, 08:43:30 PM »
Hollywood is strongly redolent of the sort of man who would be a serial sex-pest and colossal twat.

Blue Jam

  • From the mind of Ricky Gervais
Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #257 on: May 23, 2020, 08:54:17 PM »
The books I swear by are Richard Bertinet's Dough and Dan Leppard's The Handmade Loaf.

Don't thank me, thank mook. These recommendations come to you third-hand.

And yes, Hollywood is a creepy get.

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #258 on: May 23, 2020, 10:36:34 PM »
The books I swear by are Richard Bertinet's Dough ...
Make sure you have a warm house first.  I tried Bertinet's dough recipes and they just would not come together.  Then I realised this house was about 10C colder than the Breton bread maniac required. 

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #259 on: May 25, 2020, 06:30:35 PM »
Made about ten litres of Glory Vole and added one sheet of leaf gelatin to the keg along with the sugar. Beer seems to be getting fizzy now but it's still not very clear, although the sediment is starting to form small clumps. Is that what's supposed to happen? Will I need to cold-crash each bottle in the fridge for a few days prior to opening? Was one sheet of gelatin enough? Am I just being impatient again?

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #260 on: May 25, 2020, 06:33:42 PM »
I find mine probably is slightly better if it's been in the fridge overnight, but definitely not essential.

Mine's an IPA with no gelatin and straight out of the bucket to the bottle so it's cloudy anyway though, there's a bit of sludge at the bottom of the bottle but it seems to stay put if I decant.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #261 on: May 25, 2020, 07:12:09 PM »
You should absolutely put the bottles in the fridge for 24hrs minimum prior to opening for pretty much anything you brew - it cold filters the beer and you get a nicer final product. It’ll do wonders with the gelatin in there already - just gotta be patient! 1 day is the minimum, I typically try and do 3 days if I can but they usually don’t last long in the fridge...

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #262 on: May 25, 2020, 07:15:15 PM »
Yeah, but if i've forgotten to restock me fridge I'm not going to not drink it.

Blue Jam

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #263 on: May 25, 2020, 07:48:33 PM »
I do always chill my brews first but my tiny fridge won't accommodate all 17 bottles, will have to chill (and drink) them in batches. Cheers again!

Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #264 on: May 26, 2020, 11:37:59 AM »
I use lalvin EC-1118 which is technically a champagne yeast, but does a lovely job on apple juice. Cider comes out light and crisp, and it goes like the clappers with high flocculation so you get nice clear final product. It’s fairly standard so should be available most places I imagine. I keep a few sachets in the fridge in case we get nice juice and I have a demijohn spare.

Finally got round to getting a cider on the go with this stuff. Just the one demijohn of bog standard apple juice from concentrate and a cup of strong tea. Still bubbling away 5 days in.

I was wondering, once I rack this out, would it work if I just bung some more juice on the trub? I used half of a rehydrated 5g sachet in there (the rest to kickstart a stuck wheat beer) and as it says a whole pack can do 25 litres then I figured it could work. Or would there be too much dead yeast knocking about affecting the taste?


FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #265 on: May 26, 2020, 12:41:39 PM »
Finally got round to getting a cider on the go with this stuff. Just the one demijohn of bog standard apple juice from concentrate and a cup of strong tea. Still bubbling away 5 days in.

I was wondering, once I rack this out, would it work if I just bung some more juice on the trub? I used half of a rehydrated 5g sachet in there (the rest to kickstart a stuck wheat beer) and as it says a whole pack can do 25 litres then I figured it could work. Or would there be too much dead yeast knocking about affecting the taste?

I think it would work fine, but I’ve never reused yeast so actually not too sure. I’ve always thought if I’m going to buy all these ingredients and spend all this time setting up the brew, I don’t want to have it all come to naught because I saved $3 on fresh yeast.

That said, people do it all the time. There’s a technique called yeast washing out there that you can do to reuse yeast but the name is pretty much all I know about it.

I say give it a go and see

touchingcloth

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #266 on: May 27, 2020, 01:33:01 AM »
+1 for the lazy knead (10 seconds knead, leave 10 minutes x3).

It’s the absolute best.

Dan Leppard method innit. Bread Hero #2 after Richard Bertimet.

I'm convinced kneading does next to fuck all and all dough requires is a bit of time and light manipulation, so I wonder if the ten minute sessions of elbow knackering action most recipes call for have their roots more in voodoo than magic, kind of like those people you see repeatedly prodding but buttons at pedestrian crossings.

I used to have a Dan Leppard book, but palmed it off on a relative after reading a section on thrift which suggested the money saving tip of - and I believe I am paraphrasing reasonably accurately here - collecting the windfall from your orchard and using it to make "a simple scrumpy"[1] and deciding that he was a bit of a bell.

I don't actually own any Bertinet books but I've baked a good number of his breads. When it comes to breadmaking the internet really is where it's at - the variations in flour properties and climate - specifically humidity - around the world have such a big impact on the final loaf that it's interesting to see what the hive mind comes up with when trying to adapt Bertinet's recipe's to their own conditions.
 1. That bit is verbatim.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #267 on: May 27, 2020, 02:03:29 AM »
To be fair, turning excess apples from your orchard into cider is piss-easy (if you have an 50lb+ capacity cider press, 30lbs+ of the right species of apples, an automatic macerator and hopper, an industrial filter, a lot of experience and tons of space. Oh, and an orchard). He’s written that from the perspective of “apples = cider (+work maybe?)” and not much else. Not everyone can be a brewing guru like what I am.

He’s good on bread though, and kneading is definitely a waste of time.

Blue Jam

  • From the mind of Ricky Gervais
Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #268 on: May 27, 2020, 11:24:53 AM »
I don't know, I quite enjoy a bit of kneading, watching the gluten strands build up. Five minutes is sufficient though. Ten minutes can fuck right off- it is possible to overwerk a dough.

touchingcloth

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Re: Homebrew thread
« Reply #269 on: May 27, 2020, 02:23:13 PM »
I don't know, I quite enjoy a bit of kneading, watching the gluten strands build up.

That's the voodoo element of my previous post - sometimes it seems to give the baker a sense of agency, in a (extremely trivially) similar way to how people feel more like they're achieving something by cooking pasta and mixing a ready made sauce in versus sticking a ready meal in the microwave.

For a long time I've been making dough by putting the ingredients in the Kenwood for ~8 mins on a slow speed, before stretching and folding a few times at 10 minute intervals but I discovered once that there was basically no difference between 8 mins in the Kenwood and 2 mins and the stretch/fold/relax process seems to do way more of the work, as well as being less effort and leccy for me.

Gluten is absolutely fucking magic stuff, though. It still gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure watching a loose mass of flour and water turn into a taut ball of dough.

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