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Brewing noob |Birthday beers

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  • Brewing noob |Birthday beers

    Alright brewers.

    1st: disclaimer: I'm in Mozambique and have never brewed and live in an apartment.

    Now, im turning 40 in May, would like to organize a get together and treat my mates to some home brews. A sweeter ale for the ladies and a proper ale for the lads.
    My thinking is: kegged, no bottling. Would pressure ferment if i decided to invest in at least 2 corny kegs and 2 sanke for fermentation.

    Kveik Smash, with maybe an addition of vanilla and season fruit on the ladies and a higher mash to release some unfermentable sugars.

    Or could I do the same smash base (5kg marris Otter + 100g Hallertau Mittlefruh/Citra/T90 per 23l batch-opinnion wanted) and add the vanilla and fruit puree when going for the fermentation?
    2 fermentation buckets one straight and one for the ladies.

    If it would increase flavour and aroma i could do 80% marris and 20% other grains. Thoughts?


    I'm choosing kveik as i dont have temperature control nor will invest into it now. Not going pressure fermentation as the plan is 2 batches and i will only have 2 19l corny kegs for conditionig/serving, one 50l sanke keg to use as boiler. Sanke kegs are cheap here. R500 gets me a 30/50l one.

    Shiish, long and complicated text. Please help me get some clarity.

  • #2
    Hey man, welcome! I'm going to give you some advice based on what I've learned over the years so far.

    1. Go for a fermentation chamber before going the kegging route. For the money of one keg + coupler + lines + taps, you can build a decent fermentation chamber from an old fridge, fitted with an STC-1000. This is what's going to elevate your brewing game - not kegs.

    2. Don't be so dismissive of bottles. Yes, it's a chore, but it's part of the process. I keg, and I almost swore off bottles until I realized how convenient they are. Now I keg 99% of my beer, but from time to time I'll bottle a bit to have on hand, as it's really handy once it's done.

    3. Look for recipes. 80% MO + 20% other grains isn't a recipe, considering there are hundreds of different grains you can add here. Working with a recipe gives you some peace of mind that the recipe will work. I can already see issues in your thinking - you want to make a 23l batch with 100g of Mittelfrueh, Citra or T90. Those are 3 COMPLETELY different hops, used for completely different reasons. Making a 23l batch with 100g of Mittelfrueh, if you split it up properly in the boil/flameout/dry hops stages can give you a great Pilsner. Using it wrong, for example, will give you a bitter beer that nobody will want to drink. Citra is going to give your beer a lot of citrus flavour, reminding you of an IPA or APA if you use it in the boil, and if you use T90 anywhere other than the boil you're going to end up with a disappointing beer. T90 works well for bittering, and if you use 100g of it for bittering you're going to have a REALLY bitter beer with not much to back it up in terms of flavour.

    Regarding the fruit additions - fruit puree is not the easiest to work with. You need to punch down the cap daily, at least, and that leads to risk of oxidation and infection in your beer. It also won't make the beer sweeter, believe it or not, the yeast will simply eat through the fructose in there and the result will be a dry beer, with a sour note due to the fruit acids and brut finish. A sweeter beer is made with specialty malts and your mash temperature.

    Using Kveik is a good idea, but kveik does well in heat, not in fluctuating temperatures. Even though it likes it warmed, you still need to keep the temperature constant or it's going to throw off flavours for sure.

    Regarding the use of a keg as a boiler - great idea. Just make sure whoever does the cutting and welding on it does a decent job. You don't want a snagged grain bag (assuming you want to go BIAB here) tear into a kettle full of sweet wort, trust me. Also make sure you use proper ball valves at the bottom to drain the wort - been there, done that, and make sure the gas burner isn't going to wreck the equipment.

    Luckliy, May is still pretty far out, so you have the time. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the tips.

      Amazing little read there. I have been watching some recipes on youtube. one that i liked was MO+Mittelfrueh split into 3 additions. It seems a really nice and simple recipe.

      Whilst reading here i came across the usage of electric urns. Do you think thats fair game? instead of gas i could go electric.

      The fermentation chamber is something to look at. Remember that here in Moz we have access to some things cheaper than there.

      Kegs= R500 each
      Taps: R600
      Lines: R500
      coupler: cheap
      Gas canister: R350
      Pressure gauge: R600

      Adding a fermentation fridge/freezer in the house requires approval of the GM and we all know how they are... Gonna have to bribe her. lol

      Comment


      • #4
        Do you think i should start with a basic kit, partial mash, bottle it and grow from there? 23l is lots of bottles. Sheesh.

        Comment


        • #5
          When I moved to kegging I sold off almost 700 bottles that I had stashed up, so yes it's a lot of bottles. But keep in mind when going to a braai you can take a bottle along. Not so easy with a keg.

          I use an electric urn for my brewing. Cheapest one I could find, a Logic 50l urn. I can do ~46l batches on it relatively consistently, using BIAB brewing. I mash in the kettle, lift the bag, sparge in a different container and then boil back in the kettle. Works fine for me.

          Regarding the fermentation chamber - what I like about mine is that it doubles as a home fridge when not using it for fermenting. I store beer and even food in there, and it works fine. It's only ever really warm during the primary fermentation, which is like 10 days or so every now and then. I also ferment at room temp using Kveik, but I insulate the fermenter with a thermometer in there to make sure the temperature stays constant.

          The basic kit question - no. If you want to start small, do an extract (kit and kilo) brew first. It teaches you a lot about the last practices of brewing, including bottling and (very important) sanitization. I wouldn't do partial mash after that - if you're going to go through the trouble, you might as well do all grain BIAB brewing then. You also don't have to do 23l batches - you can scale it down. I rarely do 23l batches, I've scaled down to 21l for ease of kegging, with minimal waste. I've also done 12l batches before, and it works well.

          Comment


          • #6
            @Maputo_Brew Have you brewed any beer to date ?
            The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind.!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JIGSAW View Post
              @Maputo_Brew Have you brewed any beer to date ?
              Nope. I believe i stated it on the OP

              Comment


              • #8
                Best advice we can give you is to brew any beer using any method and the equipment you have on hand. Bottle it by any means possible and try it out, there's no better advice for anyone starting out.

                Just do it, brew something!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Maputo_Brew View Post
                  Do you think i should start with a basic kit, partial mash, bottle it and grow from there? 23l is lots of bottles. Sheesh.
                  When I started brewing I bought 'big' right from the start and integrated as much of kit I had lying around the house, like a 50 litre Colemand coolerbox became my mash tun - and that defined what other equipment I needed to buy. So, I usually do 45L batches and bottle them all. Usually 24x440s plus 3.5x12 crates SAB 750s - about 40litres gets bottled... and it takes some time - plan for it and make it your own time. Put some music on.. quite relaxing.

                  I wouldnt start with Mickey Mouse equipment. That eventually gets shelved as you buy bigger better equipment. Brewing a small all grain batch takes amost as much time as brewing a large batch. Ayway that's my point of view.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with both Dewald and Alex. I wouldn't recommend buying crappy equipment to get started, but if it's what you can get, go for it. Of course going for something like a Benonibrew or a Grainfather is epic to start with, but it's got a pretty high initial investment linked to it, so that gets pricey.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Toxxyc View Post
                      I agree with both Dewald and Alex. I wouldn't recommend buying crappy equipment to get started, but if it's what you can get, go for it. Of course going for something like a Benonibrew or a Grainfather is epic to start with, but it's got a pretty high initial investment linked to it, so that gets pricey.
                      How long does it take to brew a batch on a Grainfather, including cleaning after brewing.
                      Everyone must beleive in something, I beleive I'll have another beer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BeerHolic View Post

                        How long does it take to brew a batch on a Grainfather, including cleaning after brewing.
                        I have no idea, I don't have one. I'd love to get one, but I don't have that kind of money right now, so to be honest, I don't know.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Maputo_Brew View Post
                          Do you think i should start with a basic kit, partial mash, bottle it and grow from there? 23l is lots of bottles. Sheesh.
                          Why don't you just recap 2m bottles? I get about 8-9l per crate. Any deposit bottle that isn't twist top typically works fine, just wash them after drinking to avoid the mold on the bottom, sanitise before bottle and you're good.

                          You say you are brewing in an apartment, electric might be a better option unless you have a balcony, I don't think gas would be ideal in an enclosed space.

                          As it's your first brew I would keep it pretty simple, as you'll have a steep learning curve, lots to forget. I would do something like 90% pale, 10% , melanoid or dextrin. I love citra so that would be my choice 20g @ 60m and 50g @ 10m or 5m. That should make a pretty tasty pale ale.

                          I brew in Zambia with no ferm temp control options and I find Kviek incredibly tolerant of temp changes, just put the fermenter in the most temp stable part of your house and you should be fine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If there is 1 thing I have learned on this forum. Don't try and do everything all at once..

                            Start basic, maybe a blonde with a kit and see how it goes. Then upgrade your pot and maybe a fermentation setup (Chamber like a fridge freezer / or I know guys who use blanket with ice bottles and heating belt and works fine for them).

                            I am still bottling and no intention of kegging for the moment, just love going to braais or giving samples of away to friends. Put on a movie and bottle away, quite a relaxing process tbh.
                            Chris_za1
                            Senior Member
                            Last edited by Chris_za1; 12 January 2022, 11:32.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BeerHolic View Post

                              How long does it take to brew a batch on a Grainfather, including cleaning after brewing.
                              If I start at 8am, I will be done, cleaned and packed away between 12-1

                              Comment

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