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Rather than start a new thread for each experiment I thought I’d start a thread for anyone that wants to contribute the results of their experiments.

Here’s the taster bottle sample of David Heath’s Verdant IPA that I brewed recently. His recipe and method is here:

It’s a bit young at right on 2 weeks but the haze, aroma and taste is all there. The head may be a little thicker when I gas up the keg compared to this bottle that uses carbonation drops.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 14/06/2022 at 11:10 AM, Wazza_wantsbeer said:

@Dustin Frothman were you able to source the exact grains for this recipe?

I've struggled to find the Chateau Vienna malt.

Also, nice spunding valve behind the glass, are you doing/using some other fermentation methods recently?

No, I just let the homebrew store substitute where necessary. I'm not fussed if it's not exactly to recipe.

I'm still using the Droids to ferment and intend to continue doing so. I don't want to mess around with other vessels as the size and features of the Droid fit what I need. I use the spunding valve when filling kegs and to bleed off any pressure in the event of over carbonation - which now that I'm finally using gas to carbonate is less of an issue.

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Balter XPA clone by Hoppy Days Brewing. A great beer and very close to the original. About 5 weeks conditioning.

It probably needs to sit on the gas for another 24 hours. The head retention is good but it was a bit low on the pour. Carbonation seems like it needs just that little bit more.

But the football is on …

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Posted (edited)
On 17/06/2022 at 3:01 PM, Dustin Frothman said:

FC6F67BA-B314-4932-A33F-301B16D910AF.thumb.jpeg.8cf141dcda2b4a438ff46a22038c3acb.jpeg

Apricot Weissbier cooking this afternoon.

I wouldn't have picked it but this one caught me out and spewed everywhere out of the Droid on day 2 of fermentation and made a huge mess.

Yesterday (day 3) I added just under 600g of apricots to the Droid in a sanitised paint strainer bag and raised the fermentation temperature from 18 to 21C. I would've liked to use a kilogram but we had less in the freezer than I thought.

It'll be interesting to see how much of the flavour is imparted into the beer.

 

Edited by Dustin Frothman
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7 hours ago, Dustin Frothman said:

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Hoppy Days Easy ESB.

Go Blues!!!

What did you think of the game today? My mate who is a Blues supporter thought the umps were trying to win the game for Freo, where I thought for 3/4s it was just a very good game.

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7 hours ago, Robert Pretty said:

@Dustin Frothman how are you finding the Braumeister for your mashes? Looking at a Grainfather connect 30 or Keg King Gutan 

I love it. My main selection criteria was based on finding a kettle that could produce 10 - 12L of wort easily to suit using the BeerDroid. I didn’t want a big unit that needed to be used outside, or with a 15A power supply, or set up on some sort of apparatus on the floor.

I also wanted something that simplified the process of chilling the wort down to fermenter temperature and was modular in design to enable swapping out of components when they wear out or fail.

The Braumeister does all of these things really well and has other nice features like the fancy controller and web based software.

They are incredibly expensive. But I think you get what you pay for. The build quality is superb and if looked after should last a lifetime. The smaller Braumeisters are more like a really high end kitchen appliance than a homebrewer’s gadget.

I’d probably pick the Grainfather 30 if I was you and they come up on Gumtree regularly, so if you’re not opposed to second hand then you should be able to grab a good deal.

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12 hours ago, Rob Courtney said:

What did you think of the game today? My mate who is a Blues supporter thought the umps were trying to win the game for Freo, where I thought for 3/4s it was just a very good game.

I only watched the last quarter as was doing stuff around the house in anticipation of a wet day in Adelaide today.

I didn’t hear anything on the ABC Radio call suggesting the umpiring was biased but perhaps I missed it.

I’m just thrilled that the Blues are learning from week to week and actually implementing the things the coaches are teaching them. They are becoming a really good team and with a few players back from injury and some finals experience I reckon they’ll be a force to reckon with next year.

Exciting stuff for a long suffering Carlton supporter!

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14 hours ago, Robert Pretty said:

@Wazza_wantsbeer and @Dustin Frothman looking to get in to all grain brewing. How do you find the cost per 10lt compared to Brewprints?

All ready have the temperature controlled fermenter, plus the droid. Looking at getting a Grainfather,  Gutan or Robobrew. Cheers

@Robert Pretty that's a great question and is always asked in the FB group as well.

The obvious and short answer is... "it depends on the beer style".

I can give some good figures and some examples in my response but basically, each beer is different.

So, I would say on average, my grain bills cost around $25-30 and that's me usually going for a strong by ABV Hazy or NEIPA.

A good example of that is the Day Man/Night Man IIPA.

The grain bill was:
GLADFIELD PILSNER MALT 3.5kg - $18.20
GLADFIELD WHEAT MALT 0.5kg -$3.30
JOE WHITE MALTINGS CARAMALT (EXTRA LIGHT CRYSTAL) 0.2kg -$1.30
ROLLED OATS 0.5 kg - $2.75 
MILLING: DOUBLE MILLED
TOTAL:   $25.55

The Yeast:
WHITE LABS 066 LONDON FOG      $11.95
WYEAST 1318 LONDON ALE 3    $13.95

Hops, definitely the most expensive by weight. For a normal Hazy or NEIPA I would use around 150g which is $15 (usual price for 100g hops is $10-12). However, for the Day Man/Night Man brews I used 150g and 200g of Galaxy and Eclipse hops respectively taking the price a bit higher.

So my Day Man IIPA (8.5%) cost a total of:
Grain    $25.55
Yeast    $11.95
Hops    $17.50
Total    $55.00

And the Night Man IIPA:
Grain    $25.55
Yeast    $13.95
Hops    $20.00
Total    $59.50

Personally, I think that both these costs are very reasonable and I ended up with a full 9,5l corny and 2x 750ml tasting bottles for each as I set my brew day to produce 11l of wort for the Droid.
When you compare this to $25-45 for a 4 pack of decent commercial beer...  WINNING!

Now, there are obviously other up front costs such as water salts but they usually aren't too bad. A 500g bag of water salts are around $5-10 and will last ages as you are just using 3-5g of each or less for each brew.

I would suggest that the following water salts are the best to start with:
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Canning Salt (NaCl) or other salt but don't use idodized table salt
Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
Gypsom (CaSO4)

I would also suggest using either Phosphoric Acid or Lactic Acid as additions to get your pH right.

There are ways to save money such as looking around carefully at the grain prices at the various Home Brew Shops, Also, buying hops in bulk 500g or 1kg bags rather than the 100g lots will result in decent savings in the long run. If you want to invest in a grain mill like @Dustin Frothmanhas done for yourself to mill your own grains, then you can also save on the milling cost that some HBS charge but also you can then buy grains in larger bags, 5,10 or even 20 kg in size.

I've set up a spreadsheet with the prices from various shops across Australia with the different grain prices if anyone is interested, happy to share.

Another which I am just about to get into is yeast harvesting. Also, dry yeasts cost around $10 so you can also save money there.

A few things I can suggest, make sure you get a good paddle as that really helps during mash in, adding all the grain to the bag/basket. I'd suggest stainless as it's easier to clean and sanitise.

Honestly, I kinda regret buying the pH meter as I don't often use it and rather rely on BrewFather which has been pretty accurate in its predictions. I would rather have purchased a refractometer as using a hydrometer to measure your pre and post boil as well as original specific gravity is painful and time consuming as you have to wait for the sample to come to room temperature.

And my last but most helpful piece of advice, get yourself a Brewfather account as will find it very helpful to set up your own recipes and there are so many recipes available in the library including many many clones of commercial beers.

Edited by Wazza_wantsbeer
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On 30/6/2022 at 11:09 AM, Wazza_wantsbeer said:

@Robert Pretty that's a great question and is always asked in the FB group as well.

The obvious and short answer is... "it depends on the beer style".

I can give some good figures and some examples in my response but basically, each beer is different.

So, I would say on average, my grain bills cost around $25-30 and that's me usually going for a strong by ABV Hazy or NEIPA.

A good example of that is the Day Man/Night Man IIPA.

The grain bill was:
GLADFIELD PILSNER MALT 3.5kg - $18.20
GLADFIELD WHEAT MALT 0.5kg -$3.30
JOE WHITE MALTINGS CARAMALT (EXTRA LIGHT CRYSTAL) 0.2kg -$1.30
ROLLED OATS 0.5 kg - $2.75 
MILLING: DOUBLE MILLED
TOTAL:   $25.55

The Yeast:
WHITE LABS 066 LONDON FOG      $11.95
WYEAST 1318 LONDON ALE 3    $13.95

Hops, definitely the most expensive by weight. For a normal Hazy or NEIPA I would use around 150g which is $15 (usual price for 100g hops is $10-12). However, for the Day Man/Night Man brews I used 150g and 200g of Galaxy and Eclipse hops respectively taking the price a bit higher.

So my Day Man IIPA (8.5%) cost a total of:
Grain    $25.55
Yeast    $11.95
Hops    $17.50
Total    $55.00

And the Night Man IIPA:
Grain    $25.55
Yeast    $13.95
Hops    $20.00
Total    $59.50

Personally, I think that both these costs are very reasonable and I ended up with a full 9,5l corny and 2x 750ml tasting bottles for each as I set my brew day to produce 11l of wort for the Droid.
When you compare this to $25-45 for a 4 pack of decent commercial beer...  WINNING!

Now, there are obviously other up front costs such as water salts but they usually aren't too bad. A 500g bag of water salts are around $5-10 and will last ages as you are just using 3-5g of each or less for each brew.

I would suggest that the following water salts are the best to start with:
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Canning Salt (NaCl) or other salt but don't use idodized table salt
Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
Gypsom (CaSO4)

I would also suggest using either Phosphoric Acid or Lactic Acid as additions to get your pH right.

There are ways to save money such as looking around carefully at the grain prices at the various Home Brew Shops, Also, buying hops in bulk 500g or 1kg bags rather than the 100g lots will result in decent savings in the long run. If you want to invest in a grain mill like @Dustin Frothmanhas done for yourself to mill your own grains, then you can also save on the milling cost that some HBS charge but also you can then buy grains in larger bags, 5,10 or even 20 kg in size.

I've set up a spreadsheet with the prices from various shops across Australia with the different grain prices if anyone is interested, happy to share.

Another which I am just about to get into is yeast harvesting. Also, dry yeasts cost around $10 so you can also save money there.

A few things I can suggest, make sure you get a good paddle as that really helps during mash in, adding all the grain to the bag/basket. I'd suggest stainless as it's easier to clean and sanitise.

Honestly, I kinda regret buying the pH meter as I don't often use it and rather rely on BrewFather which has been pretty accurate in its predictions. I would rather have purchased a refractometer as using a hydrometer to measure your pre and post boil as well as original specific gravity is painful and time consuming as you have to wait for the sample to come to room temperature.

And my last but most helpful piece of advice, get yourself a Brewfather account as will find it very helpful to set up your own recipes and there are so many recipes available in the library including many many clones of commercial beers.

Great post @Wazza_wantsbeer

I don’t use my ph meter much but plan to. I never seem to have got around to calibrating it properly when ready to make a brew.

I use my refractometer all the time though. It’s great and so simple.

@Robert PrettyI haven’t really looked too closely at cost since getting into making beers from scratch because I was more interested in the process than anything.

I think to be fair, all semblance of economy went out the window when I bought such an expensive kettle, but as mentioned earlier it works for me and I’m really glad that I did.

I think as a rule I make less potent beers than Wazza does and I purchase my grain from a supplier in Adelaide that is known for its cheap prices. Last visit I bought 3 brews worth of grains and it was less than $50.

As Wazza said, if you have the means and desire you could buy sacks of grain and really save some money.

I tend to purchase yeasts when buying something else and try to buy in bulk and just store in the fridge. I’m probably paying $5 per packet. One thing I’ve noticed is that in general the BrewArt yeasts are much more voracious than anything from the other manufacturers. You wouldn’t do wrong to stick with those if you like their characteristics.

I’m still in an experimenting phase and working out what I like so am trying to try lots of different products before I settle on some regular recipes that will sit on a rotation.

The biggest barrier to all grain brewing is time. Once that becomes an issue (which it has again at the moment for me), then the BrewArt recipes are brilliant if you have your go-tos.

I’ve got some leave coming up again soon and plan to do 3 or 4 all grain brews in quick succession.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Robert Pretty - Wazza made a great point regarding hops and I apologise if this is obvious. Keep in mind that once you start creating wort from scratch you’ll be using a lot more hops. On some of the more modern stlyles there’s up to 100g of hops in the boil or whirlpool, plus a similar amount in the dry hop infusion. So at retail prices that could be around $30 worth.

If economy is a consideration then you can see how purchasing in bulk and vacuum sealing to store them will pay off very quickly.

I’m still risking my marriage with a freezer half full of hop pellets, so I keep trying to pick beer styles that my wife enjoys to keep her at bay!

Edited by Dustin Frothman
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2 minutes ago, Dustin Frothman said:

I’m still risking my marriage with a freezer half full of hop pellets, so I keep trying to pick beer styles that my wife enjoys to keep her at bay!

Smart thinking, or give her the entire freezer space for a mini hop freezer. Good luck.

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2 minutes ago, Captain 3 Droids said:

Smart thinking, or give her the entire freezer space for a mini hop freezer. Good luck.

I’ve got both the BrewFlo and kegerator running at the moment. I suspect a third appliance could equal divorce.

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  • 3 weeks later...

grains.thumb.jpg.0af8dc9ca668dc0cd9064923e9d52cef.jpg

I have some empty kegs again so it's time to get brewing.

These are just recipes picked randomly from the BrewFather library. Style wise there's an ESB, a WC IPA, a Hazy IPA and a hoppy APA.

I have some annual leave in which to get these done and then probably a severe lack of time through until the end of the year so it'll be back to some favourite BrewArt recipes.

@Captain 3 Droids can you please do that thing where you create the free shipping deal? 😙

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