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The Bludgeon Brewery
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I met an old-time brewer on the weekend. Hed be well into his 60s and has been home brewing since before you could buy kits. I will never brew like him but it was interesting talking to him about his methods.

He uses a kit of home brand lager or draught and 750g of brown sugar because its cheaper than white. He puts them both into a pot of boiling water to dissolve and tips them (scalding hot) into his fermenter topping up with tap water till his fermenter is full and the temp is about 30. He then empties the kit yeast onto the top of the brew and lets the whole lot ferment out in the high 20s. It takes about 3 days, he reckons. Then he bottles.

He sterilises his bottles and fermenter with sodium metabisulphite and scrubs his fermenter with a scourer.

I can hear the alarm bells going off all around this forum as you all detect the range of mistakes this bloke makes with every brew, but he says he has settled on these methods because it produces a high-quality brew with a minimum of fuss.

I discussed the cider taste of sucrose and he nodded his head. No problems to him. I talked about harsh fruity esters from high temperatures. Never ever noticed or worried about it. Oxidation from hot side aeration? Drinks them quick its not a problem

I told him I liked the meatiness and full-flavour of all malt brews and he said thats how he used to do it before kits came on the market but gave it away because of the expense and extra hassle with the boil and hopping. He now puts down a brew for around $10.

He enjoys brewing as a hobby and is not a big drinker. He generally has one king brown every night.

I am not advocating brewing muck like this but I was confronted by my desire to tell this old bloke how it should be done. In the end I couldnt tell him anything because he had tried a few ways of brewing over a few decades and had settled on a method he liked. In fact he kept saying to me, Just try it like this and youll be surprised how good you can make a brew for $10. I would like to taste his beer and hopefully remind myself why I dont brew like that but it is a reminder to me that there is no one way of home-brewing to suit everybody.
I love the part about using brown sugar. I wonder if it would give a pronounced brown sugar flavour.

sounds like my next door neighbour.all kit and kilo.loves the stuff and brags about how cheap it is to produce.i cringe every time he asks me over for a beer.
the stuff is bloody horrid but being neighbourly i have to have a few with him.i then race home and down a few of mine to cleanse my palate.lifes tuff at times.
Just an idea, invite that neighbor to your house and give him some of your beers to drinkjava script:emoticon(':D')
who of us did not start out similar to this ?
I used to brew Coopers 20 years ago , 1.5 KG white sugar , poured in the extract , 4 lt boiling water , top up with tap water , tip in the yeast.
Fermented out in a couple of days , bottled on about day 6-7
And I loved it and so did all my mates
Would'nt wash my socks in it now , but there you go
:blink: :blink: :blink:
I think I might start making that guy's style of beer for every third batch. Then I can give that beer to friends when they come over. They'll have one, then say "I'll have a glass of wine, now" or " that's ok, I brought some VB". That'll stop them drinking all my good beer! :D
A mate of mine chucked down a brew 'the way his dad always did' basicly a coopers draught kit, with 750gms brown sugar.. and for a 'kit' brew.. it was not bad at all...
My very first (and last i might add for 2-3 yrs) was a Munch lager kit, i followed the instructions and brewed exactly as it said. I bottled and waited then the night was apon us to try what we had created.....

with one mouthfull i almost spewed it smelt like a dirty big fart!

a few years or so latter i tried one again but threw the lot out.

Thats was the last time i used sugar in my beer, after that i went to glucose and now all malt

they got better and better
I remember reading a hilarious posting on another list - might have been hbd - brews and views - anyway - one of the brewers was so displeased that his in-laws didn't appreciate his homebrew - if they brought a sixpack of coors or budweiser - he made them drink it outside the house before he'd let them in :)

So is anyone else out there going to try this?
My next brew (after the 2 i have waiting!) will be an "el-cheapo" brew!
Nothing but the (Woolworths) finest!
Hey folks,
I run into people like that old timer all the time. Back in the 1920s here in the States we had the black plague of prohibition. Didn't stop anyone from drinking, just moved it underground. I am often innundated with stories of how "my grandfather used to make 'that homebrew stuff' " and it makes me recoil in horror. In these peoples' minds I am making nothing more than Pabst Blue Ribbon unhopped malt extract + one kilo (2.2 lbs) of white table sugar fermented with baker's yeast using a giant balloon for an air lock! I try to explain that the homebrew we make today is nothing like that. (Geez, at least you Aussies had access to real brewer's yeast back in those dark times-- I hate to think what my great grandfather might have resorted to drinking)

I find it interesting that even though Australia never went through prohibition (that I know of), there are some folks out there who used to brew by similar methods, and some still do to this day.

Can you imagine unhopped malt extract, a kilo of sugar and baker's yeast? It's enough to make you blow chunks!
Davee, Why not give it a go? You put no more than $10 on the line. Someone will drink it. For the classy touch, why not go the brown sugar?

My 15th brew about 6 months ago was a "Basic Budget Bitter" consisting of a Coopers Bitter kit and a kilo bag of CSR brewing sugar. Not sure what's in these CSR bags but pretty sure it's mostly sucrose with a sniff of dextrose so they can call it brewing sugar. The theory was to test whether I could make a decent cheap brew with a kit and no malt. I brewed it at low to mid 20s with the kit yeast and added no aroma hops. It is not good. Not foul or infected (and not the worst beer I have made!), just zesty, cidery and wrong. Haven't had one for a couple of months. Might be time to fish one out and see if it has improved.
coopers brewing sugar is as about 750 grms of cane sugar and 250 grams of maltodextrine(dried corn syrup)

i used it one with my beer kei and it was crap mind you i was given some i would use it for bulk priming but it would be rather expensive for bulk priming
This thread has had me thinking on the use of 2 cans of bitter or a can of dark or stout and a can of "no-name" lager. Since GMK labelled me as a T.A.B (tight-arsed brewer)this should be right up the alley, so to speak...........of course I'll use the packet yeast under the lid too!

Now just to wait till they go on sale!!!!!! B)
Brew #8 for me was straight off the coopers website called black and tan - kit of stout and kit of real ale.

Drank the last one a couple of months ago at 6 months old in the bottle and it was really a pretty good brew.
SWMBO asked me to get milk on the way home tonight. While in the supermarket I saw the woollies home brand kits for about seven bucks a can. after reading this thread earlier in the day I thought, how bad could they be? after all it's still malt isn't it?
Does some company actually set out trying to make an inferior product? or are they just the 'seconds' from another brand?
Some of the other home brand products that I've tried aren't that far off the mark. The home brand honey still tastes like honey etc.

Has anyone ever tried these kits?

I reckon the way to go would be;
2 cans of 'no name' draught or lager
No extra sugar
Pitch both yeast packets
Maybe some extra hops?

What's the worst that could happen? A filthy headache and a batch of beer to feed free loading mates.
yankee_brewer: did you know that brewing at home wasn't legal in aus until the mid 70's?

im tempted to suggest this challenge to my club... :)

who can brew the best beer with only ingredients you can buy at woolies.. of course one of the blokes would probably be able to but together some sort of polenta and barley all-grain jobbie :) with coriander and orange peel for bittering,..
thats a cool idea gsrman.
you can get flaked grains also at woolies.but you would need some malt with enzymmes to convert it.so that would be out.i don't think you can get the grains you need for conversion at woolies.

with the home brand thing it could be possible that there might be some amount of corn sugar in those cans this would make it cheaper to make.don't quote me but its possible.
My best all-woolies brew would be two-kit brews. They work pretty well.

But there is room for all-grain, Jayse - surely an industrious and resourceful bloke like you would be into aisle 4 with the soup mixes buying up packs of pearl barley, taking them home for malting (germinating them on trays then kilning them in your oven). There's your enzymes. Might as well grab some wheat from aisle 15 with the chook food. Malt that too and chuck it in the mash. Or roast some barley unmalted and whip up a stout. The possibilities are endless.

Bring on the woolies challenge.
Hey gang, Come to think of it, I have used dark brown suger in place of Belgian Candi sugar on occasion. I don't know if the dark brown sugar here is the same as in Australia, but here it is basically table sugar blended with some molasses-- whereas it used to refer to unrefined cane sugar. Not bad in some Belgian styles-- gives sort of a rum-like flavor. More than half a kilo and it probably starts to taste a little cidery.

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