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ubergeeknz
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  #1138308 26-Sep-2014 15:30
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Yep the sodium metabisulfite works very well.  You can leave this in a cleaned, sealed container too (with some water) and the sulfur dioxide released will keep it sanitised.  Just don't open it near your face!

Hauraki Home Brew is an excellent shop for all the bits, pieces, and advice you need.  It's easy enough to get good results as long as you're reasonably thorough with cleaning/sanitising and have patience :)

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Glassboy
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  #1138311 26-Sep-2014 15:37
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pctek: 

The beer is clear (pour it off properly) and good. I have tested this on various people I have worked with.....as there is often a perception that home brew is crap - guess it can be if you haven't had practice or take short cuts.
 


Most people have no idea what a proper beer should taste like.  Steinlager tastes like wet cardboard and plenty of people drink it.  If you know what the results of a proper mash taste like, you can always pick when sugar has been added.

robjg63
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  #1138361 26-Sep-2014 16:29
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Some people are paranoid about the sediment. Some people insist it should be consumed.
It tastes fine to me. You can pour it slow and steady and leave the stuff in the bottom of the bottle if you are careful.
I usually just let the mostly small amount of sediment come out with the last glass poured.
Its full of nutrients and vitamins.




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




ubergeeknz
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  #1138372 26-Sep-2014 16:47
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robjg63: Some people are paranoid about the sediment. Some people insist it should be consumed.
It tastes fine to me. You can pour it slow and steady and leave the stuff in the bottom of the bottle if you are careful.
I usually just let the mostly small amount of sediment come out with the last glass poured.
Its full of nutrients and vitamins.


It just doesn't look very good, and if you have too much it can have certain ... "effects".  I have started racking my beers to a secondary and bottling from that using a cane, and it is clear to the last drop.

littlehead
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  #1138373 26-Sep-2014 16:47
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robjg63: Some people are paranoid about the sediment. Some people insist it should be consumed.
It tastes fine to me. You can pour it slow and steady and leave the stuff in the bottom of the bottle if you are careful.
I usually just let the mostly small amount of sediment come out with the last glass poured.
Its full of nutrients and vitamins.


Just be a little careful if you imbibe too much of the sediment. The sediment will contain active/live yeast cells which can cause a laxative affect in some people if you are not used to it. (Edit: beaten by seconds.)

My view on cleaning is the best cleaner I have found is Starsan. If you can find it, use it. It's no rinse and will not effect the taste of your beer. I listened to a podcast of someone who did two batches of beer exactly the same except for one they used the recommended Starsan solution mix instead of water. They could not taste the difference between the batches.

If you can't find Starsan, or don't want to pay for it, you can also use generic napisan based cleaners to clean your equipment. Find the one with the highest percentage of Sodium Percarbonate, which is the active ingredient, and none of the other cleaning "stuff". Home brand is the one I used, not the branded Napisan. Use the hottest water you can stand and clean everything. Be careful not to scrape any plastic surfaces which can introduce areas where microbes can breed.

That will clean your stuff but it won't sanitise it. You can use a mixture of bleach and vinegar in cold water then rinse with boiling water to sanitise equipment also. I can't remember the exact ratio off the top of my head unfortunately.

While far more expensive, Starsan is far easier and quicker to use.

Another thing I would recommend when starting out is always replacing the sugar/beer enhancers etc in basic recipes with cans of liquid malt extract, or even a can of Coopers lager. I found that this was one of the biggest improvements when starting out, as sugar can leave a distinct "homebrew" taste to the beer.

Edit: Another thing is use gelatine to clear the beer. A couple of days before you are to bottle, add a teaspoon of gelatine in enough water to fully disolve to the fermenter. This will cause all the proteins in the beer to clump up and drop to the bottom, causing a clearer beer.

gundar

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  #1167757 3-Nov-2014 16:14
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Righto.

In a production line style, I now have 8+ swappas under my house slowly getting ready for summer.

My first two brews became eligible for drinking this weekend, a heavy stout and a 'premium' ale. I opened one of each after a full day in the fridge (the beer, not me) and both did the same thing - they opened okay but when I poured them, even the smallest amount of pour, produces heaps of in-glass foam. So much so that a full 750ml bottle ends up producing only two 250ml glasses of beer and the reast just turns to foam. I read somewhere this is the result of the in bottle fermentation process not being complete. Is this the case?

The beers tasted okay, no off odours or poor after taste, the fluid is coloured as I would expect. I opened a third and the same thing happened.

Any suggestions or assitance from the experts, please? These are respectively my first two brews.

Many thanks

ubergeeknz
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  #1167770 3-Nov-2014 16:18
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gundar: Righto.

In a production line style, I now have 8+ swappas under my house slowly getting ready for summer.

My first two brews became eligible for drinking this weekend, a heavy stout and a 'premium' ale. I opened one of each after a full day in the fridge (the beer, not me) and both did the same thing - they opened okay but when I poured them, even the smallest amount of pour, produces heaps of in-glass foam. So much so that a full 750ml bottle ends up producing only two 250ml glasses of beer and the reast just turns to foam. I read somewhere this is the result of the in bottle fermentation process not being complete. Is this the case?

The beers tasted okay, no off odours or poor after taste, the fluid is coloured as I would expect. I opened a third and the same thing happened.

Any suggestions or assitance from the experts, please? These are respectively my first two brews.

Many thanks


How long were they in the fermenter?

How long have they been in the bottle?  

How much sugar did you add?

Also I find leaving them in the fridge for 2-3 days is actually better, it gives the CO2 more time to fully dissolve into solution, and if any yeasts are still working it will put them to sleep.  And chill your glass if you can ;)



Lostja
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  #1167773 3-Nov-2014 16:29
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It could be incomplete fermentation prior to bottling or too much priming sugar after bottling. How long ago since you bottled?

I rushed a brew and bottled after 2 weeks with the end result being one (plastic) bottle bomb, a number of bottles with small cracks and very foamy beer no matter how long it has been in the fridge. Tastes very well though now that the brew is a few months old.

gundar

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  #1167776 3-Nov-2014 16:41
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ubergeeknz:

How long were they in the fermenter?

How long have they been in the bottle?  

How much sugar did you add?

Also I find leaving them in the fridge for 2-3 days is actually better, it gives the CO2 more time to fully dissolve into solution, and if any yeasts are still working it will put them to sleep.  And chill your glass if you can ;)


Hi, thanks for the quick response.

The beers were in the fermenter for 7 days and showed no change in activity in the last two days by test of SG.

They were in the bottle for 4 and 4.5 weeks.

I used pre packaged recipes (recipe kits, no extra ingredients required).

I used 750ml swappa bottles with each two of those sugar pills as specified on the pack. Bottles and fermenter were thoroughly wash, sanitised with no-rinse and left to dry (including all other objects that made contact, like the spoons and ancillary equipment).


I haven't tried fridge for a few days and glasses being chilled, but I quite like that idea....


Thanks for your help...

gundar

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  #1167778 3-Nov-2014 16:43
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Lostja: It could be incomplete fermentation prior to bottling or too much priming sugar after bottling. How long ago since you bottled?

I rushed a brew and bottled after 2 weeks with the end result being one (plastic) bottle bomb, a number of bottles with small cracks and very foamy beer no matter how long it has been in the fridge. Tastes very well though now that the brew is a few months old.


I got this from another verbal source - if it's a case of being under fermented, just wait longer. I hope so. I only lost one bottle and it was a crack that looked like it was from a fall rather than too much pressure - the bottles were not new, so it was likely. Also, in 8 swappas so far, no other bombs.


ubergeeknz
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  #1167791 3-Nov-2014 16:56
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gundar:
ubergeeknz:

How long were they in the fermenter?

How long have they been in the bottle?  

How much sugar did you add?

Also I find leaving them in the fridge for 2-3 days is actually better, it gives the CO2 more time to fully dissolve into solution, and if any yeasts are still working it will put them to sleep.  And chill your glass if you can ;)


Hi, thanks for the quick response.

The beers were in the fermenter for 7 days and showed no change in activity in the last two days by test of SG.

They were in the bottle for 4 and 4.5 weeks.

I used pre packaged recipes (recipe kits, no extra ingredients required).

I used 750ml swappa bottles with each two of those sugar pills as specified on the pack. Bottles and fermenter were thoroughly wash, sanitised with no-rinse and left to dry (including all other objects that made contact, like the spoons and ancillary equipment).


I haven't tried fridge for a few days and glasses being chilled, but I quite like that idea....


Thanks for your help...


It's probably just a bit new.  Another couple weeks in a cool place will help settle things down and improve the flavour to boot.  By the sounds of it you're on the right track, which is great!  It's so satisfying drinking something you brewed yourself and it's actually good :)

There are two schools of thought on duration in the primary fermenter.  One is "get it out of there as soon as you think it's done" but I prefer to just leave it in the primary an extra week.  Sometimes longer.  It won't hurt provided it's well sealed and it gives the yeast a chance to both really finish fermenting, and clean up certain off flavours in the beer before bottling.  If there's one thing I'm great at it's procrastinating, so this style of brewing is a chance to really work to my strengths.

tl;dr: "let it ride" ;)

Lostja
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  #1168306 4-Nov-2014 10:48
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I'm with you in this. I used to bottle after 7 days but now I leave it in the fermenter anywhere up to 4 weeks. I find it does make a difference with regards to flavour and clarity.

BlueShift
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  #1168312 4-Nov-2014 11:01
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gundar: Righto.

In a production line style, I now have 8+ swappas under my house slowly getting ready for summer.

My first two brews became eligible for drinking this weekend, a heavy stout and a 'premium' ale. I opened one of each after a full day in the fridge (the beer, not me) and both did the same thing - they opened okay but when I poured them, even the smallest amount of pour, produces heaps of in-glass foam. So much so that a full 750ml bottle ends up producing only two 250ml glasses of beer and the reast just turns to foam. I read somewhere this is the result of the in bottle fermentation process not being complete. Is this the case?

The beers tasted okay, no off odours or poor after taste, the fluid is coloured as I would expect. I opened a third and the same thing happened.

Any suggestions or assitance from the experts, please? These are respectively my first two brews.

Many thanks


I decant my 750s into a 1 litre jug, and I've found rinsing the jug and glasses with cold water just before filling them reduces the foaming hugely. The theory is that the bubbles form on air pockets in small imperfections in the surface of the vessel, the water fills in a lot of the tiny cracks and bumps, reducing the bubble-forming surface area. Plus pouring the whole thing into a jug at once allows a steadier pour and less sediment disturbance.

I've had a couple of brews that have been particularly frisky, and waiting longer hasn't seemed to calm them down - the opposite in some of them. If you decant into a larger vessel - say a 2 litre jug, then leave it to settle for 5 minutes or so before serving, you won't lose as much, or any beer to head overflow.

JonnyCam
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  #1169239 5-Nov-2014 13:38
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BlueShift:

I decant my 750s into a 1 litre jug, and I've found rinsing the jug and glasses with cold water just before filling them reduces the foaming hugely


Plus wash your beer glasses after use, with just water (hot) then rinse out with cold and air dry.
The use of washing soap / dishwashers can lead to the head disappearing quickly, no lacing etc.



Bottled an IPA last night from fresh wort obtained  from Golden Bear brewery - good of way of brewing without the use of added sugars, but more expensive (15 L @ 6% is $40 + $10 p&p)
- super easy, clean & sterlise the fermenter, pour the giant wine cask bag into the fermenter (which aerates it really well) and pitch re-hydrated yeast.

wait for a few weeks & bottle. (you could take OG / FG etc, but I just left it in primary for 4 weeks so know it's done with no effort by me)





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