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336 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 928291 6-Nov-2013 16:44 Send private message quote this post

D1023319: hi

i have home brewed for 35ish years and the best advice I can give is DONT sterilise your equipment or bottles.
Regardless of how well you rinse your gear - there is always a slight residue/aftertaste.

I only wash my gear in hot water after use and I rinse my bottles in hot water and store upside down in crates.
The only downside is hot water washing does seem to make micro pits in the plastic vat that makes washing harder so I replace it every 5 years.

I learnt this from a uncle in Stokes valley that home brewed in a dirt floor garden shed with cobwebs in roof.




Could you clarify where you think this after taste comes from?

I am confused by your comment about rinsing not getting the taste away.

Most folks here will be sterilising with sodium metabisulphite, potassium metabisulphite or Campden tablets which are a mix of the two.

You are not supposed to rinse after using those and I find it hard to believe that these will cause any noticeable aftertaste.

I wonder if you are referring to the use of some form of detergent to clean the equipment.

For cleaning, I use Chlorinated Tri-Sodium Phosphate which is sold by the brew-shops as pink bottle wash or the like. That is a very effective cleaner and it rinses away very readily. It is widely used in the food industry because it does not leave residues. You would not use it to do the washing up as it is less effective against fat but it sure cleans everything to do with brewing. The kind of detergent that you would use to hand-wash your dishes will not rinse away so well.


1302 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 928315 6-Nov-2013 17:46 quote this post

I certainly blinked at the post suggesting not to use sterilser.
While I acknowledge your accumulated wisdom from 35 years experience, the main thing I have picked up from advice/various forums is sterilise, sterilise, sterilise...

VERY hot water will certainly sterilise - but the chemicals are a bit easier and do break down after they have done their job - hence the no rinse they quote. Cant say I have ever noticed any odd flavours.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

47 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 928398 6-Nov-2013 21:26 Send private message quote this post

I would agree with the posts in support of sterilising all your beer gear before use. I use Starsan, and in the 30 plus brews I have made, not one of them have had a funny aftertaste, and never once had an infected brew. Each to their own though, and if it works for you then thats great. As long as you are getting the results you want that's all that matters



\m/
263 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 928568 7-Nov-2013 10:15 Send private message quote this post

Loving the idea's coming through this thread guys, cheers for all your suggestions and shared experience! xD




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786 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 928729 7-Nov-2013 12:48 Send private message quote this post

Is anyone distilling their own spirits? I'm considering getting a still of some kind to go with my beer brewing setup. My dad has one of the small benchtop stills, about the size of a large coffeemaker, it does the trick for him, but he is living in his house-bus and space (and convenience) is at a premium for him. I have space, but no distilling experience, I could spring for a $200-300 small unit, it wouldn't take too long to pay for itself, but if there are benefits to the larger setups, I'd like to hear more.

854 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 928798 7-Nov-2013 14:06 Send private message quote this post

I distill, though I'm far from a pro.

My still is a 25l no brand reflux still and it seems to do OK.

Distilling with a "proper" still is pretty intensive, you have to watch it, and manage it a little bit while it's running. They're not fast either, mine takes about an hour to get to temp, and then does about a litre an hour, so it's usually running it for about 6 hours.
Once it's running and fairly stable, I'm happy to leave the house for an hour or so depending on how long it should have left to run.

I've got more lazy recently. A couple of times I've forgotten I turned it on, and walked into a room of pure alcohol vapour (instantly boozed). I've also forgotten it's running and ended up with a puddle because the bottle got full.
Everything still turns out OK though.

A reflux still is probably what you want, a pot still leaves flavour from the wash, and basic alcohol wash tastes like old socks.

The bigger, flasher stills give you a cleaner spirit as far as I know. Although, I think I get a pretty good result when I put my mind to it.

I have no idea how much my still cost, it was a gift, but I'm not sure you'd get much for that price range

66 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 930233 10-Nov-2013 12:01 Send private message quote this post

Though I would post some of the youtube channels that are worth a watch from novice to experienced

A good intro is Tiny's playlist on brewing your first beer from a kit OFFTABREWING

On my must watch list every Wednesday is TIME4ANOTHER1 who has set up a pico brewery in his garage based off the electric brewery system, very cool

and last is CHOPANDBREW with Chip Walton who also has food as well as beer videos - he used to do BREWINGTV but that became NORTHERNBREWERTV and he left to do his own thing


...


Anyway, these are the channels that I would suggest are worth a look, does anyone have any others?

624 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 947195 7-Dec-2013 19:10 Send private message quote this post

Well I thought I should reply.

This thread did make me sort my kit out and put down my first brew.

Its been in bottles for exactly 1 week today.
It tastes OK, not great, but not horrible. I'd say it is too hoppy.

I'm hoping it changes slightly once left for another week in bottles.

Now to to find time to drink 29 750ml bottles of home brew . . . .haha

283 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 947272 7-Dec-2013 20:53 Send private message quote this post

Give it at least 3 weeks

336 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 947290 7-Dec-2013 21:46 Send private message quote this post

In the warm weather that we have had of late, the beer will complete its bottle fermentation more quickly but it will still take time to reach its best. Indeed, it can take longer than in colder weather.

One reason is that most of the CO2 produced in the bottle fermentation stage will at first just accumulate in the gas space at the top of the bottle. It actually takes time for that gas to get itself dissolved into the beer and that process runs more slowly in hot weather.

I am currently drinking beer that has been in bottles for 8 weeks and it tastes better than when I tried a sample four weeks ago.



\m/
263 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 947986 9-Dec-2013 13:01 Send private message quote this post

Johnk: Well I thought I should reply.

This thread did make me sort my kit out and put down my first brew.

Its been in bottles for exactly 1 week today.
It tastes OK, not great, but not horrible. I'd say it is too hoppy.

I'm hoping it changes slightly once left for another week in bottles.

Now to to find time to drink 29 750ml bottles of home brew . . . .haha


Thanks for posting man, I've moved houses (again) so I'm sad to say that my brewing aspirations have been put on the back burner until I get the house sorted etc etc. Very keen to hear more stories though of peoples attempts so keep em rolling xD






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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 947991 9-Dec-2013 13:06 Send private message quote this post

This book is The Bible of homebrewing.

Buy it, read it, make good beer. I did all three.


3484 posts

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  Reply # 948057 9-Dec-2013 13:59 Send private message quote this post

What do people recommend as the best bottle capper, the bench type one or the lever arms type, in in fact anything else?

227 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 7


  Reply # 948063 9-Dec-2013 14:10 quote this post

BlueShift: Is anyone distilling their own spirits? I'm considering getting a still of some kind to go with my beer brewing setup. My dad has one of the small benchtop stills, about the size of a large coffeemaker, it does the trick for him, but he is living in his house-bus and space (and convenience) is at a premium for him. I have space, but no distilling experience, I could spring for a $200-300 small unit, it wouldn't take too long to pay for itself, but if there are benefits to the larger setups, I'd like to hear more.


I found this site full of useful information on distilling  http://homedistiller.org/

I built my own reflux still a couple of years ago, I can run 50 Litres of wash through it at a time which nets about 9 litres of 95%ish alcohol.

It costs me about $50 worth of supplies (sugar,yeast,flavoring,filters and other consumables) and I end with 20+ litres of mainly Gin and Vodka. If you are a spirit drinker, especially Vodka, the still will pay for itself.

66 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 948072 9-Dec-2013 14:33 Send private message quote this post

kiwitrc: What do people recommend as the best bottle capper, the bench type one or the lever arms type, in in fact anything else?


A lever arm one is fine, just apply even pressure on both arms so the cap seats well

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