Posts Tagged brewing

Update time!

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Time to get the sweet corn in. This is the 3rd bed in.

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Done!

First bed has garlic and broccoli

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Salad bed!

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Bean bed (4th and final)

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And a nice Belgium Blonde on the brew!

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Nothing is finer than cider

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Two years ago, Helen made an apple picker at the bushmoot (two bushmoot related posts in a day!)

We’ve never used it until today.

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My parents wanted their tree stripped because they had problems with wasps

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Two bags of apples later we obviously need more.

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But they smell really good in the garage where they’ll sit, not touching until next weekend.

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Kegerator and Lasers!

So last night we went to the London hackspace with an EPS file and a lot of hope.

The plan…

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Lasers!

Can you tell what it is yet?

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Next of course was to start on the kegerator.

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For most kegerators, you need to lots of complicated things. We decided to keep it very simple and try to keep the fridge as insulated as possible.  The gas (CO2) is kept outside and fed in through the top of the fridge.

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This conduit we got for another project was perfect for 3/8 beer line.  It can take two lines in each section.  The plan is to run a gas line in from outside and the beer out.  We have one beer line for the handpump, two for a font (yet to buy).

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Siliconed in!

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Just needs a clean!

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And a spray… remember that laser cutter at the start?

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Won’t lose these easily!

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Sprayed all the things!

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And soon to come, a pump clip! 🙂

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Homebrew festival

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This weekend we attended the home brew festival in Market Bosworth. 

I entered three beers, two all grain and a kit.  I placed with one of the all grain beers (2nd) and the kit (3rd)

Very pleased and thanks for all the help and encouragement from my friends and family

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The Home Brew Festival

In a few weeks I’ll be joining members of the craftbrewing forum in Market Bosworth for The Home Brew Festival.

Its the successor to “the spring thing”.

Its members only (membership of the home brew festival not any associated forum).  You pay the membership fee, then about £23 for the full weekend camping! Beer is provided completely free at the bar.

There’s also a competition – I’m putting in three entries – one of my entries is a kit, but the rest are all grain.

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So 3 weeks later, I’ve kegged 160ish pints!

If you’re going, I’ll see you there!

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Brewday

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Another brewday.  This was Hoperific Landlord from the malt miller. I’d actually forgotten I’d bought it and its been sitting in my garage awaiting a brewing.

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I got some big help and some little help. The little help insisted in banging everything with trains.

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Instead of just all grain, my brother in law gave me two liquid kit beers which were in an odd squeezy plastic packing.

Inside there was yeast and dried hops.  The two kits came with silly instructions which were very basic.  I followed my usual kit process by bunging in a couple of kettles of boiling water in each and mixing with cold tap water.  In the IPA I added brewing sugar, for the bitter I went with two pouches of light spray malt.  The IPA had an OG of 1.048 and the bitter had 1.044.

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The landlord seemed to be a bit watery, so I continued to reduce to 20ltrs and had an OG of 1.048.

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Fermentation Chamber

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So if you don’t want an all singing all dancing BrewPi (which lets face it, it’s expensive) you can invest in an STC-1000

What’s the difference?

The BrewPi has a web interface, the STC-1000 doesn’t.  I can set up a fermentation profile on the BrewPi, but if I’m in the house, I can manually change the STC – as long as I remember.  The big difference is the price – £150 for a BrewPI, compared to a finished cost of £70 with an STC system (this is assuming a 2nd hand £25 fridge and a £15 tube heater).

So for a non-complex ale that needs a fermentation of 18’C, which would I choose?  The STC.

For a wheatbeer, starting fermentation at 12’C and rising steadily over 14 days to 21’C? The BrewPi.

What equipment do you need?

Fridge £25
Tube Heater £15
STC-1000 £13
Extension Cords £3.99 x 2
Project Box £4
Choc Box £1

So about £66

And the instructions? Try Here

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Garden Potting Bench

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This weekend we did some clearing out (almost qualifies as a spring clean).  I also got round to splitting up some pallets and utilising an old sink to make a potting bench. Among its regular tasks is somewhere to clean the chickens water bowl which is usually full of poo and straw 30 seconds after being put into their run.

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Another brew is on for the national home brew competition.

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Gary made a stand for the fermenting fridge so that I don’t need to use an old log to keep stable. It’s build to bomb proof standards.

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And Ben was so cold he took the got seat. Actually he also ran electrical cable round the workshop to enable us to use the fridge without having to run extension cords everywhere.

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Garage

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So the old kitchen has gone into the garage and the brewery has its own space. Next is to make it food safe! Bodge job on the extractor fan to get steam out efficiently.

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Brewing Forums

Well up until recently  I’d spent a lot of time at the home brew forum.

Sadly a few days ago the forum was passed to what seems to be a commercial organisation to manage.  On April 1st, suddenly it moved platforms from phpBB to vBulletin.  The usual stuff happened, posts broke, signatures got 10x larger and where certain characters were used all sorts of random stuff got printed.  Even as writing now, you can’t edit posts.

You’d expect a better phased move, but what most people are up in arms about was the sudden change without consulting a thriving community.  Then people who complained started getting banned.  Some of the higher regulars upped sticks after being banned and put up a new forum.  The words used to describe the forum (Craft Brewing) suddenly got banned on THBF.

So if you’re looking for some of the old community, try http://forums.craftbrewing.org.uk and join the unrestricted debate.

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