General Chat Thread, Beer brewing kit... in General; I don't do kits because I brew from grain.
My friend does kits and his brews are pretty good.
11th December 2013, 01:17 PM #16
I don't do kits because I brew from grain.
My friend does kits and his brews are pretty good.
The quality of the kit is very important and these are worthy recommendations:
Brupaks pride of Yorkshire range
Colne Valley Bitter
11th December 2013, 01:46 PM #17
I've got 40Pints of woodfordes Wherry in the airing cupboard at the moment (wonderful understanding wife). Got everything from my local shop first time round, now just buy the kits. Probably going to get another barrel in the new year and have two leapfrogging brews all of 2014. Can't recommend going to a local specialist enough, they will usually be happy to give advice on kit which they have probably used in anger.
Colchester Homebrew Supplies complete Premium starter kit for brewing beer, lager or cider at home
Although Wilko's prices aren't bad I've always found their range and kit a little uninspiring.
Thanks to TwoZeroAlpha from:
Little-Miss (11th December 2013)
11th December 2013, 02:15 PM #18
When I get round to brewing this stout perhaps over xmas actually, it's going in to a corny keg for secondary fermentation and dispense.
11th December 2013, 02:16 PM #19
- Rep Power
Wilkinsons do sell a kit that contains everything (except the beer ingredients) you need to get started, and it comes in 1 large box which maybe easier to wrap!
Wilko Beermaking Deluxe Pack at wilko.com
I've used this kit equipment and found it to be perfectly good when starting out. You will probably want to get a better quality siphon tube (which Wilko's sell) but other wise the only other item you must have is the beer ingredient kit. Depending on the kit you may need a pack of brewing sugar.
Optionally I would recommend a hydrometer with trial jar (allows you to calculate how strong the drink is and tell if it's finished fermenting) and a thermometer. You don't need them, but they remove some of the guess work, all available at Wilkinsons.
Then it's just a case of putting the contents of the beer kit into the fermenting bin with some water (following the instructions on the back of the pack) then adding the yeast from the kit mix ensuring the mix isn't too hot. Leave for a couple of weeks, then siphon into a pressure barrel wait a little more then drink. (Making sure to sterilize everything at each stage)
You could bottle, but to start with the pressure barrel is fine. You will find some beers mature with time and often need a little longer than the instructions say to get to their best (depending on temperature etc). Unfortunately at this time of year it's going to have to be an indoors hobby so the beer doesn't get too cold.
11th December 2013, 02:17 PM #20
Get a pressurized keg like I do then it keeps longer!
11th December 2013, 02:33 PM #21
Be warned. He will be making one of these. (Fridge with a keg inside + co2 cylinder)
11th December 2013, 03:05 PM #22
That thread is really helpful, thanks guys...
I'm prepared for the smell, not quite the same but i remember back in the day when my dad used to make wine.
Oh well, it may mean we actually clean out our spare room to make room for it all.
So, majority are saying go for the Wilko stuff and then spend on the ingrediants...
11th December 2013, 03:18 PM #23
See if you have a home brew shop near you, you may be suprised. They will be able to advise you, and should have better quality kit, than wilkos. Otherwise theres nothing wrong with wilko kit, even a couple of their beers/wines/etc aren't too bad. They often do offers too, iirc I got 3 wines (~100 bottles) for around £20.
11th December 2013, 03:52 PM #24
Upvotes on the Woodfordes Wherry..
I got a cider kit from Tesco Direct and 2 cases of Plazzy bottles delivered to my local store when my car was off the road - Made it all easy for me.. as I didnt have far to walk.
The Range has a kit thats cheap for about 20 bucks (was last time I nipped in for steriliser) that has everything in.. but dont know about their beer bag kits..
What I will say is that the "better" kits on TD are FAR too dear - but the cheaper ones are a good starting point.
But finding your nearest and friendly brew shop is a must - I found one near where I work - and its better than the one near where I live.. (and cheaper)
I'm working myself up to full mash kits - just got to persuade the dragon to let me have a 23ltr cooking pot.
Last edited by cobra427col; 11th December 2013 at 03:53 PM.
11th December 2013, 03:59 PM #25
Nicer stuff is nice, but Wilkos stuff is plenty good enough and cheaper and you don't know if this is a hobby that will stick, so rather than spending £120 on lots of cool bits, spend £40 and when Little-Mr starts wanting bigger and better, well, that's a few more years worth of present ideas isn't it
Originally Posted by Little-Miss
If you have a local homebrew shop you can probably get Youngs stuff there, more or less equivalent to the Wilkos stuff for about the same price, if it's more convenient. (In fact, looking at it the Wilkos stuff may just be rebadged Youngs kit.)
Thanks to sonofsanta from:
Little-Miss (11th December 2013)
11th December 2013, 04:20 PM #26
I used to brew A LOT of beers a few years ago. Kits are OKish but far far better results are derived from mashing from grain & boiling hops. If you fancy going down this route, two books are essential & will have you up and running in no time:
Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy - Dave Line - Google Books
The Big Book of Brewing - Dave Line - Google Books
The hardest thing is acquiring a Burco boiler, Oh, and get some good yeast.
2 Thanks to HallX:
Little-Miss (11th December 2013), mac_shinobi (11th December 2013)
11th December 2013, 04:26 PM #27
Great books, got them both!
Its amazing that there are still home brew shops going. There's several around Merseyside.
11th December 2013, 04:36 PM #28
We have this on-going joke that i always manage to buy him the perfect gadget, even though he didnt realise he needed it...
I'm a bit out of my depth with this, but it does look very interesting...
11th December 2013, 09:45 PM #29
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this but instead of buying a keg, which is too large not to be a nuisance (unless you are the best, most forgiving gf in the world - im assuming you live with him), you can reuse beer bottles. IME they are the easiest to get good results from. One tip I picked up is while you are learning it's good to do it in beer bottles but do one PET bottle (fizzy pop bottle). That way you can give the PET bottle a squeeze and you know if it is carbonating, and therefore the rest should be. You'll need a bottle capper.
Or you can actually do the whole lot in PET bottles. Mind it isn't as impressive as glass or kegs.
Main thing in brewing is sanitise!
Also check your airlocks regularly, occasionally you'll get an energetic batch which blows the top off it rendering it useless.
One thing I do to maintain a constant temperature during fermentation is to wrap an old duvet round it - obviously the house is going to be colder while you are in bed or out at work.
When he first starts follow instructions to the letter.
Don't bother with "carbonising drops", just use sugar.
Don't be tempted to suck that last few drops off the bottom of the barrel. It's not too bad if you are using beer bottles as you can only ruin them few bottles but if you keg it up you've put all the gunk into what was a nice brew.
Record everything - dates, hydrometer readings, what the brew actually is (yeah I've played lucky dip with a mix of several, very similar looking, brews all at different stages of ageing).
Taste the beer kit treacle stuff, it's like malty golden syrup
Get him to brew you a wine/cider while he's at it
Last edited by j17sparky; 11th December 2013 at 09:53 PM.
11th December 2013, 09:48 PM #30
ah, ok this keg bit is the stage im unsure about...
So, it's done what...2 weeks in the fermenting bit....then what? I was wondering whether to leave that decision up to him as it's not needed during the process is it?
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