Summary of first 6 months (long ramble ahead)

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by Metacomet, Oct 19, 2017.

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  1. Oct 19, 2017 #1

    Metacomet

    Metacomet

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    So this is my summary of my first 6 months of home brewing. Having thought about doing it for a few years, I finally moved into my own place with my girlfiend having shared rented accomodation in London for my entire adult life. Now I have the space for brewing and storing my own beer.
    It'a been an exciting time so far and I think I'm improving my technique and recipes and as finances allow I hope to upgrade my equipment to make things even easier and tastier.
    Fortunately my other half also loves drinking beer, so does not mind me taking over the kitchen for the best part of the day on a weekend; I just have to make sure I brew something that she will drink.

    These are the beers I have brewed so far and what I learnt on the way.

    Brew 1!! Tiny Rebel Cwtch kit
    Loved this beer in the pub so was an easy option.
    Beer turned out ok. It had the flavour but was very murky. This could be down to bottling in 2 litre fizzy water bottles (really couldn't be bothered bottling 40+ 500ml bottles).

    Brew 2 - First all grain
    Didn't want to do any more kits so dived straight into AL BIAB. This was a basic pale ale with Chinook & Cascade (should have been Citra but the LBS didn't have any).
    10 litre (ish) batch bottled in 500ml bottle this time.
    Result: drinkable but a little thin despite having oats in the mash, and not enough hop flavour, but for a first attempt surprising decent.

    Brew 3 - ESB
    My first attempt at composing my own recipe having read many others first.
    Result: This was much better. Got a slight red tint which I wanted, and loved the Bramling X hops. Still a little thin and needed more carbination. Have recently discovered a rogue bottle of this in cupboard which is 5 months old. Will look forward to trying it at christmas.

    Brews 4 & 5 were a bit "meh". Pleasant enough, and discovered that I'm not a big fan of too much melanoidin. But lessons learnt and beer was drunk.

    Brew 5 - First Porter
    Porters are nororiously easy to get good results, and that's what happened here.
    First use of East Kent Golding which I liked.

    Brews 6 & 7 were more about learing. I learnt that I'm not a big fan of Wit Bier and also that my thermometer was not very accurate which I think explained the lack of body and low FG in the previous brews.

    Brew 8 - Bitter V1 (I need to up my beer naming game :whistle:)
    This one was good. Again with EKG and first use of flaked barley. This one could have been a bit more bitter, beersmith says it should be 45IBU but I don't think it is.
    I also vowed never to dry hop in the bottling bucket without a hop sock ever again! My bottle wand kept getting logged with hop debris and in the end I just ended up bottling straight from the tap. Luckily only the last half a dozen or so had hop bits in them. These bottles were big gushers and picking out bits of plant matter while drinking was not fun.

    Brew 9 - Something hoppy
    I'm getting the hang of this now. A little sweet due to the mash temp being too high. Looking for body which I probably didn't need in this beer.
    Lot's on Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe in this one. Nice orange colour but surprisingly the hops really weren't shouting at me. This I think is down to my very soft water in Stockport. Research was done and water will be adjust from here on in.

    Brew 10 - Porter V2 (Oaty!!)
    Another porter very similar to my first, but a bit darker and inadvertently extra oaty. I forgot that I had ordered my grain kit with oats and decided to add more oats to the mash (15%). This one sat in the FV for a while as I broke my wrist while cycling home from work so is still conditioning, but I'll try and save these for christmas.
    FG was quite high, but I think that that the extra body from the oats may affect the reading slightly??

    And here we are today having just put brew 11 into the FV. This one is a Darkstar Hophead clone, well almost as I didn't have enough cascade to only use one hop so threw some Simcoe in at the end instead.
    First use of water treatment as well. Gypsum and calcium Chloride added as per Strange-Steve's instructions and EZWater calculator. Looking forward to trying this one as it's the first "clone" I've done and really liked Hophead when I lived down south.

    So there is my brief history of brewing so far. Sorry for making such a long post, but thought I would get it all out in one go while I could still remember everything.
    My next 2 brews are already to go; a clone of Tim Taylors Boltmaker and Clibit's Half Hearted Ale from the recipe section.

    Also really really want to get a keg system going. Waiting 3-4 weeks for bottles to condition is the worst part.

    Big thanks to the forum and it's members for getting me this far. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute what little knowledge I have to other forumites in the future.
    :thumb::drink:
     
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  2. Oct 19, 2017 #2

    Adam0909

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    Good write up. I have been doing all grain for about the same time and am also in stockport
     
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  3. Oct 19, 2017 #3

    stigman

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    Stockport home brewers, get down to Manchester homebrew club. We meet 3rd Sunday of the month at Cafe beermoth
     
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  4. Oct 19, 2017 #4

    Metacomet

    Metacomet

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    I think I spotted your posts in the water treatment thread. What additions are you doing for your beer? I'm in Edgeley so I think we use the same water report.

    I keep marking them in my calendar and then end up being dragged to other events. This week it was my niece's christening in Reading.
    November's meeting is already in the calendar. Who knows, perhaps I won't be too embaressed by my latest batch and bring a bottle along :whistle:
     
  5. Oct 19, 2017 #5

    chesters-mild

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    For anyone in the Manchester or Stockport area, Chorlton home brew club meets in 'The Font' in Chorlton on the second Wednesday of each month.
    Cheers
     
  6. Oct 19, 2017 #6

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

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    Always welcome at Macchomebrew club, on the last Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm at Five Cloud Tap and Bottle.

    There is also a club at Remedy Bar and Brewhouse, I believe. No details though.

    Plenty to choose from, or do all four.

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Oct 19, 2017 #7

    stigman

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    I keep marking them in my calendar and then end up being dragged to other events. This week it was my niece's christening in Reading.
    November's meeting is already in the calendar. Who knows, perhaps I won't be too embaressed by my latest batch and bring a bottle along :whistle:[/QUOTE]

    Don't be embarrassed we have Brewers of all levels and everyone is welcome. Even if your brews aren't perfect bring em along some of the lads are good with off flavours and can tell you what's wrong if anything.
     
  8. Oct 19, 2017 #8

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

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    Totally. Best way to advance your brewing.

    Keep meaning to do Manchester, but Sunday is a handy day to brew. And, Chorlton clashes with Leek Homebrew Club.


    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Oct 19, 2017 #9

    stigman

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    You should sadfield be nice to put a face to an avatar
     
  10. Oct 20, 2017 #10

    Adam0909

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    I'm in Edgeley too. I just put a little bit of gypsum in at the moment. I am trying to get some core recipes together and working on getting my efficiency etc good, before I dive into water too much:lol:
     
  11. Oct 25, 2017 #11

    Metacomet

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    Cool. We'll have to do a bottle swap and compare notes sometime.
    Tried a sample of my first water treated brew yesterday and I think it made quite a difference.
    What brew method are you using?
     
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  12. Oct 26, 2017 #12

    Adam0909

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    Cool sounds good. I am over near Alex park. I have stopped bottling as I use cornys now, but will be able to sort something.

    I am using BIAB in a 70l pot on gas at the moment. I am planning on building a electric setup with PID controlers etc. Just slowly buying all the bits.
    I need to get into the water more i think, as you I feel the hop flavors are a bit weak.
     
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  13. Oct 26, 2017 #13

    Metacomet

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    I'm just off Northgate Road opposite the park, we could just exchange pints and be home with them before the head disappears :drink:
    I'm just planning a corny setup myself. Bored of bottling and waiting for them to condition now. Hope to get them in time to keg the pale I've got iin the FV.

    The electric setups look good, but look far to complicated for me. I'll be keeping it simple with just my stove top for the moment.
     
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  14. Oct 27, 2017 #14

    Adam0909

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    I got an old chest freezer and converted it into a kegerator. Took the lid off made a wooden collar, fitted lid back on. I then use a STC to control the temp. It works well.

    Once I get my electric build done, I would be more than happy to help if you wanted to go that way.
     
  15. Jun 11, 2019 at 11:17 PM #15

    Celador Brewery

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    Does anyone know if there is a club in Stockport? Cheers!
     
  16. Jun 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM #16

    Sadfield

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    There was one at Remedy Bar, but I haven't heard much about it recently.

    Other options are...

    Chorlton - 2nd Wednesday of the month 8.00pm at The Font.

    Manchester - Every 3rd Sunday 3.00pm at Cafe Beermoth.

    Macclesfield - Last Tuesday of the month 7.30pm at Five Clouds Tap.
     
  17. Jun 12, 2019 at 9:41 AM #17

    Adam0909

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    As Sadfield has said none specifically in Stockport. I think there was one at the Chiverton Tap, in Cheadle Hulme. Not sure if it still happens. I'm from Stockport and go to the Manchester Meets. They are mainly at Cafe Beermoth, but we do sometimes have them at Beer Nouveau. Next one is this coming Sunday. Have a look on facebook/twitter for Manchester Homebrew
     

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