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  1. #1

    Intro new member


    I came to this site to get a few answers a week or so ago, haven't left yet. So much info on brewing beer, love it.

    My love for beer got me going, that and the current regulations not allowing the sale of beer. Before I ran out of my store bought booze, I decided that I would try the different brews everyone was starting to make. Got some recipes of FB and a few WhatsApp groups. We made the apple cider (came out crap, think the tea was a no no for us), pineapple beer (not beer, came out ok and we enjoyed it with a lemonade or/and soda water) and the lemon drink which we have worked a bit to get closer to our taste.

    So after joining this forum and reading a bit, I will be making another lemon brew, but this time I have mead yeast and also some sugar that won't be used up by the yeast. Hoping to get a decent lemon hooch type drink with a nice kick.

    Also inversted in the MJ micro brewery kit with stainless fermenter and currently doing a Belgian Pilsner. First real beer attempt, but had it's hickups sadly. We have high hopes for it anyway, but will have to wait and see what it tastes like. The Belgian Pilsner kit had a whitish powder in that was hard as a rock. I massaged it till it felt smooth and runny, but when I started pouring it into the fermenter to mix, there was a few large lumps. That was Friday afternoon. So when we noticed that they didn't want to dissolve we added another 2L hot water to the mix. Stirred the crap out of it every now and then. Eventually we didn't see any lumps and kept on stirring to mix it well. Pitched the yeast Saturday morning, notthing much happened. Then during the night somewhere it started bubbling. It's been going since and I think and hope all will be ok. My thoughts were that the only negative would be the extended time the ferment would take, or basically half a day lost because the wort was too warm to pitch yeast.

    Anyway, after all my reading here, I have started thinking about what I would need for all grain beer brewing, hehehe. So I will start with that research so long. Was thinking of getting something like a 35L urn and work it allow for beer brewing as well as distilling.

    So much to learn, just thankful for finding such a valuable local resource.

    Happy brewing brews

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Pretoria
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    Welcome! There's a lot of info on here and a lot to learn. On your post:

    1. What sugar do you have that the yeast won't eat? I haven't used those mead yeasts before, I heard they can be a bit finicky, but good luck! It is a wine-style yeast so it should do fine for your hard lemonade.

    2. On the clumps - as long as the sugar is properly dissolved now, it should be fine. The DME/sugar bags can get absolutely rock hard. My first few brews' bags were so hard I had to wrap them in a towel and whack them with a hammer into more manageable clumps, and then put them in a pot on the stove with some water heated up until it dissolved. Beers turned out fine!

  3. #3
    Ah great to hear that it's common for them to make clumps and that it would be fine.

    Yes the hard lemonade is a winner with us, but very acidic. Tested it and was something like 3.7 where the last Windhoek I tested was about 4.5 iirc. I will learn and improve that one, but it feels like we're very close.

    I just checked the sugar, it's Mangrove Jack's Beer and Wine sweetener. So I had the term completely wrong probably, but I will learn.

  4. #4
    Hey. If anything (bar sanitation) your extra two litres of water would've altered the beers intended balance. In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king, a slightly unbalanced beer wins any day over a cider. Don't think in days, think in gravity. The beer is ready when it's stable.
    I haven't made a lemon cider / seltzer yet, but I'd avoid adding pith and add some zest in primary before crashing/fining.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Pretoria
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    Quote Originally Posted by RudiC View Post
    I just checked the sugar, it's Mangrove Jack's Beer and Wine sweetener. So I had the term completely wrong probably, but I will learn.
    That would then probably be sodium saccharin (spelling?). It's what they include in their kits as well. Probably not the healthiest stuff, but it works. Use TINY amounts though, like a teaspoon amount in a 25l batch turns it from "dry" to "sweet" in terms of taste, so be careful!

  6. #6
    Is here a healthier option available?

    Sent from my SM-A505F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Pretoria
    Posts
    1,203

    I've tried sucralose and aspartame before, but they both left a bit of a "taste". I'm not sure. You can possibly try xylitol (toxic to dogs, gives you the runs) or lactose (not very sweet, can end up expensive).

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