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  1. #26
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    ... tasteless 'Caling' and 'Fosters'
    Last edited by Ian Lethbridge-Stewart; Today at 3:41 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #27
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    Well, I've taken the plunge into the world of home brewing. It was quite expensive starting up...the expense comes at buying the brewing equipment, bottles etc but the cost of the beer kits themselves is pretty reasonable. I've got my first one, a lager, fermenting at the moment, due for bottling later this week. Hope it works out!

    I've got my next two lined up, but I can't make my mind up what to go for first...they both look (and sound) great!




  3. #28
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    I'd suggest brewing Woodforde's Wherry first & then the Golden Stag later; in case we get a nice May.

  4. #29
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    Oh definitely! A nice pale ale on a warm day is bliss! A nice pale ale on a cold day is also bliss, just for the record

    Good luck Kenny- keep us posted on how it turns out.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  5. #30
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    It may be one of the most popular now but Spitfire is one of my favourite ales ('Isn't it. Isn't it though.') and it's on offer in Sainsbury's right now at 1 a bottle.

  6. #31
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    Spitfire's good. Haven't had a bottle for ages, though. May just pick up a few for the weekend, now

    You really can't go wrong with any of Shepherd Neame's ales though, even the ones they brew as Asda Own Label (Golden Ale, Gentleman Jack, etc) are excellent.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    Oh definitely! A nice pale ale on a warm day is bliss! A nice pale ale on a cold day is also bliss, just for the record

    Good luck Kenny- keep us posted on how it turns out.
    Well, the lager has been bottled a week now...I'm tempted to crack open a bottle just to try, but I'm determined to resist for another couple of weeks. Reading online, it seems that at least 3 weeks is needed for the carbonation to really be effective, and I don't think it'll really taste great at the moment anyway.Give it time to mature a bit.

    My second brew, Wherry, is fermenting at the moment...it seems to be going well but time will tell. Fingers crossed! And I'll be starting the third soon afterwards...hopefully eventually I'll have something drinkable out of 120 bottles!

  8. #33
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    Just got in a few bottles of a particular old favourite of mine in- Old Hooky- not had it for a while so I shall savour each one.

  9. #34
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    Time for an update, I think!

    I'm now onto my FIFTH brew, with a mixed bag of results so far. Mistakes made, and lessons learned along the way. But the thing I'm slowly learning is what everyone on those Home Brew forums advise is true, and it's also what they also say is the most difficult part of the whole process - again, true...after you've bottled the stuff, be patient!!!

    And that's NOT easy, I can assure you!

    I'd say that I've really only made one mistake so far which has caused me a bit of regret (and some disappointing results). I decided to try out different types of bottles and caps, to see if there was any difference in the finished product. Initially I bought 36 (expensive) reusable swing-top bottles (similar to that of Grolsh lager) and 48 (much cheaper) plastic specialist PET beer bottles with screw caps. And considering that you'd get an estimated 40 pints per brew, this seemed like the easy option for starters. Seeing as, going by all the reviews, these plastic bottles were every bit as good as their glass counterparts. However, none of the reviews ever mentioned the fact that the first time you used them, each of the caps had an unbroken tamper-proof seal on it which would prevent the bottles having a perfect seal. What you had to do was tighten the caps every couple of days to prevent the gas from escaping and allow the beers to carbonate. Any future use of the bottles wouldn't have this problem because the seal would be broken by that time, and you'd have a perfect seal in future. However I only found this out after a month or so and doing a search through those forums wondering why I had no pressure in my bottles and no fizz in my beers! Even though I followed the advice, I think I was too late to save the lagers...the Wherrys though had only been bottled a couple of weeks at that point and so I was able to salvage them.


    It's amazing the difference between individual bottles, from the same brew, depending on how they've been stored since bottling. Some of it is barely drinkable, imagine a very bitter and flat lager with a bit of an aftertaste (ie those in the plastic bottles...24 of them! ). But from the same brew I've had several bottles (glass!) which have been very gassy with a decent head and a very pleasant taste. There's very little in the way of consistency though, although the taste of the best stuff has made me feel inclined to give this another try later in the year, and simply the fact that this was my first attempt means that it hasn't left me too diasappointed. Very hopeful for for a big improvement the next time!

    The Wherry has been much better, though. Even though I had the same problem with the plastic bottles, it hasn't had such a bad effect. The glass bottles, now probably 6 weeks or so after bottling, have a brilliant head once poured which remains to the bottom of the glass, and it tastes great! The plastic bottles are still a little cloudy and are basically several weeks behind. They taste great although they lack the head and carbonation...this may come with time but it's no disaster if they don't. A very tasty beer, all in, and I'll certainly try it out again later on. An ale is easier to make than a lager, apparently it doesn't need as much effort for the carbonisation to work and so far that's showing in the end result.

    My third brew was the Festival Summer Ale, which I bottled a few weeks ago. I tried one last night, but it was still a bit cloudy and VERY bitter. Gassing up nicely, though. This will be a few weeks till it's ready, though. After that, I picked a Belgian Raspberry Beer which I just bottled last week. It'll be August before it's ready for drinking though, at the earliest. And I just started fermenting a cider a few days ago...hopefully that'll be ready for BBQ time!
    Last edited by MacNimon; 7th Jun 2014 at 8:46 PM.

  10. #35
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    I personally would have just used the glass bottles. I find plastic always taints the drink of whatever is inside, although water seems to be OK from plastic bottles.
    I'm glad to hear you're getting good results; that's the best thing early on IMO because you're motivated to continue brewing.
    That cider will be ready for BBQ time alright...early September.

  11. #36
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    Hopefully a bit sooner than that, Tim, if mine turns out as good as this guy says his did...

    Home Brew Forum

    Fingers crossed!

  12. #37
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    Yes, your Cider will be ready...but will the weather be for the BBQ?

  13. #38
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    Not holding my breath there...but fingers crossed! We're having a big BBQ for family and friends (30-35 people coming) in early August so hoping for a good day!!!

  14. #39
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    Steve's brother is into the home brewing big time at the moment. He's done us a brew especially for Steve coming home and it's really very tasty- nice and hoppy. Can't wait to taste the others over the next few weeks or so!

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  15. #40
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    It's been a while since we've done this, so what beers/ales are you enjoying these days? (and of course any recommendations of any good draught ales to look out for soon in Central London would be appreciated...or bottled beers to try on Drinks Supermarket, etc...)

    Here's one I just tried for the first time tonight, Haggis Hunter a very tasty but slightly darker coloured variation of a golden ale...



    I think I'll be making a special trip to my local Aldi tomorrow just for another half dozen or so bottles

    Sticking with the same brewery, Bitter And Twisted is one of my all-time favourites...it's not so noticeable now simply because I'm used to it but the first time you taste this it has a VERY bitter taste to it which actualy only lasts for the first few mouthfuls, it's soon replaced by a great citrus flavour once the shock of the initial bitterness has passed...I love this one



    Another favourite brewer is Williams Brothers, of Alloa, who produce an excellent range of Golden Ales, IPAs and lager variations...



    Another current fave is Brewdog, who unfortunately only release their stuff in 330 ml bottles/cans rather than the more common 500 ml for a similar price. Dead Pony Club and Punk IPA are both cracking craft beers though, highly recommended


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