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  Reply # 948086 9-Dec-2013 14:39 Send private message

Dav4122:
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


Thanks, "Is fine" sounds like it will do for the price, if price wasnt an issue would you still opt for one of these over the single lever bench capper? Its just it looks like the bench one would be easier and faster but I have only used the lever arm one (worn plastic one to be fair) and wasnt over the moon about it.

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  Reply # 948166 9-Dec-2013 15:43 Send private message

throbb:
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.


Wow, that's a lot of booze! How much time/skill/money did it take to build your own still as opposed to an off-the-shelf model which would be in the $700-$900 range I'm guessing? Any significant pros or cons to building your own??

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  Reply # 948169 9-Dec-2013 15:46 Send private message

kiwitrc:
Dav4122:
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


Thanks, "Is fine" sounds like it will do for the price, if price wasnt an issue would you still opt for one of these over the single lever bench capper? Its just it looks like the bench one would be easier and faster but I have only used the lever arm one (worn plastic one to be fair) and wasnt over the moon about it.


I have a spanking new 2 lever one that came with my original brewing kit. Its unused due to me using plastic bottles. If you're in the neighbourhood of Hamilton, or want to spring for shipping, you can have it in the spirit of brotherly brewing.

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  Reply # 948172 9-Dec-2013 15:50 Send private message

BlueShift:
kiwitrc:
Dav4122:
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


Thanks, "Is fine" sounds like it will do for the price, if price wasnt an issue would you still opt for one of these over the single lever bench capper? Its just it looks like the bench one would be easier and faster but I have only used the lever arm one (worn plastic one to be fair) and wasnt over the moon about it.


I have a spanking new 2 lever one that came with my original brewing kit. Its unused due to me using plastic bottles. If you're in the neighbourhood of Hamilton, or want to spring for shipping, you can have it in the spirit of brotherly brewing.


Happy to pay for shipping and some extra, let me know. I just want to try a few caps (we have swing tops but I am not convinced they seal properly) hence want to see if I get the same results with caps. PM your details etc and money will follow. 

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  Reply # 948189 9-Dec-2013 16:12

BlueShift:
throbb:
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.


Wow, that's a lot of booze! How much time/skill/money did it take to build your own still as opposed to an off-the-shelf model which would be in the $700-$900 range I'm guessing? Any significant pros or cons to building your own??


Cost me about $300 to obtain all the bits, with the copper for the reflux tower and the Keg for the boiler costing the a majority of that. There was a bit of welding involved, lucky for me my flat mate has all the equipment. The stills are remarkably simple, I think finding all the bits i needed at a reasonable price was the hardest part. It was a pretty enjoyable project for me though.

I  think the benefits of building your own over a store bought one are the price ($300 v $5-700+) and the size (50l boiler v 15-25l).

My rig is almost 2 meters tall and produces alcohol at about 94%+ purity, store bought ones are generally around 90%, not a big deal but more of a bragging right.

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  Reply # 948542 10-Dec-2013 10:46 Send private message

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


You're right, that is a very useful site! I knew that NZ was a bit unusual in legally allowing home distilling, but I didn't know that it was practically unique and that moonshining is still illegal, if not actually enforced, in most countries.

Not having the welding skills or equipment, I think I'll have to save my pennies for a proper still. Or possibly club in with some mates. Turning out 8-10 litres of vodka in a batch is a good way to get popular with people, and doesn't take too long to get your money's worth out of a half or quarter share. Could make poker night a bit rowdier too...

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  Reply # 953460 17-Dec-2013 07:43 Send private message

So patiently waiting for my take on Maoriboys Passionfruit Cerveza to be ready for drinking and I got thinking about ciders.
I brewed a batch of Blackrock cider a couple months ago. It came out fine, but not overly sweet like the manufactured brands .
If I could replicate something like the Wildside brand which the missus loves, I'd be in the good books for ages! 
Has anyone tried the Mangrove Jacks Craft Series of ciders? Its like twice the price of the Blackrock but it could be twice as good?
Alternatively, anything I could easily add to the Blackrock to amp it up?

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  Reply # 953463 17-Dec-2013 07:58 Send private message

Blueshift, capper arrived, thanks. Will give it a whirl later today.

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  Reply # 953498 17-Dec-2013 09:14 Send private message

Just put down my first brew last night :)  Copper Tun Munich Lager kit.  Not as time consuming as I thought, maybe took 2 hours start to finish (and I rehydrated and proved the yeast before adding it to the fermenter). 

Bubbling away happily this morning, 23 degrees C which is pretty much spot on (kit recommends 22).  I cranked the a/c up a little :)

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  Reply # 953504 17-Dec-2013 09:18 Send private message

Rustee75: So patiently waiting for my take on Maoriboys Passionfruit Cerveza to be ready for drinking and I got thinking about ciders.
I brewed a batch of Blackrock cider a couple months ago. It came out fine, but not overly sweet like the manufactured brands .
If I could replicate something like the Wildside brand which the missus loves, I'd be in the good books for ages! 
Has anyone tried the Mangrove Jacks Craft Series of ciders? Its like twice the price of the Blackrock but it could be twice as good?
Alternatively, anything I could easily add to the Blackrock to amp it up?


I made their spicy apple one, I had great hopes that it would be awesome as I really like their Craft series brew kits but it was the single worst drink I have ever tasted. Maybe it's just not to be my taste buds. That put me off home brew cider in general but I should give it another go sometime.

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  Reply # 953506 17-Dec-2013 09:21 Send private message

Rustee75: I brewed a batch of Blackrock cider a couple months ago. It came out fine, but not overly sweet like the manufactured brands .


Cider is pretty easy to just make from scratch.  The only hard bit for us was getting the juice out of the apples.  The blender let out a bit of smoke and got a bit hot doing that. :)

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  Reply # 953513 17-Dec-2013 09:28

ubergeeknz: Just put down my first brew last night :)  Copper Tun Munich Lager kit.  Not as time consuming as I thought, maybe took 2 hours start to finish (and I rehydrated and proved the yeast before adding it to the fermenter). 

Bubbling away happily this morning, 23 degrees C which is pretty much spot on (kit recommends 22).  I cranked the a/c up a little :)


Its always reassuring when it bubbling away happily - I bought a new coopers kit recently and noticed that they said you shouldnt use anything on the fermenter seals - you used to always see people suggest a bit of vaseline smeared around the seal to make it seal well. I did this with the old kit and never had any issues. I think they are concerned that the petro chemicals will damage the seal.  I had a hell of a time getting it tight enough to seal properly without some lube - might investigate something like KY jelly (waterbased) next time.

This time of year it can be difficult to keep the temp down low enough.
You will always read that you should have the temp low and keep it brewing longer - I always seem to end up with 22-24 and it seems to work out ok. Usually find the bubbling stops around 4-5 days and should be ready for bottling around the 7 days mark.
The most time consuming is all the washing sterilising. Provided you allow another couple of hours at the bottling/cleanup end you will be right. Then there is just the waiting for the bottle conditioning....




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

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  Reply # 953531 17-Dec-2013 09:50 Send private message

The seals were slightly wet after the steriliser so it did up no problem, the bubbler was tight as anything I had to actually clean up the hole to make the grommet fit properly.  Moving the fermenter caused a lot of bubbling so I'm fairly comfortable that it's sealed up tight.

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  Reply # 953567 17-Dec-2013 10:48 Send private message

benmurphy66:
Rustee75: So patiently waiting for my take on Maoriboys Passionfruit Cerveza to be ready for drinking and I got thinking about ciders.
I brewed a batch of Blackrock cider a couple months ago. It came out fine, but not overly sweet like the manufactured brands .
If I could replicate something like the Wildside brand which the missus loves, I'd be in the good books for ages! 
Has anyone tried the Mangrove Jacks Craft Series of ciders? Its like twice the price of the Blackrock but it could be twice as good?
Alternatively, anything I could easily add to the Blackrock to amp it up?


I made their spicy apple one, I had great hopes that it would be awesome as I really like their Craft series brew kits but it was the single worst drink I have ever tasted. Maybe it's just not to be my taste buds. That put me off home brew cider in general but I should give it another go sometime.


Damn! Thanks for that Benmurphy. Always good to hear other peoples experiences, good or bad! I'll see how flush I am post christmas tho, may still give it a shot but maybe not spicy apple !


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  Reply # 953571 17-Dec-2013 10:50 Send private message

graemeh:
Rustee75: I brewed a batch of Blackrock cider a couple months ago. It came out fine, but not overly sweet like the manufactured brands .


Cider is pretty easy to just make from scratch.  The only hard bit for us was getting the juice out of the apples.  The blender let out a bit of smoke and got a bit hot doing that. :)


Hahaha! Yeah our blender aint great so I'm not even gonna try! Thanks tho :)

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