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1315 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 915328 15-Oct-2013 12:24 Send private message

FlameBeard:
Johnk: I too will be watching this thread. I have a brewkit sitting at home ready to go.
Just haven't got round to putting down my first brew yet, but this thread may be the kick starter I needed to get into action and try my hands at brewing.

Any westies (auck) have any good brewing shops to visit to get the ingredients for a first batch ?


I'm also right out west close to Halensville so that would be good to know of any close by


Hauraki Home Brew (http://www.haurakihomebrew.co.nz) are a great place to visit.  They have everything from kits to raw ingredients.  If you want they will also sell you distilling gear for spirits and have kits for wine too.

It does mean you have to venture out to Albany but they also do on line ordering if you prefer.



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Master Geek
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Orcon

  Reply # 915337 15-Oct-2013 12:36 Send private message

graemeh:
FlameBeard:
Johnk: I too will be watching this thread. I have a brewkit sitting at home ready to go.
Just haven't got round to putting down my first brew yet, but this thread may be the kick starter I needed to get into action and try my hands at brewing.

Any westies (auck) have any good brewing shops to visit to get the ingredients for a first batch ?


I'm also right out west close to Halensville so that would be good to know of any close by


Hauraki Home Brew (http://www.haurakihomebrew.co.nz) are a great place to visit.  They have everything from kits to raw ingredients.  If you want they will also sell you distilling gear for spirits and have kits for wine too.

It does mean you have to venture out to Albany but they also do on line ordering if you prefer.


Cheers for that man!




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 915339 15-Oct-2013 12:38 Send private message

BlueShift:
Dav4122: ... 


What are you doing to scratch up the inside of your plastic bottles?
And, where do you source the Grolsch bottles, do you have to buy them full, then empty them?


I had read that cleaning them with the bottle brush or whatever you use can start to put little scratches on the inside of the bottle that make it easier for beer spoiling nasties to attach to - I just use the no rinse sterilizer for longer to try and offset that - but it could be an old brewers tale for all I know

I bought my swing tops from the brew shop in Hamilton and had them couriered up http://www.brewshop.co.nz/brewing-equipment/bottling-equipment

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 915367 15-Oct-2013 13:01 Send private message

Some good looking stuff on those sites.

Might try put a brew down this Saturday. Keen to get hold of some 330ml glass bottles instead of the bigger swapa crate 750mls.

I presume any bottle I buy full of beer from the local liquor shop and proceed to empty with a few friends can be filled and recapped using the glass capers off those sites?

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 915369 15-Oct-2013 13:03 Send private message

I've put together a quick set of photos of my first and current brew
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjKLSReB

Started with a Coopers brewing kit - now I am giving my Dad's old wine making carboy a go with an all grain brew

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  Reply # 915377 15-Oct-2013 13:14 Send private message

Johnk: Some good looking stuff on those sites.

Might try put a brew down this Saturday. Keen to get hold of some 330ml glass bottles instead of the bigger swapa crate 750mls.

I presume any bottle I buy full of beer from the local liquor shop and proceed to empty with a few friends can be filled and recapped using the glass capers off those sites?


No, most 330mL bottles won't be refillable, they are very thin glass and apt to shatter/explode on you.

The swappa crate bottles definitely are though, but I think they're more like 660mL

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  Reply # 915446 15-Oct-2013 14:18 Send private message

Some of my friends and I have started doing homebrew using a Coppertun kit. 

Since the original kit lager (which turned out nicely btw) we have done an IPA with extra hops in the mash and dry hopping as well as a ginger beer. 






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 915457 15-Oct-2013 14:36 Send private message

I had purchased three boxes of these http://www.brewshop.co.nz/brewing-equipment/bottling-equipment/750ml-flip-top-bottles.html (from a different shop) and they completely failed for me over three brews. Basically had less than 50% success rate. when I took them back to the shop they said they had had many many returned. I just got some more plastic bottles that I have not had any issues with.

My plan is to start dry hopping the kits next and see how I go with that. I try to change one thing at a time.

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  Reply # 915458 15-Oct-2013 14:37 Send private message

benmurphy66: I had purchased three boxes of these http://www.brewshop.co.nz/brewing-equipment/bottling-equipment/750ml-flip-top-bottles.html (from a different shop) and they completely failed for me over three brews. Basically had less than 50% success rate. when I took them back to the shop they said they had had many many returned. I just got some more plastic bottles that I have not had any issues with.

My plan is to start dry hopping the kits next and see how I go with that. I try to change one thing at a time.


Yeah flip tops are not the best.  Even commercial brews in flip tops can be iffy.  They just don't seal as firmly as crown caps.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 915460 15-Oct-2013 14:45 Send private message

I started doing this last year, and started off with the Boil in the Bag system, which means you only need one pot to complete the process.
The chaps at Brewers Coop http://www.brewerscoop.co.nz/ are very helpful and recommended the first recipe for me to try out (Pale Ale). You get a good run down of what you need from this site, costs about $400 to get setup, but the full grain brewed beer is so much better than the canned stuff. I've turned out about 10 batches, only had one go wrong, first attempt at dry hopping, but I added the hops to early in the process so introduced a bug.
Good fun, takes about three hours from start to finish, and only needs to be checked occasionally.

Highly recommended...




Matt East

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 915461 15-Oct-2013 14:45 Send private message

ubergeeknz:
benmurphy66: I had purchased three boxes of these http://www.brewshop.co.nz/brewing-equipment/bottling-equipment/750ml-flip-top-bottles.html (from a different shop) and they completely failed for me over three brews. Basically had less than 50% success rate. when I took them back to the shop they said they had had many many returned. I just got some more plastic bottles that I have not had any issues with.

My plan is to start dry hopping the kits next and see how I go with that. I try to change one thing at a time.


Yeah flip tops are not the best.  Even commercial brews in flip tops can be iffy.  They just don't seal as firmly as crown caps.


Based on the conversations I have had recently I think each different type has pros and cons. I got some 1 Litre flip-top bottles which seem ok but those brown ones caused me much pain (3-4 bottles opened to get one I could drink), the shop seemed very displeased with them but gladly refunded me.  But I have heard you can have sealing issues with old school metal caps too.  Plastic seem to have less trouble but harder to clean and I guess will have a shorter life span overall.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 915575 15-Oct-2013 16:48 Send private message

Here is how I fixed my iffy flip top bottles - if you are keen to have a go

Take the cap off - mine are quite easy to do this but i have seen some that have an extra twist of wire to make this harder
Grolsch bottle lid


re-bend the ends of the wire on the cap so it is shorter - which makes the seal tighter
Grolsch bottle lid


reattach and test it closes and opens with more pressure than before you started

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  Reply # 915577 15-Oct-2013 16:50 Send private message

benmurphy66: 
Based on the conversations I have had recently I think each different type has pros and cons. I got some 1 Litre flip-top bottles which seem ok but those brown ones caused me much pain (3-4 bottles opened to get one I could drink), the shop seemed very displeased with them but gladly refunded me.  But I have heard you can have sealing issues with old school metal caps too.  Plastic seem to have less trouble but harder to clean and I guess will have a shorter life span overall 


Just keep in mind that plastic is permeable (c/w glass) and your beer won't keep quite as well in a plastic bottle as it would in glass :) Crown caps, applied correctly, are very reliable.

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  Reply # 915587 15-Oct-2013 17:01 Send private message

ubergeeknz:
benmurphy66: 
Based on the conversations I have had recently I think each different type has pros and cons. I got some 1 Litre flip-top bottles which seem ok but those brown ones caused me much pain (3-4 bottles opened to get one I could drink), the shop seemed very displeased with them but gladly refunded me.  But I have heard you can have sealing issues with old school metal caps too.  Plastic seem to have less trouble but harder to clean and I guess will have a shorter life span overall 


Just keep in mind that plastic is permeable (c/w glass) and your beer won't keep quite as well in a plastic bottle as it would in glass :) Crown caps, applied correctly, are very reliable.



Beer having to last to long isn't a problem I have had yet..... :) but I agree glass will be better overall. plan to try Crown caps.

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  Reply # 915593 15-Oct-2013 17:07

I am a little surprised about the talk about bottles. But it seems a lot to do with personal preference...

While I am not a heavy homebrew maker, I have used only plastic bottles and not had an issue.
The one time I had a flat brew I used the coopers glucose pellets for the bottle conditioning. I always use ordinary white sugar now (its cheaper anyway) and always works.

You can reuse the plastic tops quite a few times as well. You just have to take the time to use sterilizer on the bottles and caps before you bottle.

If you rinse your plastic bottles with hot water after you have emptied (drank) them they dont seem to retain any residue and you shouldnt need to use a scratchy bottlebrush.

The general comments I have seen is that glass has a rougher surface in the bottle and is actually harder to sterilize. Of course if something goes wrong with your beer and it gets overcarbonated you could get bottles breaking - plastic isnt brittle so is a bit more forgiving.

The beer can go flat in plastic - the gas can escape through the walls apparently - If you take a year to drink your beer then it might be an issue - but thats a long time!

If you have a good source of 750ml glass bottles and a capper then use them - otherwise plastic works well enough.

NEVER reuse those 330ml glass stubbies - as noted above it could be dangerous.




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