How to improve your old man's home brew?

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Lurks

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My old man is a recalcitrant bastard. He's been brewing coopers tins K&K style since I can remember. Well over 20 years.

I only realised it was possible to up my game and participate in the whole all-grain thing a few years ago. So any conversation with my old man generally involves him saying how he's been doing it this way for 20 years...

The challenge, should you magnificent bastards collectively choose to accept it, is to concoct a mechanism, hatch a plan, device a scheme so cunning, so foolproof that he will be swayed and up his own home brew game in some measurable way. Sounds easy doesn't it? Frankly we've landed mars rovers with less effort than this will take and here's why:

He's in Darwin. He brews in 2L clear PET bottles. Coopers tins watered down a bit. Coopers yeast. His argument often involve simplicity but given he's retired I fail to see what else the old coot has going on that would be more important than making decent beer but, you know, the cantankerous bugger isn't asking me is he?

So we know these sorts of things:

1. He ferments way too warm (av. yearly temp is 30-something)
2. The yeast is a bit naff (Coopers yeast at least has a go at that temperature but frankly I prefer my beer not to taste like a loaf of Safeway's best multigrain bloomer)
3. He likes to basically tip tins into things, in hot water. So I think we can probably rule-out some all-grain regime.

On the plus side, he's worked out sanitation. You have to up there or it's a group party ticket to a night of botulism boogie.

Kinds of things I've thought about... getting craggy coffin-dodger a brew fridge. Some sort of decent extract brewing, not sure if a combo of tins, or proper malt-extract or DME. Decent yeast. Something better than clear placcy PET, I'm not fond of the horrific oxidization from that after a couple of months, I know full well.

Reckon he'd boil up hops? Is that a bit much? What y'all think is the best bang for shit brew fixin' buck?

(Weirdly he seems to recognise that my home brew is awesome but doesn't care. Stubborn old boot that he is)
 

stux

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I built my dad an STC-1000 for father's day last year...

I sourced him a fridge, set it up... he reluctantly used it for lagering a beer.

He reluctantly began to listen to me than 20-24C daily fluctuations is not good... and actually started fermenting in it...

Some of his brews are okay now ;)


Now he wants an urn so he can BIAB and make beer like he gets from Murray's ;)

I think your job is going to be harder.
 

Batz

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He's happy doing as he does why change it.
 

Liam_snorkel

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First step I'd set him up with a bar fridge & STC-1000 to ferment with. No extra effort on his behalf, and should improve his brews.

EDIT stux beat me to it.
 

carniebrew

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What a brilliant post. And an admirable end game! Surely a brew fridge and good stock of US-05 yeast would be high on the agenda. Full extract brewing is not really an option, it's a 3-4 hour process end to end, with timed hop additions and the like....so I'd start with the fridge and US-05 yeast...will make a huge difference no?
 

m3taL

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Send him a few No-Chill Cubes of your finest :) then get him an URN and BIAB, just put it there and say its there if u want to use it.... once he tastes some of the no-chill beer he will work it out for himself.....

other than that..... let him go :) if he's happy with the esters :)
 

TidalPete

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Keep him supplied with fresh wort kits from Ross you miserable bugger. :ph34r: :p
You get the bonus of helping Ross out. :p
 

fletcher

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if you really want to do it, make it baby steps. start with stc like others have said, then slowly but surely give him better ingredients (yeasts) but make the changes so slight that he doesn't notice the additional effort.
 

Truman42

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The problem with AG brewing in Darwin is the freight costs to get grain up there. So if you do switch him to AG its going to cost him a lot more and the pricing factor might throw him off doing it.

He could certainly brew decent beers in the dry season when temps are max 25 and dry. I lived in Briome for 18 years and had never heard of using a fridge and an STC 1000 for temp control so brewed only in the dry season. In a tub of water I could keep brews at 18c especially with the dry season night temps dropping to 12-15c

I would have thought the taste of yours alone would be enough to persuade him but if it doesn't he's probably just not that fussed and is happy brewing his beers his way and drinking them. Some people couldn't be stuffed with the extra work on brew day that AG brewing involves and it sounds like he's one if them.

Good luck converting him over.
 

bradsbrew

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My father in law has been brewing for the same amount of time(actually about 30+ years), but originally built himself a box that gets his brew to ferment at a constant 24 degrees, if the ambient is higher he doesn't brew. He lives in the perfect spot to brew lagers most of the year (They now live at the bunya mountains) I told him he has the perfect conditions and he does not want to brew during winter because it gets too cold, I have told him to set his brew box controller lower but he does not want to. He has recently brought it down to 22.

I gave him some better yeast than the kit yeast and he took that on board and agreed that it worked well, I got excited and gave him a well sanitised container of yeast slurry- I asked how it went he replied that it worked great to build the bacteria back up in the septic, he could not get the concept and believes you need a fresh yeast from the packet each time.

Long story short- he brews a bloody good Kit and Kilo brew and I enjoy them when I am at his house and he enjoys my beers at my place. We are both happy with the way we brew.

I will add that the rest of the family was shocked when he asked me questions about brewing................because the whole family knows he is the expert in most things and usually answers questions not ask them. He's a good fella and is not going to change what he believes is a good process.

Cheers
 

pommiebloke

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A noble effort but you can't teach an old dog new tricks. If he's happy drinking what he brews there's not much you can do to change his mind IMHO.

Same with mates of mine who drink megaswill. They can't believe I'd drop 8 bucks on a single bottle of Fuller's ESB or Young's London Ale when you can get a 6-pack of XXXX for that.
 

bum

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Batz said:
He's happy doing as he does why change it.
Yep, pretty much.

Failing that, brew one of his recipes with the same ingredients and show him how much better it'll be if he does everything better. That is if he is indeed doing anything wrong.
 

Truman42

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Liam_snorkel said:
Build him a set of stairs to store the beer under.
Its not true what they say on here about you Liam.
 

doon

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If you dont have to drink it and he likes it kind of seems like a wasted effort??
 

Batz

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(Weirdly he seems to recognise that my home brew is awesome but doesn't care. Stubborn old boot that he is)
I can't see him changing in a hurry.
Just out of interest how old is this old man?

batz
 

Lurks

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Cuh, you people. If we all took the "why bother?" approach these would be quiet forums indeed! :)
 

Lurks

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Batz (and others), you're probably right. As it turns out he's 70 this year and so that's going to result in some sort of trip up to the rancid sweaty mosquito ridden hell-hole of Darwin.

I think I was deluding myself that I might set something up to help his homebrew. Or at least, you know, talk about it on an internet forum.
 

Batz

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OK he's older than me then, just as subborn though I bet. :p
 

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