Ultimate Homebrew.

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Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Fri Sep 15, 2017 19:59

Now having re remembered how to post pictures ( thanks Springer et al ) I'm having a go at extreme home-brew.
A farmer in the village has let me have some malting barley, I've got my own water and hops and wild yeast from my wild cider so this is a crack at the ultimate home brew, so what can go wrong ?

Before we start, here's a pic from the beginning of the week- I've got my first perry pears from a couple of espaliers that I've trained over the last 3 years - not big about scarecrow size, got 60 pears so added this to the apples and got about 40 l or so of juice which I've put straight into fermenters to let the wild yeast get to work on it. If I fail to culture from some cider from a couple of years ago then a jug of this'll be the fallback.
Image

Steeping the Grain

I steeped the grain for about 4 hours in water and then strained it off into a couple of plastic containers, left it for half a day and then repeated the cycle.
Image

I then put the grain into several plastic containers- grain was about 6 inches deep , and 3 or 4 times a day raked through it with my hands to air it a bit. Needs to be kept moist, so added a bit of water after a day or so helps.
Image

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby oz11 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 20:06

I'm familiar with the idea of playing music to plants, you seem to be taking this to a new level...

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Fri Sep 15, 2017 20:40

After a day the first sign of rootlets appears on the grain- after another couple of days the rootlets are about twice the length of the grain- this means that the shoot is about to emerge - I checked this by slicing a few grains lengthways and you can see the shoot growing from the root end to the sharp end of the grain- time for drying now.

Here's the snag- I thought that putting the grain on trays on a low heat ( 30-50 Celsius so that the enzymes aren't destroyed) in the oven would take about six hours or so and I'd be able to do the lot. After 24 hours the first batch wasn't done, the rest of the grain was still OK and hadn't overgrown yet, but I'd put some in the side oven at 150 for 4 hours to produce some crystal malt- smells great and was dry after that but.........

Mrs RokDok noticed that a brown sticky fluid was leaking out from under the oven- the moisture had condensed on the outside of the oven somehow and I got banished after being made to virtually take the oven apart and clean it, the floor etc.

Steve a friend who brews with me has a dehydrate so he took some on to dehydrate but it means that we'll not have enough to do 2 batches.

So we'll be doing 60 litres with the home malted grain and will divide this into 3 fermenters .

The first one I'll use a stout yeast reclaimed from a bottle of stout I made last year, the second will be with a wild yeast form the cider, and the third will again be with a stout yeast but I'm going to add some black berries / elderberries that I picked this afternoon , have put in a freeze bag , mashed up and stuck in the freezer.
Image

I've made 6 starters, one reclaimed stout, one reclaimed from a bottle of cider a couple of years old, two with white labs Irish Ale yeast as a standby and two with US 04- forgot to mention also going to brew 60 l of CItra Smash.
Image

There is a culvert running through the garden - years and years ago it used to drive various mills / machinery further down the village. It originated form a chalk spring and I use this water for almost all my brewing- here's tonight sucking it up into the kettles / HLT two of which are heating up on the induction heaters to get a head start tomorrow.
Image[/url]

Off to the pub now.

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Fri Sep 15, 2017 20:43

oz11 wrote:I'm familiar with the idea of playing music to plants, you seem to be taking this to a new level...


:P , I'm gonna need all the help I can get !

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby Dennis King » Fri Sep 15, 2017 20:50

Great photos Paul.
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby LeithR » Sat Sep 16, 2017 08:38

I'm about to have a go at malting my own. I have 13 Acres of Propino in my fields this year and we're about to harvest. I've not done this before so am reading your thread with interest. It looks like I'll have to malt the barley at 1Kg a time in a small temp controlled incubator so it might take a while. Should be an expert by the time I've malted 25Kg of the stuff.

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Sat Sep 16, 2017 09:19

Thanks Dennis, LR- the way forward is . I think probably to do a kilo or two each day- if it's thoroughly dry it won't mildew. The dehydrator that Steve has has about 16 sq feet of surface area, a grain or two deep in each tray dried in 8 hours.

In the pub last night someone ( Pete- there you go fame at last) , suggested on old tumble dryer and changing the thermostat. Not sure whether that would damage the grain though but certainly worth a thought.

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Sat Sep 16, 2017 09:22

The yeast reclaimed from my stout is now going like a rocket, the one form the cider isn't showing much activity.
Any way better get brewing.

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby Rolfster » Sat Sep 16, 2017 09:27

RokDok wrote:Thanks Dennis, LR- the way forward is . I think probably to do a kilo or two each day- if it's thoroughly dry it won't mildew. The dehydrator that Steve has has about 16 sq feet of surface area, a grain or two deep in each tray dried in 8 hours.

In the pub last night someone ( Pete- there you go fame at last) , suggested on old tumble dryer and changing the thermostat. Not sure whether that would damage the grain though but certainly worth a thought.


I think that's how the malt in now... in a big temperature controlled tumbler thing... but I don't know why I think that!
Also watching this thread with interest!
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby Springer » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:16

Great thread and pics as Den said,..........and humour as well :D :clap:
I always fancied a go at this, but can't even get a brew underway these days :oops:
For the drying stage I had in mind to use the mash tun with an oven fan and element controlled by a STC type of thing.......??
You see to have it all in hand, but there is an article on Beersmith, about the process
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Sat Sep 16, 2017 14:15

Thanks Springer - that's where I got most of my info from. I think any system that wafts some dry warm air over the grain will work, just a question of how long it takes. It does need to dry thoroughly though .
Well between us we got about 9 kg of pale malt and 4 kg of crystal, but I reckon my malt had about a kilo of water in it :
Image[/url]

Crushing the dry grain with this crusher that I picked up at the festival a year or two ago was OK but you have to drop the grain in very slowly otherwise it forms a bridge over the aperture and doesn't get to the rollers.
Image

Looks and smells lovely - just like the real thing :


However with the not totally dry grain this happened :
Image

And this is after trying to clear the rollers- it just became a araldite type mess, so we were wondering what to do ? pestle and mortar ? rolling pin.
Then Steve suggested using my mincer- which I use for sausage making / butchery. It worked ! Minced malt yummy !
Image

Here's it going into the mash tun- we put a little bed of crushed malt in first hoping that this would act as a bit of a filter for the minded stuff.
Image

Meanwhile in the other mash tun the Citra SMASH has been mashed & sparged and is just coming up to the boil.
Image

TBC

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Sat Sep 16, 2017 20:55

Then the heavens opened- but we still needed to pick the hops, on the left loads of EKG , with a little cascade on the right - never a huge amount form the cascade. I've got a juggles plant too but this year there seemed to be some drying out / rust on the leaves and the hops were a bit stunted.
Image

Got a decent amount of lovely smelling fresh hops
Image

Meanwhile the SMASH is ready - 70 g of citra at the start and 709 10 minutes from the end- going into 2 fermenters :
Image

We then put 30 g of citra into each of these stainless tea bag things that I bought at the festival and just threw one in each vessel after it had cooled a bit.
Image

Cooled each fermentor with an immersion coil with the submersible pump pumping stream water through at about 12 Celsius, and after stirring with a drill and paddle threw in the Safale 05 which had been cultured up to give about 350 ml of starter.

Now unfortunately what happens at about this stage is that we start tucking into some previous brews, so we drunk some cider form a couple of years back which gets better as it ( and we) get older, also had a couple of bitters and my attempt at a geuze.

Result is that photos are a bit thin on the ground now, but back to the brew with the home malt , we've taken off one vessel of about 15 litres and another of about 20 l.
The OG was 1045 which kind of shocked us as our home made malt was virtually on par with the professional stuff.
We divided the hops 2/3, 1/3 and used the mesh cylinders which again I'd bought at the festival- certainly helped cleaning the kettle after.
Image
Into the last 20 litres or so wort in the brew kettle we added a pound or two of crushed , frozen blackberries and elderberries that I'd gathered yesterday, let it steep for 10 minutes and then put it into another fermentor.
So , in summary :

2x30 litres of Citra smash using Warminster pale malt, US05
1x15 litres using home made pale & crystal malt, reclaimed yeast form a 2 year old stout
1x20 litre using home made malt, reclaimed stout yeast , steeped in blackberries and elderberries
and :
1x20 litres using home made malt. Now the reclaimed wild cider yeast didn't work so I've simply taken off 1 /2 a pint of pear/apple cider from the beginning of the week which is bubbling nicely and threw it in.

Now knackered and wife cross that I didn't bring her j-cloth in for the garage.
Cheers RD

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby Brewzee » Sun Sep 17, 2017 09:47

Thats some beautiful kit you are bewing on, I love the look of that stainless insulated mashtun I have to cover mine in a moutain of blankets and it looses a few C
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Sun Sep 17, 2017 21:00

Thanks Bz , it's a thermopot - your can get them off German Ebay here https://www.ebay.de/sch/catering-portal ... rmvSB=true

You would need to fit your own tap , false bottom etc which is not difficult.

It's not the cheapest solution but is easy to clean and holds its heat well- i use them as fermentors as well because they keep a constant temperature and I don't have a brew fridge.

I usually brew with a bunch of friends in the village- very social - they take on some beer to ferment and bottle at home- hence the amount of gear- it's kind of for community use.
Best RD

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby Springer » Sun Sep 17, 2017 21:24

RokDok wrote:
I usually brew with a bunch of friends in the village- very social - they take on some beer to ferment and bottle at home- hence the amount of gear- it's kind of for community use.
Best RD

Best RD


Yes nice kit and brilliant idea, :D I was wondering how much you drank. :lol:
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby Crastney » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:00

Wow, excellent thread Paul, so many comments, but mostly it looks like you're taking full advantage of the benefits of The Home Brew Festival!
All your pears are neatly aligned.
Your starters look good.
The music room must smell nice.
Shame about the J-cloth

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:58

Great thread RD.. :thumb:

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Sep 20, 2017 13:01

RokDok wrote:Now having re remembered how to post pictures ( thanks Springer et al ) I'm having a go at extreme home-brew.
A farmer in the village has let me have some malting barley, I've got my own water and hops and wild yeast from my wild cider so this is a crack at the ultimate home brew, so what can go wrong ?

Before we start, here's a pic from the beginning of the week- I've got my first perry pears from a couple of espaliers that I've trained over the last 3 years - not big about scarecrow size, got 60 pears so added this to the apples and got about 40 l or so of juice which I've put straight into fermenters to let the wild yeast get to work on it. If I fail to culture from some cider from a couple of years ago then a jug of this'll be the fallback.

I've still got a couple of bottles of the cider you gave me around 3 years ago in my shed that are unopened if you need yeast Paul??
BB

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- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2018......... 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416
Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624
Pints brewed in 2014.. 832
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Thu Sep 21, 2017 19:36

Thanks guys- I'll have to nip down Tesco and get a pack of J-Cloths- I wonder if they'll gift wrap them for me. John- drink the cider now - I'm finding that it's taking a couple of years in bottle for it to taste good- I think the yeast has actually started to do its job in the blackberry/elderberry brew. I'll bring some up to the festival. Cheers

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Fri Sep 22, 2017 06:49

RokDok wrote:Thanks guys- I'll have to nip down Tesco and get a pack of J-Cloths- I wonder if they'll gift wrap them for me. John- drink the cider now - I'm finding that it's taking a couple of years in bottle for it to taste good- I think the yeast has actually started to do its job in the blackberry/elderberry brew. I'll bring some up to the festival. Cheers

Will do RD.. I will also look forward to sampling this years harvest at the festival. :drink:

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- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2018......... 416
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby serum » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:19

This thread is a winner! The most effort I've ever seen on a brew by a long way!

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby rui » Thu Sep 28, 2017 14:57

everything looks nice!!! a lot effort deserves to end well, with good beer and cider!!

Cheers

Planning:
FV1: AG# 80 Golden Ale
FV2: AG# 81 Oatmeal Stout
FV3:
keg1: Raspberry Tripel
keg2: Hibiscus Saison
Keg3: APA
bottled and conditioning:
drinking: Porter
Barril de carvalho francês (French oak barrel) fermention stage: 250L of rose wine
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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Thu Sep 28, 2017 22:47

Thanks Rui, Serum, I'll bring some up to the 2018 festival for you to try if you can make it.

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 07:53

Any updates on fermentation progress?

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Re: Ultimate Homebrew.

Postby RokDok » Mon Oct 02, 2017 14:57

Yes, The straight home made malt brew is at 1002, the brew with the elderberries and blackberries in was at 1008 5 days ago. The Smash is fully fermented out- Steve tells me it's at 1000 , my batch was 1008 5 days ago. We'll be bottling these at the weekend- so it'll been in the fermentors for 4 weeks. The home made malt, wild yeast one, I've looked at and there was reasonable activity with some yeast colonies on the surface. This last one is in the shed outside and unheated- which is where the wild ciders are. The ciders are in plastic fermentation buckets and after 4 or 5 weeks of being outside they've slowed down. I'm going to leave the wild yeast ones outside for another 6 weeks or so before I look at them. Taste wise the smash is very promising , good aroma although a little too bitter ( 200g of citra hops in 60 litres of beer) at the moment but not quite APA, this will settle over the next couple of months . The berry one is quite hazy- as Aleman has mentioned likely due to the pectin from the fruit ( I didn't add pectinate) , but the taste is interesting - a subtle but definite berry tinge.
I'll post an update at the weekend when I bottle. Best RD

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