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uncleho

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Hello all, I'm the new boy, the administrator gave me permission to join. I have many questions regarding brewing.
Firstly, me, well aged, have plenty happening in life and enjoy a good beer. My family bought me a home brew kit in March because I returned the Golf GPS I had bought myself for xmas that really never got off the ground. They felt sorry for me as I essentially got nothing for xmas.
Becoming a home brewer (or reborn as it was 20 years ago the last brew I put down) has been enlightening. I have jagged some absolute pearlers, my first Bock, screamingly great beer, and my first Irish stout, was given a 11 out of 10 by two separate tasters.
The beer I've been drinking since starting is some best I had and would not be tempted back into the bottle shop easily.

Having such early success had me landing with a real thud when I produced a dud.
How and why? I shall go into and hopefully get some understanding from the help of this forum.
I currently have a fresh wort kit almost ready to bottle and my first conversation here is, What are the upside/downside of the fresh wort kits (15l) vs the can/malt kits.
Price is one and have just spent time doing the costing from one outlet to another that is near me. I can make a 6 dollar saving in one over the other, it all counts, I guess.
Without rambling on for two long, I shall leave it there for the mo, and hopefully get some responses to the above.

I accidently posted this in the wrong forum yesterday. 2nd try.
 

HBHB

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The fresh wort kits will have been designed to carry colour flavour and aroma and would have hopefully had some thought placed into what yeast went out the door with it. If you watch your temperatures for fermentation with a good quality matching yeast to the style, you'll never look back.

The kits (largely, but not always) will carry a generic yeast strain chosen to operate at a wider range of temperatures, but without ever contributing much to the flavour profile of the beer. That said, remember that beer kits are well made and designed and manufactured to exacting standards in commercial breweries. What happens when you mix them with a kilo of rubbish Vs a Kilo of well chosen malt and a good yeast, fermented properly, will make all the difference between a dud and a great beer.

You see, it doesn't matter if you put down the very best of every ingredient into the most sanitary vessel you could achieve and then sit and look at the airlock bubbling away for the next 7 days. If you treat your beer poorly with no temperature control, you'll largely get an ordinary beer. If you treat your yeast well, they will pay you back by providing an excellent drop you can hold pride in.

Have a look around the forums, there's a wealth of knowledge.

My advice would be - Find an old fridge to ferment in, then find a temperature control unit to run it through. At that point, you'll have made the single biggest leap into making decent beer.

Enjoy your retread/return to brewing. It's a journey.


Martin
 

uncleho

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Thanks for that Martin, there's no doubt that the recent cold snap had plenty to do with the failure of my brew.
When last brewing I was in far north Queensland and having the brew to cold wasn't a problem. I have invested in a heating pad that has helped my most recent brew.
I'm trying a Double Chocolate Stout (not sure if your allowed to mention names of products here), had a taste today, and it seems to have settled into a final gravity of 1017, happy with that. Will mean a 5% beer, just where I like them. None of the rocket fuel for me, those days are gone.
I have added nothing extra to this brew, as I want to get a yardstick to these fresh wort type of brews vs the cans. Interestingly I have had several different opinions on have much water should top these up too. Directions say add 5 lt of cold water, some people have said every other number right down to the owner of the shop said add nothing but yeast (and some hops via a teabag).

I must admit the fresh wort kits are a rather mess free product, and with limited space available it seems like a goer to me.

I would like to hear from other that use this type of brewing and the best wort's to get. They seem to be seasonal (?) so I guess you need to know what product is coming and when.

Thanks.

ho
 

dammag

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You don't own a Land Rover by any chance uncleho?
 

mwd

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Fresh Wort Kits IMHO are far superior to Cans and bits. What you get is an all grain brew without any effort involved. The 15L ones you are advised to add 5L water to make up volume. Most believe that is a bit too much and the end results are watery so a total volume of 18-19L is ideal.

The main drawback with FWKs is if you need to buy them mail order the shipping is the killer.
Not sure where you are located but Craftbrewer make quite a large range of high quality kits, pity I don't live nearer otherwise I would be brewing with them every time.

No problem mentioning the name of the ones you are using all good information.
 

HBHB

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Pretty sure you'll find the makers of FWK's know their product well enough to say what the best volume is. Just keep it simple, follow the instructions and don't try to re-invent the wheel. (Advice only)

Martin
 

Damien13

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Yeah agreed. Temp control plus a FWK was the first time I had made a home brew that I TRULY enjoyed immensely.. I will never forget it, it was an aussie pale ale, and knocked my socks off. One of the main reasons I went to All grain was because of the FWKs.

Awesome, just awesome...
 

uncleho

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Thanks for the response. I'm in Sydney and their are several HB shops nearby to me. Have been using an outlet up in Asquith and the owner their has been more than helpful, has an extensive range of all things beer. But it is a two hour drive from work to his place and home again. Unfortunately need to use the Pacific Hwy, around school speed times causes the pain in the trip.
Have another brew shop very nearby and carries the same fresh wort kits. St Peters Brewery. Have seen others on websites but agree cartage costs would make it cost prohibitive.
Interestingly the different shops have different deals with the cost of the yeasts. Hmmm costs, I do have a wife and teenage child who both seem ignorant of costs. Luckily I drive a economic Holden, before that, Holden, before that, Holden, same theme right back to to 1974 when I had my P plates proudly displayed on a HT Holden. Not sure why this is pertinent to home brewing dammag, so hopefully that answers your question.

I bottled my Double Chocolate stout and had a test, tastes bloody good, looking for first proper trial in a couple of weeks. (Fresh Wort)

Put down a Muntons, Mt Mellick, Dublin Irish Stout yesterday. 1kg of powder stout mix (500g of dark, 250 light malt, 250 maltodextrin) 2 big teaspoons of Molassas dissolved in hot water and quarter of a teaspoon of instant coffee. OG of 1057, and was bubbling away six hours after puting the lid on.

Happy days.

have a good weekend all and thanks to the replies to my question on fresh wort kits.

ho
 

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