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Phoenix Ale

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Hi all and thanks for accepting me, I have been reading and looking at advice on the site for a few months. Back kit brewing about a year, used to brew Boots kits and wine from a local HBS about 30 years ago, things have changed a lot. Started back with a fermentation bucket, HBS own kit, 40 pet bottles, bottle wand and hydrometer but the bug has got me - now have a bottling bucket, around 100 different size glass bottles, 2 PBs, 2 cornies, large CO2 cylinder, taps, hoses, regulator and last buy was a refractometer from Ali. Not really sure where it is going but I can't stop myself looking at all-grain all in one systems. Currently drinking St Peters Cream Stout & HBS own citra pale ale in bottles since before Christmas and kegged a Wherry about 10 days ago :onechug:.
 

damienair

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Welcome to the forum. I just started over a year ago and I’m based in Navan. All kits so far for me. I’m really happy with the results. I’ve tried a couple of the beers from the Bruphoria range from The Homebrew Company and they are excellent. Festival and Mangrove Jacks kits are amazing too. Good luck.
 

Phoenix Ale

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Thanks all for the welcome, glad I found this great site. Lots of help, advice and great reading.
 

Phoenix Ale

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Welcome to the forum. I just started over a year ago and I’m based in Navan. All kits so far for me. I’m really happy with the results. I’ve tried a couple of the beers from the Bruphoria range from The Homebrew Company and they are excellent. Festival and Mangrove Jacks kits are amazing too. Good luck.

Thanks damierair, I've been buying from The Homebrew Company and Homebrew West. I have a Mangrove Jacks Grapefruit IPA yet to brew but I will definitely look at the Bruphoria and Festival kits kits.
 

Phoenix Ale

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Welcome to the forum! I live in Dublin as well. Happy to share local info.

:beer1:
fgoulding, do you use tap water and do you add anything to it. I just read an SDCC report on water in my area, it shows as soft water with a ph of 7.3 which means little to me but I've read elsewhere on the forum of people balancing the ph to circa 5.2, I don't know if that is for a particular style or for all brews.
 
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@Phoenix Ale : You’ve opened up a pandora’s box but let me see if I can help a little bit.

I started using bottled water (which is great quality) but I didn’t like the amount of plastic I was wasting. So I switched to tap water. 24 hours before a brew, I treat the total amount of water that I’m going to use with a campden tablet to get rid of any chlorine etc.

I did try to get the Dublin water profile for my area from water.ie but they only had daily quality reports. But I then found a old post on the Irish brewing forum (which has very little activity) that outlined the profile for the Stillorgan reservoir which is where my water comes from and the ph is 7.5.

When you add the grains to the water for your brew, it reduces the ph level but you really want to hit a certain target ph range depending on the beer. IPA’s are around 5.2 but stouts are usually higher (say 5.5). I used to use a ph meter but I don’t really bother with it anymore.

But I do use the Brewfather app which is great for my recipes and it works out the water profile for each one. With the water from Stillorgan, I always find that I need to add 5ml of lactic acid to the mash to get back into the right range for the ph level for a particular beer style.

Here’s the profile I use for Dublin in the Brewfather app:

71DC30AA-A521-43EB-A7BD-D81C7CECC119.jpeg


Water chemistry can get a bit complicated but Brewfather also can help you to add the right levels of sodium, calcium chloride etc for a particular beer style. I use gypsum, calcium chloride, edible epsom salt and standard bicarbonate to adjust the water accordingly.

But to keep things simple in the first instance, just treat your water with a camden tablet and maybe buy some 80% lactic acid from a brew shop and add 5ml of it during the mash.

However, I highly recommend the paid version of the Brewfather app (which is very cheap and you you can use on it on a PC and phone at the same time). It can seem a bit complex at first but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
 

Phoenix Ale

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@Phoenix Ale : You’ve opened up a pandora’s box but let me see if I can help a little bit.

But to keep things simple in the first instance, just treat your water with a camden tablet and maybe buy some 80% lactic acid from a brew shop and add 5ml of it during the mash.

Thanks for the info, sounds like my water from Ballymore Eustace has a similar ph to yours. When you lay it out like that water profiling does look pretty complicated and most of my brews bar a couple of one can kits have turned out pretty decent, the Wherry I recently kegged will become a regular purchase.
I will follow your advice on the campden tablet and lactic acid though for my next brews.
I haven't gone all grain or biab yet, still on kits with a few in stock but it is a naturaI next step. I have been browsing reviews and videos of the Klarstein 5 in 1 mash kettle, Brewmonk and Grainfather S40, all increasing in cost, there are others out there but would incur customs and duties.
 
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No worries. Your spending will soon get out of control….it always does with brewing!

A brewmonk is a good choice and the price of the current Brewzilla model will plummet tomorrow once the new version comes out on March 16th.

I’ve now started to look at European brew shops instead of the UK because of the taxes but they can also be pricey.
 

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