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Brew Techniques For Quality And Economy (like Yeast Cake Reuse, Toucan

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buckerooni

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Hi All,

Having roped 3 of my mates into brewing (and splitting the costs of the gear) I'd like to get them to believe in the mantra 'home brew is cheap and delicious' to keep them motivated, i.e. keep helping me out. As I was the instigator of the idea but the setup is at a friends house (who has the room for it) I need to make this an attractive proposition! I thinking good results, simplicity and brewing length are all critical to keeping them motivated.

The reusing yeast cake concept was a great eye opener for me, so here are the things I've got that appear to produce good results, economical cost & time wise:

- toucan recipes - simple and easy producing good tasting beer
- yeast cake reuse - of the non-rinsing variety
- brew again straight after bottling - makes sense with the yeast reuse, also get 2 things done in the 1 night
- syringe tallie priming - simple, easy, fast and cheap

The toucan and the syrine also appeal as they're easy to get from the local supermarket/Big W too.

Anything else that should be added to the list?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Cube

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Keep your syringe for party time and go bulk prime. Since you have diverted all to your mates house might as well get a bunnings cube and use that to rack on top of the bulk prime. I resisted for ages to not bulk prime but it is much easier and quicker.

Before reusing a yeast cake pour half out the tap into a sterile swing top for next brews. So -- 4 brews out of 1 cake minimum.
 

michael_aussie

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I agree .. bulk priming is better that individual priming.

I'd also suggest if there are lots of you all drinking together .. that you bottle at least a portion of the batch into larger softdrink PET bottles.

I started with grolsh bottles (just short of 500ml).
I then tried PET soft-drink bottles.. and slowly migrated to them more and more.
For example 2 litre bottles = 1/4 the number of bottles to clean, fill, move, as 500ml bottles ...

If you drink 1/2 in a session .. and half within a day .. even drinking by yourself 2l will be fine.


.. then next step for me was kegging ... one huge bottle!!


TIP - buy some jugs .. gently pour the bottles into jugs .. much easier to ensure you don't disturb the bottle settlement.
 

michael_aussie

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REUSING YEAST CAKE AND REUSING A FERMENTER WITHOUT CLEANING
If you are going to do this your cleaning/sanitising/handling needs to be spot on.

If you do this to save time .. and end up with shit beer .. you've wasted your $$$ and the (reduced) time you did spend making your beer.
 

michael_aussie

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REUSING YEAST CAKE AND REUSING A FERMENTER WITHOUT CLEANING
If you are going to do this your cleaning/sanitising/handling needs to be spot on.

If you do this to save time .. and end up with shit beer .. you've wasted your $$$ and the (reduced) time you did spend making your beer.

If you are really lazy (like I am) ... and don't mind spending a few more $$$$ .....

full wort kits give really good beer (better than K&K) .. and from what I've read ... better (EDIT - read = more reliable for beginners) than All Grain (if you don't nail All Grain) ... and even easier than K&K.

All you do is add the make up water to the fermenter (usually between NIL and 18 litres), tip the full work kit in and add yeast. .. piece of piss.

All of the above sponsers sell really nice kits.

50c/litre for excellent beer.
A no-brainer in my books if you can find a kit you like.
 

Yob

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Using a full yeast cake is a massive over pitch, while there is currently a bit of debate about it, understanding what your pitching rate is, well, its a good habit to form, and not at all difficult.
 

yum beer

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50c/litre for excellent beer.
A no-brainer in my books if you can find a kit you like.

Where the hell are you getting FWK's for 50 cents a litre...
any I have seen run from $40 and up.....$2+ a litre by my calculations.
 

fergi

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Using a full yeast cake is a massive over pitch, while there is currently a bit of debate about it, understanding what your pitching rate is, well, its a good habit to form, and not at all difficult.

as above ,pitching onto the full yeast cake is way over the top,
i empty the beer into whatever ,keg/bottles then the inch or so left in the bottom is swirled all around.
i then take one cup of the trub and use that to fire up the next batch. fermentation starts usually in a couple of hours if not sooner.

you can take another cupful.sterilized cup, and keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks with sealed lid for another batch.

fergi
 

doon

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Split between 4 mates = 50c a litre
 

seemax

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I like your maths...

Do you regurgitate 3 times over... poor fellow at the end of the line :unsure:

It's still $2/L if you drink it all yourself or split it 4 ways !!
 

yum beer

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I like your maths...

Do you regurgitate 3 times over... poor fellow at the end of the line :unsure:

It's still $2/L if you drink it all yourself or split it 4 ways !!

+1 and no way near as insulting as what I would have said
 

petesbrew

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It's still $2/L if you drink it all yourself or split it 4 ways !!
Not if you manage to convince your mates that it's infected, and volunteer to "dispose" of it. ;)

edit: I think we've found the perfect candidate to run the first AHB bulk buy for ULP.
 

Anofre

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-Brew double batches. It's minimal extra work for double the output.
-Switch to AG & buy grain in bulk. Much cheaper.
-Switch to kegs. The time you save bottling (and cleaning bottles) put towards brewing AG.
-Be careful with yeast propagation. After a big battle with aceto & wild yeast this year I now only ever re pitch for 2 beers in a row and only if the taste is pristine. Losing a whole double batch is not worth $5 saved.
 

buckerooni

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-Brew double batches. It's minimal extra work for double the output.
-Switch to AG & buy grain in bulk. Much cheaper.
-Switch to kegs. The time you save bottling (and cleaning bottles) put towards brewing AG.
-Be careful with yeast propagation. After a big battle with aceto & wild yeast this year I now only ever re pitch for 2 beers in a row and only if the taste is pristine. Losing a whole double batch is not worth $5 saved.
Thanks Yum beer - some good points in there.

Double batch - good call - 2 fermenters, 1 racking cube should do the job. For around $60 we double our beer output while not doubling our time!

Switching to AG ingredients-wise is alot cheaper but its the additional equipment, time and care required that may be hard to sell to the troops. Hopefully part of Phase II once I've get them committed

Kegs - yep, I think the PET bottles will be good for now but as we are splitting brews we'd have to increase our batch sizes to accomodate (19L x 4). Probably another Phase II thing, they'll get it after the 3-4th bottle wash :)

Point taken on the yeast, will not be pushing past 3 brews, split between 2 fermentors in parallel means it'll be used up faster

All comments appreciated fellas.
 

RobboMC

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I've gone to brewing close to 60 longnecks in a batch.

Typical recipe looks like this:
English Dark Ale
volume 25 litres

1 can Dark Ale
1 can Yorkshire or English Bitter
1 can Light Liquid Malt
1 kg Brew Enhancer 2
1 kg Light Dry Malt
500g Brown Sugar or dextrose ( or more BE2 of you choose )
50g to 100g Hops of choice Fuggles/Goldings/Saaz etc
Yeast of choice ( both sachets of kit yeast if using that )

Once fermentation finishes add 12 litres boiled and cooled water to bottling bucket
with proper amount of dissolved priming sugar ( around 200 g ) and rack in half of finished brew, stir gently and bottle.

Repeat with second half of brew.

Result is around 49 litres or 65 longnecks of excellent beer at around 4.4% abv.

This is volume brewing without a big load of gear, and results in very high stocks;
and is a great tactic for weddings, 21st's etc;
trouble is I can never resist popping a few longnecks of the full strength into bottles
for later sampling by the brewers I know.

If you go down this route make sure you have enough bottles.
 

buckerooni

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I like that idea alot RobboMC, hadn't considered a double batch from the 1 fermenter but this is also good thinking.


Also should have been clearer with the yeast cake - was going to portion it off like the cup idea.
 

Nick JD

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This might sound counterintuitive, but I find a cheap BIAB all-grain setup and kegging has the highest beer quality to cost to effort ratio (if ratios can be in triplets).

If you bulk-buy grain and hops and reuse yeast you can make Aussie Lagers (essentially what most of the K&Ks are) for well under 50c per liter.

But it tastes as good or better than what's at the Bottlo.

And when you realise that for $1.50 per liter you can make Chimay Red ... well, that's just the icing on the cake.

I fully understand that people are time-limited, but if it's with a bunch of mates as Sunday brew day is anything but a "chore".
 

Spork

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+1 for what Nick JD said.
Do you have temperature control? Essential for good results, and 'fridges are cheap.
Ditch the fermenter and use jerrycans. I can fit 3 (with a bit of a squeeze) into my 'fridge. :)
 

buckerooni

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+1 for what Nick JD said.
Do you have temperature control? Essential for good results, and 'fridges are cheap.
Ditch the fermenter and use jerrycans. I can fit 3 (with a bit of a squeeze) into my 'fridge. :)
Yep - got a temp controlled fridge (via ebay/hongkong) and starting to see the benefits of cubes in terms of size!

I've only got 1 fermentor at the moment, but also have 2 x 20L jerrys classed as petrol carriers that have never been used (were going to be for my dirtbike). Unsure if they are 'food grade' or not, very hesitant just in case they give the beer a weird flavour - anyone had experience with this?

and Nick JD - I hear that too, I think the BIAB/keg achievable in the long run. Unfortunately for me I don't have the space at home for another fridge for the keg, but the BIAB route (once these guys a bit more educated) could be a goer. There's plenty of 'ah, she'll be right' going on at the moment with the 2 brews we've done which scares me. Perhaps handing them all copies of 'How to Brew' was a bit overwhelming...

it's great having these ideas fellas, it's all about progress and a vision for the future!
 

Kevman

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This might sound counterintuitive, but I find a cheap BIAB all-grain setup and kegging has the highest beer quality to cost to effort ratio (if ratios can be in triplets).

If you bulk-buy grain and hops and reuse yeast you can make Aussie Lagers (essentially what most of the K&Ks are) for well under 50c per liter.

But it tastes as good or better than what's at the Bottlo.

And when you realise that for $1.50 per liter you can make Chimay Red ... well, that's just the icing on the cake.

I fully understand that people are time-limited, but if it's with a bunch of mates as Sunday brew day is anything but a "chore".
F#$k me

Nick - if you don't like kit brewing don't read this section of the forum. Every time there is a discussion about kit brewing you have to post about BIAB and how you think its the ducks nuts. If people want to know about BIAB maybe they can wander over to the Common Ground, All Grain sections or Beginners/Partials.

Is it too much to ask for one section to be devoted to kit brewing.

What was probably going to be a useful thread for kit brewers has now been hijacked.
 

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