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tukapa1
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  #2690691 10-Apr-2021 19:02
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ageorge:

//Materials for a brew cost me between $65 and $100 for a 19 litre batch.


Ouch, that is extreme, do you mean the stainless brewing vessels and so on are part of that formula?



No, just ingredients. Grain, hops and any other additions needed. Sometimes includes yeast, sometimes not. Yeast can add another $12-$20 or so.

Here's an example;

https://www.brewerswarehouse.nz/products/flash-flood-in-the-tropics

Get close to the equivalent of 5 dozen from that, so even if I work on 4 1/2 dozen then retail that's about $200 at an average of $22 a 6 pack, so I'm saving 50-65% off retail.

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hsvhel
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  #2690704 10-Apr-2021 19:57
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i put mie in a few 50L plastic bins for the first couple of weeks of conditioning (or longer if i am not brewing)  contains any excited bottles well for mess.

 

Using plastic 500Ml bottles and the occasional 1.5L 


Interslice
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  #2690714 10-Apr-2021 20:42
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I also spend around $50-100 per 19 litre batch but will only buy expensive craft beer anyway cos it has ruined me haha. So in my opinion it's well worth it. Really happy with my beer and how it does compare with even the expensive stuff, and when you do make an 8 percent beer at home... Well you don't need much...



kiwiace
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  #2690736 10-Apr-2021 22:49
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I like to try and keep my brews cheapish - if you google toucan home brew (pun for two-can) you get some good recipes on Oz websites for using the cheap Cooper kits (two kits, but with less or no dextrose). Or you can make a smaller batch (say 15 litres) with a single kit. With a bit of dry hopping etc, can come in around $35 for a full brew. 

 

At 90$ or so a brew another option is to  buy unfermented craft beer (a wort pack). I haven't tried that but am quite interested- anyone had a go? E.g. the Bayland ones here https://baylands.beer/collections/fresh-wort-packs


Gurezaemon
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  #2690744 10-Apr-2021 23:51
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ageorge:

 

//Materials for a brew cost me between $65 and $100 for a 19 litre batch.

 

Ouch, that is extreme, do you mean the stainless brewing vessels and so on are part of that formula?

 

 

I could spend $25 on 2 cans of Lion Draught cans from Pak'n'Save and have an OK (5/10) brew (for roughly $1/litre), or I could spend $60 on 2 cans of Riwaka Pale Ale and some Safale 05 yeast for around $2/litre for a pretty good (8/10) brew. Still a good deal. Adding hops and other goodies will increase the price a little bit more, but the end result will still be a good beer that is still cheaper than the nasty cheap stuff from the supermarket.

 

As I've got older, I've found that the taste is what matters. If I purely wanted to get drunk, then there are plenty of cheaper and less enjoyable ways to do that. I want to enjoy my beer, savour it, and drone endlessly on about different types of hops to any friends that I still have left πŸ˜…





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tukapa1
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  #2690761 11-Apr-2021 07:17
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Gurezaemon:

As I've got older, I've found that the taste is what matters. If I purely wanted to get drunk, then there are plenty of cheaper and less enjoyable ways to do that. I want to enjoy my beer, savour it, and drone endlessly on about different types of hops to any friends that I still have left πŸ˜…



This.

I like something with flavour and for me the mass produced big brewery stuff doesn't really have any. It either tastes of nothing or is just way too sweet.

I'm not 18 trying to get smashed for as cheap as possible after rugby anymore and I have the disposable income to enjoy the craft beer offerings.

I certainly don't look down my nose at those people who enjoy a base lager or ale (which can be a bit of an issue in the craft beer scene) as I have friends and family who love the likes of Export 33, Corona and Double Brown.

If you're just looking to make something to get you pissed you can certainly do that very cheaply brewing your own.

tukapa1
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  #2690765 11-Apr-2021 07:21
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kiwiace:

At 90$ or so a brew another option is to  buy unfermented craft beer (a wort pack). I haven't tried that but am quite interested- anyone had a go? E.g. the Bayland ones here https://baylands.beer/collections/fresh-wort-packs



I've never tried a fresh wort pack but I may give one a crack, particularly a NEIPA or hazy. I find I don't often have the time to brew so this is an alternative that will skip the 5 hours or so of brewing and clean up time, and still enable me to get something decent in the kegs.



andrewNZ
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  #2690770 11-Apr-2021 07:43
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It appears you're already past this, but I'd like to share anyway.

Glass bottles have a knock/tap rating. It's the number of times they can bang together before the break, and it's surprisingly accurate.
Export bottles have a higher rating than domestic market bottles.

Many moons ago, the company I worked for built a wine bottle packing machine.
After weeks of testing, the trial bottles (regular wine bottles filled with water) started randomly cracking on the conveyor, which was pretty concerning, and very stinky.

Turns out the bottles hat a rating of 14 or something like that, and reusing the bottles was causing them to exceed their rating
Out of curiosity someone tested it. He got two new bottles held them in the wheely bin, and started tapping them firmly together. A tap you wouldn't expect to break the bottle, but still feel uncomfortable about. They broke one or two taps above the rating.
Then he got some of the well used ones off the machine. They often broke on the first or second tap.

jpoc
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  #2690907 11-Apr-2021 17:14
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Screw off crown caps are _not_ screw on caps.

 

They are applied with a capping tool similar to regular crown caps.

 

You can not get an acceptable pressure seal by re-using them.

 

In addition, as others have noted, the glass is too thin which means that in-bottle carbonation is neither reliable nor safe.

 

In general, glass for home brew is an inferior choice to the PET bottles that you get in a home brew starter pack or that you can buy from a home brew shop.

 

Here is why:

 

The failure mode is safer.

 

A glass bottle that is over pressurized will fail catastrophically. Explosively. The shock of the failure will usually be enough to precipitate the failure of any nearby bottles from the same batch. You will have a total conversion to a flood of beer and a spray of sharp shards of glass.

 

The effects of over pressure in plastic bottles are pretty benign. While a glass bottle is brittle and can only fail badly, plastic is tough and if a PET bottle is over pressurized, the resultant failure is of minor consequence. The wavy pattern area at the base of the bottle will distort and stretch and ultimately crack. Glass would then tend to fail badly but those cracks in a plastic bottle are less of a threat. They will not propagate into a bottle bomb. Rather they will widen without failing. Generally, they will widen to the point where the CO2 that is causing the over pressure will escape but surface tension will prevent the liquid from exiting from the same crack. You end up with flat beer but no flooding.

 

The plastic bottle can be tested by hand for pressurization

 

Visit your home brew after a week and give the bottles a squeeze.

 

If you used glass bottles, that will tell you nothing. If you used PET bottles intended for home brew, you can tell the degree of pressurization by the feel of the bottle when you give it a squeeze.

 

Plastic bottles can help you to exclude oxygen from your brew.

 

You will know that you should allow a little head space in your bottle to act as a buffer for the pressure when you get your in bottle ferment.

 

With glass bottles, all that you can do is allow a cm or so of space at the top. Unless you are working with argon injection, that headspace will contain a lot of oxygen and that will affect the quality of your beer.

 

With a PET bottle, you can fill it to the same level but then squeeze the bottle to force out the air before you tighten then screw cap. You now have empty headspace that will fill with CO2 as the in bottle ferment proceeds but which will not impart oxygen to the beer. - Disclosure, I have been told about this but have not yet got results from my own tests.

 

 


Gurezaemon
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  #2691010 11-Apr-2021 18:33
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jpoc:

 

(...) cracks in a plastic bottle are less of a threat. They will not propagate into a bottle bomb. Rather they will widen without failing. Generally, they will widen to the point where the CO2 that is causing the over pressure will escape but surface tension will prevent the liquid from exiting from the same crack. You end up with flat beer but no flooding.

 

 

I have had the proper brewing PET bottles fail, but as @jpoc says here, it's not catastrophic. If you have too much pressure, you're likely to end up with a pinhole on the bottom, from which the pressure forces the beer out slowly. Keeping the bottles in the stackable plastic tubs contains any spillage, and usually the only indication of anything wrong is a bit of a beer smell, and maybe a few fruit flies around. It's pretty trivial to empty out the beer slooshing around in the bottom and let the rest of the bottles in that crate continue their ferment.

I've only ever had one crack enthusiastically (and loudly!), and it made an awful mess, but there were no bits of glass to worry about. 

 

jpoc:

 

Plastic bottles can help you to exclude oxygen from your brew.

 

With a PET bottle, you can fill it to the same level but then squeeze the bottle to force out the air before you tighten then screw cap. You now have empty headspace that will fill with CO2 as the in bottle ferment proceeds but which will not impart oxygen to the beer. - Disclosure, I have been told about this but have not yet got results from my own tests.

 

 

How have I never heard of / thought of this?
It certainly seems like something that would be pretty easy to try out though, although I have my doubts that the amount of oxygen in a normally bottled brew would make all that much of a difference.





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tukapa1
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  #2691019 11-Apr-2021 19:20
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Gurezaemon:

I have my doubts that the amount of oxygen in a normally bottled brew would make all that much of a difference.



Oxygen absorbing caps are a thing;

https://www.howtohomebrewbeers.com/2018/12/oxygen-absorption-bottle-caps.html?m=1

Alternatively you can put a squirt of CO2 into your bottle before filling. As it's heavier than oxygen it will force the oxygen out as you fill the bottle.

I bottled for years in proper brewers brown glass 500ml bottles and refilled numerous times. Never had a bomb or lost any to "weak" bottles.

Brewing is not really a hobby to try and do as cheap as you can. You will have less issues and save money in the long run by not skimping at the start.

Gurezaemon
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  #2691037 11-Apr-2021 20:12
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tukapa1:
Gurezaemon:

 

I have my doubts that the amount of oxygen in a normally bottled brew would make all that much of a difference.

 



Oxygen absorbing caps are a thing;

https://www.howtohomebrewbeers.com/2018/12/oxygen-absorption-bottle-caps.html?m=1

Alternatively you can put a squirt of CO2 into your bottle before filling. As it's heavier than oxygen it will force the oxygen out as you fill the bottle.

I bottled for years in proper brewers brown glass 500ml bottles and refilled numerous times. Never had a bomb or lost any to "weak" bottles.

Brewing is not really a hobby to try and do as cheap as you can. You will have less issues and save money in the long run by not skimping at the start.

 

Fully agree. Given the amount of time and money money I've spent on various half-assed cleaning solutions when I should have instead just bought bottle cleaning alkali salts and a bottle of Star San (given the tiny amounts you use diluted, it will probably outlive me), I wish I'd started doing things properly from the get-go.

 

A squirt of CO2 into each bottle. Part of me is thinking drinking a fizzy lager while bottling, and burping a bit of CO2 into each bottle, but I'm sure there's a hygiene-related issue with this πŸ˜…

 

P.S.  500th post! Having an absolutely delicious Riwaka Pale Ale (two-canner) to celebrate.





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Handle9
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  #2691558 12-Apr-2021 16:45
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tukapa1: 

 

I certainly don't look down my nose at those people who enjoy a base lager or ale (which can be a bit of an issue in the craft beer scene) as I have friends and family who love the likes of Export 33, Corona and Double Brown.

 

It's like any subjective hobby. People get passionate but then also obnoxious.

 

I really tried to get into heavily hopped beers but I really don't like them. I'm ok with that and find people who start trying to tell me that I'm wrong and really would enjoy them is I just drank whatever pretty weird.

 

Just drink what you enjoy.


Gurezaemon
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  #2697784 25-Apr-2021 12:23
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Handle9:

 

It's like any subjective hobby. People get passionate but then also obnoxious.

 

I really tried to get into heavily hopped beers but I really don't like them. I'm ok with that and find people who start trying to tell me that I'm wrong and really would enjoy them is I just drank whatever pretty weird.

 

Just drink what you enjoy.

 

 

The last few years has seen a real resurgence in IPAs and APAs with a lot of producers trying to outdo each other in how hoppy they can make their beers.

 

A friend recommended Mac's Hop Rocker years ago, so I bought a 6-pack. After the first mouthful I dreaded the fact that I still had more than 5 of them to do. It felt like it was stripping the enamel off my teeth.

 

Personally, I really enjoy a creamy Porter or something with low-to-medium bitterness, but in beer as in anything else, YMMV. 





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tukapa1
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  #2697816 25-Apr-2021 13:38
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I'm fair and square on the 'hazy' train at the moment (and have been for a while).

 

One of our local craft brewers has a magnificent drop called 'Skunk Juice'.  It's right up there with the best I've ever had.


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