Home Brewing / Micro Brewery / My own beer

Dimpie (COMPUTEK)

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View attachment 1153050 View attachment 1153048

Finished my beer fridge in time for Braai day tomorrow.
The prints on the sides are way too dark but its fine for now, I'll reprint them sometime.

I bought the fridge off gumtree for about R1500 a couple of years ago, but it was so scratched and banged up that it really did not look great. Even the aluminum doors had some of the anodizing scratched off, thats the main reason I painted it.

Looks great ... is it one of those peltier cooling fridges ?
 

Snyper564

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Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,706
Delicious refreshing Mexican lager

1632407092884.png

Latest micro batch is bubbling away, the smore porter and Christmas cake ale/stout/porter on hold till the weekend just wanted to get a quick batch out.

Decided to do a cream ale, used instant rice did a 90 min mash and also cooked it up the night before. Fully converted no issues at all.

Beer is 1052 OG Super keen to see how this turns out, this is my pseudo Japanese lager attempt, using US-05 and fermenting at 18deg wort is ultra pale, this is going to be a great spring beer once ready I think
 

Steamy Tom

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Jan 23, 2019
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time for an unpopular opinion post :p

I generally make cider kits from time to time or make cider from pure fruit juice combinations, I drink the odd beer, not the biggest fan of bitterness and prefer sweetness, unfortunately what cuts it for me and makes me enjoy it a bit better is something with a fruit additive like a radler, flying fish etc etc (yes yes i see you rolling your eyes) I want to start playing a bit with making my own beer, will start with a can/pouch before I try move onto the proper process etc.

Here is the question though...do you get a can type product like coopers etc etc that has a fruit additive or a simple way to add one to just cut the bitterness but maintain some taste that isnt overpowered with the additive?

TIA
 

Snyper564

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,706
time for an unpopular opinion post :p

I generally make cider kits from time to time or make cider from pure fruit juice combinations, I drink the odd beer, not the biggest fan of bitterness and prefer sweetness, unfortunately what cuts it for me and makes me enjoy it a bit better is something with a fruit additive like a radler, flying fish etc etc (yes yes i see you rolling your eyes) I want to start playing a bit with making my own beer, will start with a can/pouch before I try move onto the proper process etc.

Here is the question though...do you get a can type product like coopers etc etc that has a fruit additive or a simple way to add one to just cut the bitterness but maintain some taste that isnt overpowered with the additive?

TIA
Cant comment on kits but I once watched a youtube video that said learn to make your own beer because there is a beer out there for you it might just not be brewed mainstream.

I dont like the seriously bitter hoppy beers for example IPAs

But the beauty of brewing your own beer is that you control the bitterness or more specifically the IBU level. Add more hops at the beginning of the boil - more bitterness, towards the end of the boil more aroma and flavour. the level of bitterness is 100% in your control

I just made an awesome mexican lager, very low in bitterness and a hint of lemon/citrus.

The world is your oyster once you have the basics down. I went straight from pineapple beer to full blown all grain.

I would actually suggest watching this to get an idea of what to do.


Others can comment on the kits but I would suggest finding a style of beer that plays nicely with what you already know you like. For example a Wit beer which is spicy and citrusy and not bitter at all.

You can make this hobby as intense or as simple as you want just dont go to the shop and buy blind ask here first rather.

All I can tell you its worth the effort! Feel free to post any other questions many here happy to help
 

Dimpie (COMPUTEK)

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Apr 7, 2009
Messages
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time for an unpopular opinion post :p

I generally make cider kits from time to time or make cider from pure fruit juice combinations, I drink the odd beer, not the biggest fan of bitterness and prefer sweetness, unfortunately what cuts it for me and makes me enjoy it a bit better is something with a fruit additive like a radler, flying fish etc etc (yes yes i see you rolling your eyes) I want to start playing a bit with making my own beer, will start with a can/pouch before I try move onto the proper process etc.

Here is the question though...do you get a can type product like coopers etc etc that has a fruit additive or a simple way to add one to just cut the bitterness but maintain some taste that isnt overpowered with the additive?

TIA

 

bwana

MyBroadband
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Feb 23, 2005
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83,229
The English Dark Mild ale turned out well. Will definitely take another batch if offered.

72b134b393aaa5c945d1efff739209da.jpg
 

Snyper564

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Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,706
Cream ale bubbling away nicely have my most elaborate brew planned for tomorrow.

Smoked smore porter, including about 8 malts, caoco nibs, vanilla beans, toasted marshmallow. Aiming for about 10% want this to age for winter next year.

Malts picked to blend perfectly with each other and one Hella Nottingham yeast starter primed and ready
 

Mars

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Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
10,777
yeah I have made these, but these are ciders in a traditional sense, I am looking to make a beer that is "flavoured"
Ive had a look at making these. Ive found that even if you add lemon at various stages you still wont be able to "brew" it to the point of of a radler (literally means shandy in German).

I have wondered about mixing a cider and a beer and seeing how that comes out.
 

Snyper564

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Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,706
Smoked s'more porter is in the fermenter

Plan on aging this till next winter.

Most elaborate recipe to date

1632579234282.png

OG 1093 (its a beast) using 2.5 starters with yeast nutrient. This will end between 9.5-10%

Here is the roast nibs and toasted marshmallow. I specifically toasted the marshmallow as they would just convert to alcohol anyway so I thought toasting it might give it a caramel note

1632579261492.png

1632579281063.png


Best way to describe the color is the color of hot cocoa before adding milk

1632579298380.png

@Toxxyc a brew right down your alley, vanilla and lactose will be added at bottling
 
Last edited:

Dimpie (COMPUTEK)

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Apr 7, 2009
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Ive had a look at making these. Ive found that even if you add lemon at various stages you still wont be able to "brew" it to the point of of a radler (literally means shandy in German).

I have wondered about mixing a cider and a beer and seeing how that comes out.

Also known as a SnakeBite when ordered from a bar ;)
 

Snyper564

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,706
Well that was totally unexpected....

Nottingham has torn through the beer Saturday it was 1093 its now 1017, thats already 10.2% in 2 days....

Going to let it sit for atleast 2 weeks before bottling.
 

Mars

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
10,777
Well that was totally unexpected....

Nottingham has torn through the beer Saturday it was 1093 its now 1017, thats already 10.2% in 2 days....

Going to let it sit for atleast 2 weeks before bottling.

Wow. Thats quite a punch.
 

Snyper564

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Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,706
Wow. Thats quite a punch.
absolutely mind boggling also it was ferementing at 18 deg...

I thought things looked a bit odd this afternoon barely any movement wondered if it stalled etc to my surpise its pretty much done. Also mashed at 68.5 deg for body so it tore through alot
 

Snyper564

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Oct 1, 2008
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Would you mash for longer at the lower temp?
You typically mash at the lower end of 60 for short chain sugars which create light bodied beers and on the upper end of 60 (69) for more full bodied beers.

Typically I mash for 60mim but if I use oats, rice or corn I usually go for 90 to ensure full conversion has taken place.

I believe you can push 30min but I would not do it personally I'm not in a rush anyway
 

menticide

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
time for an unpopular opinion post :p

I generally make cider kits from time to time or make cider from pure fruit juice combinations, I drink the odd beer, not the biggest fan of bitterness and prefer sweetness, unfortunately what cuts it for me and makes me enjoy it a bit better is something with a fruit additive like a radler, flying fish etc etc (yes yes i see you rolling your eyes) I want to start playing a bit with making my own beer, will start with a can/pouch before I try move onto the proper process etc.

Here is the question though...do you get a can type product like coopers etc etc that has a fruit additive or a simple way to add one to just cut the bitterness but maintain some taste that isnt overpowered with the additive?

TIA
Back-sweetening will restore the missing fruit flavours (e.g. apple) and make it more palatable for those with a preference for a sweeter cider. In short you can't taste the fruit flavours if your cider lacks sweetness.
BTW most commercial ciders are back sweetened.

How to back sweeten is the challenge...
...especially if you're planning to do in bottle carbonation (e.g. priming sugar) -- because any nutritive sugar you add the yeast is going to consume, and you could easily end up with a bottle bomb / grenade.

Commercially; yeast action is either partially or permanently retarded similar to how its done in wine making, using sodium metabisulfite and/or potassium sorbate. Carbonation of the cider is then done during the commercial bottling process. Naturally that process doesn't inexpensively lend itself to the home brewer; although you could follow a similar process if you keg your cider.

So how do you safely back sweeten cider and/or wines
...to avoid bottle bombs, and avoid yeast consuming all sweetness you added. The old and more dangerous way was to allow in bottle carbonation for a few days and then essentially partially boil your bottles (to kill your yeasts); hopefully just long enough to allow the yeasts to carbonate your cider, but not to enough consume all your sugars -- as you can imagine this is a dangerous process... because of the thermodynamics of gas, trapped in a cider, and capped in a bottle -- heating it can be quite explosive.

The new approach to this problem is rather simple; back sweeten with non nutritive sugars i.e. those sugars that the yeast will not consume, for example:
  1. Lactose (a milk sugar) -- this is the milk part of milk stout.
  2. Xylitol (flatulence...or worse)
  3. Stevia (bad / bitter after taste)
  4. ...
  5. Erythritol (a natural sugar alcohol found in corn, molasses, pears, watermelon, ...)
What you need to know is that not all non nutritive sugars mix well with alcoholic drinks; and some will just leave you with a vile after taste, whilst others can leave you with a bad case of flatulence or worse diarrhoea if you consume too much of it. The solution to both these problems is to choose between Lactose and Erythritol, for example, choose:
  • Lactose for beers
  • Erythritol for ciders and carbonated sweetened wines.
Neither have any bad characteristics, and are both relatively inexpensive to use for back sweetening.

How to:
Ferment your cider as you normally would, until the yeast has consumed all the sugars, leaving you with an unpleasant / bitter cider with a gravity (SG) typically below 1.000; around 0.99x
To determine your preferred back sweetness; I suggest doing an experiment with a small amount of your bitter cider; add a quantity of sugar (e.g. erythritol) at a time, until it tastes nice (your preference). Then using either a hydrometer or refractometer determine the gravity of your preferred sweetness. The difference between unsweetened gravity and preferred sweetened gravity will make calculating the amount of erythritol to add easy.

After back sweetening your cider; you then add your normal priming sugar to each bottle and cap it to allow the yeast to carbonate your cider as per normal. Some commercial cider outlets also add flavourings e.g. green apple to accentuate the fruit flavours... finding a good tasting flavouring that is also non nutritive will be a challenge -- again not everything tastes great when mixed with alcohol.

As for sweetness; here is the gravity ranges for wine sweetness; I use the same scale for my ciders... my preferred back sweetness gravity is 1.010 (medium dry, slightly sweet):

SweetnessGravity (SG)
Dry< 1.000
Medium Dry1.000 => 1.010
Medium Sweet1.011 => 1.020
Sweet1.021 => 1.030
Dessert1.031 => 1.040


Btw mixing cider and beer has been done for a while; one term for this is "snakebite"; however that more typically refers to the process of mixing a beer and cider in the glass at pouring time. The other way is linked to Stephen King's novel "The Dark Tower"...is to mix cider and beer before bottling, either as part of primary fermentation or as part of secondary fermentation -- the name for this drink is Graf.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
9,364
Back-sweetening will restore the missing fruit flavours (e.g. apple) and make it more palatable for those with a preference for a sweeter cider. In short you can't taste the fruit flavours if your cider lacks sweetness.
BTW most commercial ciders are back sweetened.

How to back sweeten is the challenge...
...especially if you're planning to do in bottle carbonation (e.g. priming sugar) -- because any nutritive sugar you add the yeast is going to consume, and you could easily end up with a bottle bomb / grenade.

Commercially; yeast action is either partially or permanently retarded similar to how its done in wine making, using sodium metabisulfite and/or potassium sorbate. Carbonation of the cider is then done during the commercial bottling process. Naturally that process doesn't inexpensively lend itself to the home brewer; although you could follow a similar process if you keg your cider.

So how do you safely back sweeten cider and/or wines
...to avoid bottle bombs, and avoid yeast consuming all sweetness you added. The old and more dangerous way was to allow in bottle carbonation for a few days and then essentially partially boil your bottles (to kill your yeasts); hopefully just long enough to allow the yeasts to carbonate your cider, but not to enough consume all your sugars -- as you can imagine this is a dangerous process... because of the thermodynamics of gas, trapped in a cider, and capped in a bottle -- heating it can be quite explosive.

The new approach to this problem is rather simple; back sweeten with non nutritive sugars i.e. those sugars that the yeast will not consume, for example:
  1. Lactose (a milk sugar) -- this is the milk part of milk stout.
  2. Xylitol (flatulence...or worse)
  3. Stevia (bad / bitter after taste)
  4. ...
  5. Erythritol (a natural sugar alcohol found in corn, molasses, pears, watermelon, ...)
What you need to know is that not all non nutritive sugars mix well with alcoholic drinks; and some will just leave you with a vile after taste, whilst others can leave you with a bad case of flatulence or worse diarrhoea if you consume too much of it. The solution to both these problems is to choose between Lactose and Erythritol, for example, choose:
  • Lactose for beers
  • Erythritol for ciders and carbonated sweetened wines.
Neither have any bad characteristics, and are both relatively inexpensive to use for back sweetening.

How to:
Ferment your cider as you normally would, until the yeast has consumed all the sugars, leaving you with an unpleasant / bitter cider with a gravity (SG) typically below 1.000; around 0.99x
To determine your preferred back sweetness; I suggest doing an experiment with a small amount of your bitter cider; add a quantity of sugar (e.g. erythritol) at a time, until it tastes nice (your preference). Then using either a hydrometer or refractometer determine the gravity of your preferred sweetness. The difference between unsweetened gravity and preferred sweetened gravity will make calculating the amount of erythritol to add easy.

After back sweetening your cider; you then add your normal priming sugar to each bottle and cap it to allow the yeast to carbonate your cider as per normal. Some commercial cider outlets also add flavourings e.g. green apple to accentuate the fruit flavours... finding a good tasting flavouring that is also non nutritive will be a challenge -- again not everything tastes great when mixed with alcohol.

As for sweetness; here is the gravity ranges for wine sweetness; I use the same scale for my ciders... my preferred back sweetness gravity is 1.010 (medium dry, slightly sweet):

SweetnessGravity (SG)
Dry< 1.000
Medium Dry1.000 => 1.010
Medium Sweet1.011 => 1.020
Sweet1.021 => 1.030
Dessert1.031 => 1.040


Btw mixing cider and beer has been done for a while; one term for this is "snakebite"; however that more typically refers to the process of mixing a beer and cider in the glass at pouring time. The other way is linked to Stephen King's novel "The Dark Tower"...is to mix cider and beer before bottling, either as part of primary fermentation or as part of secondary fermentation -- the name for this drink is Graf.

Xylitol shouldn't give tummy problems, it's aspartame that does that.
 
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