Home brew bitter kit

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Home brew bitter kit
« on: January 28, 2013, 18:56 »
I received the Young's Home Brew Bitter Kit for Christmas and I eventually put it on last week and bottled it up yesterday in 2L empty Pepsi Bottles. I've brewed before but it's been a while and I look forward to my fruits of labour in a few weeks time.

Can anyone recommend a decent Stout for my next brew? I'd like to go the whole hog in future and brew from Hops etc. but for now I'll stick with kits. I love my Guinness so something of similar taste and texture would be nice. Also what about adding some extra flavours? Any recommendations?

Anyway I look forward to some hints , tips and recipes from members that have mastered this art :)

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thedadtony

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 20:54 »
Hi Mark, I usually use Edme stout kits,adding chocolate malt to it really improves the flavour.
    Put 300 grms. of chocolate malt into a hop bag in 2lts. of water ( in a pan ) at about 66c and then keep this temperature for about half an hour, then put the hop bag into a sieve over the pan and pour a litre of boiling water over it,(sparging) squeeze as much liquid out as you can into the pan then boil for 5mins.to sanitise. After the 5mins boiling I add the kg. of sugar (usually req. with most kits.)  to the pan and boil that up as well, its easier then stirring it in later,then add this to your fermenting bucket and make up your 25lts.
     I have also used ground coffe, just make a really stong brew and add the resulting liquid to your f.b.
    Hope that helps. :)

Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 21:21 »
Superb Tony and exactly what I'm after. I'll try the kit you recommend  first of all and if I like it I'll go with your suggestion for the next batch.

I once made elderflower beer as an experiment and binned it so I'd rather go with tried and trusted methods.

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thedadtony

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 21:28 »
Mark, I once did a damson beer experiment,I must say it was an acquired taste, it's a pity I didn't acquire it! ;)

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Growster...

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 21:49 »
Try a truly decent dark malt, white sugar, lots of hops, and then, if it seems to have stuck at around 1.000, re-ferment with any yeast - I used wine yeast, and it'll get down to about 10% or better!

Leave for about three months and prepare for oblivion...;0)

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jonewer

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 09:16 »
Try a truly decent dark malt, white sugar, lots of hops, and then, if it seems to have stuck at around 1.000, re-ferment with any yeast - I used wine yeast, and it'll get down to about 10% or better!

Leave for about three months and prepare for oblivion...;0)

If a beer gets down to 1.000 then something has gone wrong.

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Growster...

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 10:10 »


If a beer gets down to 1.000 then something has gone wrong.


I don't understand that, Jonewer, as the resulting brew was very bitter, very strong, and also as close to Guinness as I have ever made!

I'd make some more, but it was too strong for Mrs G, and as it was all in 2l Pepsi bottles, it took three days to drink a bottle by myself!

It was probably the best stout we'd ever made!

Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 16:37 »
I'm ready to buy my 2nd brew, I'm lucky and have http://www.houseofhomebrew.co.uk/index.php?route=common/home about a 10 minutes drive from me. I'll try the Edme kit suggested if they have it in stock.

I've just checked my bottles and have a lot of sediment in the bottom of them. I've brewed before and from what I remember there wasn't as much sediment the last time. Maybe I never gave the brew enough time or my brewing tub was shaken without me knowing just before bottling. Should I syphon again or just go with what I have and be very careful when I pour?

Also the kit says drinkable after 2 weeks but what is the right time? I know home brew improves with age (up to a certain time) but what is the right time?

Finally, has anyone heard or used these (bottle cap sediment catchers):

http://sedexbrewing.com/index.html

Youtube video where I spotted these:

B2PPBmJZFd0

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jonewer

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 18:31 »


If a beer gets down to 1.000 then something has gone wrong.


I don't understand that, Jonewer, as the resulting brew was very bitter, very strong, and also as close to Guinness as I have ever made!

I'd make some more, but it was too strong for Mrs G, and as it was all in 2l Pepsi bottles, it took three days to drink a bottle by myself!

It was probably the best stout we'd ever made!

Sorry, maybe I was a bit too strong there.

1.000 is the specific gravity of pure water. Its highly unusual for a beer to have such a low gravity.

Most are around the 1.010 mark when finished fermenting and usually only very pale or lagery beers brewed with very high attenuation yeast and low mash temperatures approach this - or lambics where wild yeasts and bacterias are at play.....

Stouts and Porter have a higher proportion of unfermentables so would usually have a higher than average final gravity, somewhere in the region of 1.014.

Are you sure your hydrometer reading was correct?

Anyway, the numbers are irrelevant if it tastes good!  8)


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jonewer

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 18:33 »

Also the kit says drinkable after 2 weeks but what is the right time? I know home brew improves with age (up to a certain time) but what is the right time?


The longer the better. I'd leave it for at least a month.

Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 19:39 »

Also the kit says drinkable after 2 weeks but what is the right time? I know home brew improves with age (up to a certain time) but what is the right time?


The longer the better. I'd leave it for at least a month.

Obviously I'll have to sample a bottle when the 2 weeks are up  ::) but I was going to leave it a month at least, I'm just wondering is there a perfect age for beer? I know beer can go out of date if left too long but too early and it will be yeasty.

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jonewer

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 11:08 »

Also the kit says drinkable after 2 weeks but what is the right time? I know home brew improves with age (up to a certain time) but what is the right time?


The longer the better. I'd leave it for at least a month.

Obviously I'll have to sample a bottle when the 2 weeks are up  ::) but I was going to leave it a month at least, I'm just wondering is there a perfect age for beer? I know beer can go out of date if left too long but too early and it will be yeasty.

You will know when its done because it will be clear and will taste like beer, rather than a cloudy homebrewish stew.

There's no perfect age. Within reason, an older beer is a better beer, but stronger, hoppier, maltier beers take longer to mature than weaker, paler and less heavily hopped ones.

Theres much truth in the old homebrewer's saying that the last pint is always the best one.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 11:26 by jonewer »

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chris172

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Re: Home brew bitter kit
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 14:18 »
Your sediment levels are probably due to bottling as soon as it stopped working plus the size of your bottles... 2ltrs would have a lot of clearing to do so would leave a lot of sediment.  On your next brew leave it for about a week to 10days... it won't hurt it sitting on the yeast bed before bottling. That way it would settle out a bit more.

Got a Woodfordes Nog kit just before Christmas and that was fantastic... didn't last that long!

I had a Wherry kit for Christmas and thats almost ready and the ' testing' i've done is VERY promising, although there probably wont be that much left for when it is ready...LOL!

Another kit i've tasted is the St Peters Red Ruby... OMG! for a kit that was fab.

If you are looking at kits then make sure they are 3kg ones, that way it's all malt extract and no extra sugar required. Kits appear to be so much better than 10 years ago when I last tried them.

Just invested in the All Grain equipment... Mash Tun, Boilers, Chiller etc and planned my next 5 brews already... Clones of Fullers London Pride, Fullers London Porter, Badger Golden Glory, Old Speckled Hen and Timothy Taylor Landlord.  Ingredients work out to 32p a pint   8) 8) 8)

Happy brewing!!
Lots to do, especially digging!



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