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Sterilising Stuff & Dry Hopping

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Darkblade

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A couple of questions lads.
I'm still a newbie - not even a year under my belt yet.

I'm brewing beer kits from my LHBS & getting more than adequate results (I & a few mates reckon anyway).
I bottle my beers & prime with carbo drops - not setup for bulk priming yet.

All my beers have been ales or stouts coz that's what I like.

My questions are:
* How do I get a more hoppy flavour/less sweet flavour to my beers? (Think Little Creatures Pale Ale)
* What flavour will dry hopping add to beer? (Have got a few muslin socks the missus made for me).
* Rather than use the somewhat expensive no-rinse steriliser from LHBS, is there an alternative? Miltons tablets? Napisan?

Otherwise all good with my beers so far & learning from my mistakes.
 

ekul

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Depending on what kit you are using (can of extract vs fresh wort kit) i would look at yeast. When i was making beer from cans of extract my favourite yeast was nottingham. Other yeast didn't seem to attenuate as well so left asweet feeling in the mouth. Or you do a hops boil to bring the bitterness up to balance the sweetness out.

Dry hopping will give more hoppy flavour too.

Norinse sanitiser isn't expensive, i used a $7 bottle of iodophor for over a year and now i've got a bottle of starsan i don't think i'll be buying sanitiser again for at least another year, maybe two.
 

felten

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Definitely have a look for starsan, or iodophor if you can't find that. The site sponsors at the top of the page should sell it.
 

super_simian

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+1 for Starsan (18 months later I'm only just halfway through a bottle)
+1 for Nottingham - good attenuation will give less sweetness
+1 for looking into mini-boils and dry hopping; if hops is what you're after, hops is what you'll need!
 

hoppy2B

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Get some cans of Coopers from Kmart or Big W. They're fairly dry without much in the way of sweetness. Add some hops.
 

jakethesnake559

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+1 for Starsan (18 months later I'm only just halfway through a bottle)
+1 for Nottingham - good attenuation will give less sweetness
+1 for looking into mini-boils and dry hopping; if hops is what you're after, hops is what you'll need!
Starsan is about $35/L bottle I think, but it will definately last you for ages and is always reliable...you will love the foam!!

For hops, I used to put a couple of litres of cold water on the stove, throw in 20g of Cascade and bring to the boil.
Boil for 5 minutes then strain into your fermenter....this will give you a nice hop flavour and add some bitterness.
Then dry hop with another 20g or so in your hopsock...this will give you a great fresh hop aroma.

Warning: Once you start down the track of adding hops to your kits, you will quickly find yourself heading down the all-grain road...and loving it :beerbang:
 

bigandhairy

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A couple of questions lads.
I'm still a newbie - not even a year under my belt yet.

I'm brewing beer kits from my LHBS & getting more than adequate results (I & a few mates reckon anyway).
I bottle my beers & prime with carbo drops - not setup for bulk priming yet.

All my beers have been ales or stouts coz that's what I like.

My questions are:
* How do I get a more hoppy flavour/less sweet flavour to my beers? (Think Little Creatures Pale Ale)
* What flavour will dry hopping add to beer? (Have got a few muslin socks the missus made for me).
* Rather than use the somewhat expensive no-rinse steriliser from LHBS, is there an alternative? Miltons tablets? Napisan?

Otherwise all good with my beers so far & learning from my mistakes.
Use the 'somewhat'expensive sanitiser. It isn't expensive, it works out very economical when used properly. without doing the maths it would only be a few cents per brew

bah
 

Darkblade

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Starsan is about $35/L bottle I think, but it will definately last you for ages and is always reliable...you will love the foam!!

For hops, I used to put a couple of litres of cold water on the stove, throw in 20g of Cascade and bring to the boil.
Boil for 5 minutes then strain into your fermenter....this will give you a nice hop flavour and add some bitterness.
Then dry hop with another 20g or so in your hopsock...this will give you a great fresh hop aroma.

Warning: Once you start down the track of adding hops to your kits, you will quickly find yourself heading down the all-grain road...and loving it :beerbang:

jakethesnake559 - Thanks for that info re hops & sanitiser (and to all the otherlads too).
I'm currently using Brewcraft No rinse sanitiser & whilst I have no issues with it, at $7/250ml bottle I was wondering if a more economical sanitiser is out there. Espescially since the LHBS lads say biff out any unused sanitiser after 6 weeks.
As to the hops, some brews are only 15g of cascade whilst others are 15g cascade & 15g williamette. Methinks I will up the dosage a bit.
I have been boiling/steeping (similar to your method) & then putting hops into a muslin sock & biffing into the fermenter along with the hop tea. I think, from looking at brewshops muslin bags, that my muslin is too fine & may be holding back the flavours.
I will get a proper bag from LHBS plus some more hops.

And yes, I have started experimenting with adding grain. At this stage only roasted barley in my stouts for colour & flavour but I like the results.

Lovethis home brew hobby........
 

Edak

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jakethesnake559 - Thanks for that info re hops & sanitiser (and to all the otherlads too).
I'm currently using Brewcraft No rinse sanitiser & whilst I have no issues with it, at $7/250ml bottle I was wondering if a more economical sanitiser is out there. Espescially since the LHBS lads say biff out any unused sanitiser after 6 weeks.
As to the hops, some brews are only 15g of cascade whilst others are 15g cascade & 15g williamette. Methinks I will up the dosage a bit.
I have been boiling/steeping (similar to your method) & then putting hops into a muslin sock & biffing into the fermenter along with the hop tea. I think, from looking at brewshops muslin bags, that my muslin is too fine & may be holding back the flavours.
I will get a proper bag from LHBS plus some more hops.

And yes, I have started experimenting with adding grain. At this stage only roasted barley in my stouts for colour & flavour but I like the results.

Lovethis home brew hobby........
From memory, that brewcraft sanitiser is 30ml per liter of water, which means you are only getting about 8 liters of sanitiser for your $7 (87c/L). If you want cheaper then so the starsan, which comes in a 1L bottle. Yes it looks more expensive (about $35) but the concentration is 1.5mL/L so you get 666L of sanitiser at 5c/L. not to mention that the starsan does a MUCH better job because of the foam (don't fear the foam).

I did the math, you get the starsan.
 

ekul

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if you've already got the sanitiser go get yourself a little spray bottle. On brewday i only make up about half a litre and use it to spray everything that needs its, i could get away with 250ml but it gets annoying to spray. I'll then keep that bottle for a week but any longer i'll just turf it. Ages ago i'd make up 5L of the sanitiser and just dunk everything in it, still pretty cheap but i actually find its easier with the spray bottle. And it almost costs me nothing.
 

seamad

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Starsan is great, ive got an old 3.3 l juice bottle, 5 ml starsan and fill up with water and keep in fridge.
Dont dry hop much anymore but try whole hops ( flowers), just chuck them in, they tend to sink in the end and add a smoother flavour imo.

Once you start mucking with grains and hops you are on the slippery slope to all grain

Cheers
Sean
 

Darkblade

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Starsan is about $35/L bottle I think, but it will definately last you for ages and is always reliable...you will love the foam!!

For hops, I used to put a couple of litres of cold water on the stove, throw in 20g of Cascade and bring to the boil.
Boil for 5 minutes then strain into your fermenter....this will give you a nice hop flavour and add some bitterness.
Then dry hop with another 20g or so in your hopsock...this will give you a great fresh hop aroma.

Warning: Once you start down the track of adding hops to your kits, you will quickly find yourself heading down the all-grain road...and loving it :beerbang:
A question re hopping.
If you lose a fair bit of the hop aroma/flovour due to the fermenting process why hop at start of ferment? Why not dry hop towards the end?
 

warra48

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There's no need to use a hopsock or muslin bag etc for dry hopping.
Just wait for the first week of fermentation to complete, then chuck in the hops straight into the fermenter for the last week before bottling. They'll sink to the bottom over the time they're doing their nice work for your beer.

Those carb drops might be easy, but they're expensive.
I use one of those sugar measure dispensers with caster sugar. Pour it into the bottle through a little funnel, easy. I use only 2/3rd of the capacity of the measure and have no problems with carbonation. Personally, I reckon dicking around with bulk priming seems like more work than what I do.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Starsan is about $35/L bottle I think, but it will definately last you for ages and is always reliable...you will love the foam!!

For hops, I used to put a couple of litres of cold water on the stove, throw in 20g of Cascade and bring to the boil.
Boil for 5 minutes then strain into your fermenter....this will give you a nice hop flavour and add some bitterness.
Then dry hop with another 20g or so in your hopsock...this will give you a great fresh hop aroma.

Warning: Once you start down the track of adding hops to your kits, you will quickly find yourself heading down the all-grain road...and loving it :beerbang:
You need to add some malt to the water in order to get the best from your hops, water alone is not effective, one way would be to make up your 22ltrs, then draw off 1ltr thru the tap and boil this with your hops for 5, 10 or 15 mins then pour back into the ferm.

Nappi san is prob the cheapest cleaner for soaking your fermenter and taps, as long as you use hot water
 

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