Home Brewing

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Under the Kofun
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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Under the Kofun » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:58 pm

Tried another few bottles over the weekend. Carbonation has improved remarkably since last week -- big difference. Taste is smoother, too.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:39 am

What do you think led to the improvement ?

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Re: Home Brewing

Post by paradoxbox » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:09 pm

The carbonation improvement is definitely from just letting the bottles sit for a while with the caps on and maybe warmer weather.

Cold retards yeast fermentation, if you keep those bottles warm they'll get so carbonated as to become an explosion hazard.

I like to shut the caps of my plastic bottles 1-3 days before I plan on drinking the wine / champagne (sparkling...) to make sure there is strong carbonation, and I put an electric blanket around the bottles on a low setting to keep them warm in winter.

In summer 1/2 a day with the cap on tight is probably enough to make a bottle an explosion risk, so watch out.

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Re: Home Brewing

Post by paradoxbox » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:04 pm

I finally opened up the wines I started in November or December and drank both bottles tonight - whew what a strong kick.

I did a final alcohol testing on the hydrometer last week when the weather spiked up to 25 degrees and got a reading of over 14% - fantastic. These were the 7-11 juice wines by the way.

They were not quite devoid of all sugar, so I'd say they were a dessert/sweet wine in taste but with very high alcohol content. I'd guess the wine is at over 15% right now. Have a delightful buzz going on now.

Not bad for 150ish yen :)

Reused an old beaujolais bottle for it, tastes different but damn good for the price :)
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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:21 am

Both bottles, in one night :eek:

It's a miracle that you managed to type out your post man, you must have a constitution of iron :lol:. I have a couple of glasses of shochu and I'm left snoring on the sofa :oops:

It does look pretty tasty and I've got to say I'm tempted to give it a go.

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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Under the Kofun » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:24 pm

Hey folks,

I haven't checked in for a long while. Hope everyone's year is off to a good start.

My very first brew, the Coopers' Lager, was by March of 2016 pretty smooth. Lesson learned: you gotta wait it out a bit.

Second brew was a Black Rock pale ale. I used hops and a bit of grain for extra flavour, and dry malt extract for mouth-feel / head retention. Absolute winner, that one.

Third try was an Australian bitter (extract from a company called Morgan's). Something was off with this whole batch. Even in the fermenter, it just didn't look right. Had a few bottles that were infected (another lesson learned: always open your homebrew over the sink, just in case!), and the rest were simply not tasty at all. Perhaps I skimped on sanitation, or the May weather was just a bit too warm to brew.

Last November, once the weather finally cooled down to the low 20s / high teens, I tried my hand at a wheat beer (Black Rock). I kept the recipe fairly simple just to get something in the fridge on the cheap, but I did add the grated rind of two oranges to the boil. I had wanted to add coriander seeds but I couldn't find them for the life of me in town. For yeast, I used proper yeast for wheat beer. I started drinking it around Xmas, and it's getting better as time goes on. Not sure if wheat beer is really to my taste, however. I primed it properly to its style, but I find it too fuzzy. Also, it's a very yeasty beer. Again, this is normal according to most sources I've read, but damn if doesn't give me horrible gas! Live and learn, eh?

Final batch, which is conditioning now, was a stout (Black Rock). It came as a kit with the stout extract, small amount of hops of unknown variety (smelled like Cascade), kilo of liquid malt extract, pinch of Irish moss (didn't use it), ale yeast, and a suitable amount of priming sugar. I purchased separately a good amount of grain (2-row and flavour) and a bag of oatmeal from the supermarket as well and did a mini-mash on the stove top. Looking forward to drinking this in late February or so.


Next project? Hmmm.... another pale ale, perhaps.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:15 am

Welcome back Under the Kofun,

Sounds like you had quite a productive year, would you say that brewing is something best done in the winter rather than summer.

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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Yamabiru » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:46 pm

Love the Black Rock, haven't brewed in awhile but have an old can of wheat that should be used

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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Under the Kofun » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:28 pm

Zasso Nouka wrote:Welcome back Under the Kofun,

Sounds like you had quite a productive year, would you say that brewing is something best done in the winter rather than summer.

Yeah, all the instructions say that you can ferment between 22 and 28 C (if memory serves), but most online commentary that I've read suggests high teens / low 20s for ales, and lower still for lagers. Given how hot it gets here, this makes summer a bit difficult when you're working from a counter top like myself. An old fridge or a homemade styrofoam box stuffed with some frozen PET bottles might make it more feasible. The other option would be to leave the A/C on all day, but that's a bit wasteful.

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Re: Home Brewing

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:13 am

Thanks man,

We don't have AC so that option would be out but it could be a new winter hobby on the horizon.

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