Home Brewing / Micro Brewery / My own beer

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Odd, never had an issue with xylotol.

Aspartame on the other hand, go for a hard night out on brandy and coke zero to experience a bowel cleansing to be proud of.
 

menticide

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Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
Xylitol shouldn't give tummy problems, it's aspartame that does that.
I agree re aspartame, but that's because it's worse than xylitol, but that doesn't make xylitol comparable to erythritol. Let's expand on that.

The end result of an apple cider fermentation typically concludes with a final gravity of around 0.996 or as low as 0.992 (depends on your choice of yeast and enzymes).

The minimum back-sweetening that is typically for an apple cider is a gravity around 1.010 (medium dry)... although ciders like Hunter's gold and Crossbow push this far sweeter to as much as 1.020 or more.

So how much sugar would we need to add to back-sweeten a 750ml bottle of cider at a starting gravity of 0.994?

Sugar
Grams required for 1.010​
Grams required for 1.020​
Cane Sugar
32​
52​
Xylitol (same sweetness as cane sugar)
32​
52​
Erythritol (75% as sweet as cane sugar)
40​
65​

Ok so now that we know how much grams of each we will need to be add to achieve the same perceived sweetness; let's ask how much grams of xylitol do we need to consume before we start experiencing any adverse effects such as flatulence and diarrhoea?

According to WebMD
Side effects. If you take large amounts of xylitol, such as 30 to 40 grams, you may experience diarrhea or gas. Increasing the dose gradually may help minimize these effects.
Reference: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/xylitol-uses-and-risks

Now ask yourself how many quarts (750ml) of apple cider could you consume in a single sitting? ...and what your chances are (based on WedMD's assessment) to end up with a worse outcome than just a hangover?

I could easily run through 4 or 5 or more... if I'm around a bunch of friends, enjoying a braai, etc... That would equate to 128g to as high as 260g of xylitol in a single sitting -- if WedMD is correct... I'm certainly not going to be a happy chap -- could anything be worse than a hangover headache.... yes a hangover headache with a bad case of diarrhoea would be worse, don't you think?

Erythritol is the only non-nutritive sweetener that I know of to avoid the side effects; and that's why its so widely used commercially. Also erythritol is not that expensive if you buy it in bulk, so why would I select xylitol if there is an affordable alternative without side effects?

Example:
is cheaper than...
 
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
9,654
I agree re aspartame, but that's because it's worse than xylitol, but that doesn't make xylitol comparable to erythritol. Let's expand on that.

The end result of an apple cider fermentation typically concludes with a final gravity of around 0.996 or as low as 0.992 (depends on your choice of yeast and enzymes).

The minimum back-sweetening that is typically for an apple cider is a gravity around 1.010 (medium dry)... although ciders like Hunter's gold and Crossbow push this far sweeter to as much as 1.020 or more.

So how much sugar would we need to add to back-sweeten a 750ml bottle of cider at a starting gravity of 0.994?

Sugar
Grams required for 1.010​
Grams required for 1.020​
Cane Sugar
32​
52​
Xylitol (same sweetness as cane sugar)
32​
52​
Erythritol (75% as sweet as cane sugar)
40​
65​

Ok so now that we know how much grams of each we will need to be add to achieve the same perceived sweetness; let's ask how much grams of xylitol do we need to consume before we start experiencing any adverse effects such as flatulence and diarrhoea?

According to WebMD

Reference:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/xylitol-uses-and-risks

Now ask yourself how many quarts (750ml) of apple cider could you consume in a single sitting? ...and what your chances are (based on WedMD's assessment) to end up with a worse outcome than just a hangover?

I could easily run through 4 or 5 or more... if I'm around a bunch of friends, enjoying a braai, etc... That would equate to 128g to as high as 260g of xylitol in a single sitting -- if WedMD is correct... I'm certainly not going to be a happy chap -- could anything be worse than a hangover headache.... yes a hangover headache with a bad case of diarrhoea would be worse, don't you think?

Erythritol is the only non-nutritive sweetener that I know of to avoid the side effects; and that's why its so widely used commercially. Also erythritol is not that expensive if you buy it in bulk, so why would I select xylitol if there is an affordable alternative without side effects?

Example:
is cheaper than...

I'm sure you are 100% correct, I've brewed 2 ciders and back sweetened to taste which I think was around 10g per liter, so no expert.

Just saying that in 10 years of banting and therefore no sugar I've never had an issue with xylitol, however I also don't consume it in 50g "portions"... I will consider erythritol if I ever make another cider again, thank you for the recommendation.
 

menticide

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Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
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.
Haven't used Nottingham... but some of it's properties sound a lot my current favourite yeast...

Fermentis HA-18 which performs like kveik; fast fermentation with high temperature tolerances (ideal is 25°C – 35°C), but also is high on the esters (fruit flavours) and low on the phenolics (off flavours), and its formulation also includes glucoamylase enzyme which ensures that all starches are converted and available to the yeast... meaning your final gravity ends up very low e.g. 1.000...and that equates to more alcohol. Also great for high alcohol brews (18% tolerance); e.g. barley wines, quads, barrel aged, ...
 
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menticide

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Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
I'm sure you are 100% correct, I've brewed 2 ciders and back sweetened to taste which I think was around 10g per liter, so no expert.

Just saying that in 10 years of banting and therefore no sugar I've never had an issue with xylitol, however I also don't consume it in 50g "portions"... I will consider erythritol if I ever make another cider again, thank you for the recommendation.
No worries... also previously a Banting / Keto aficionado; now I'm more a carnivore of sorts; although not strictly as that would naturally have excluded beers, wines, ciders, sherries, ports, spirits, ... and that would make life very dull. FYI my only current sugar intake is from what I get from consuming my booze.

I've previously experienced side effects from xylitol and others sweeteners; maybe its temporary like @SykomantiS suggested... but to be honest I wasn't willing to extend my unpleasantness to get there -- there's just so long a man can spend on the loo before its no longer considered fun ;).
 

menticide

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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
Now to try to cover the fruit additive part on this post; i.e. home brewing drinks similar to Flying Fish...

There are many videos and the like on the internet about mixing your own "homemade" flying fish... but that's not what I did... I essentially started from nothing... because its both a interesting challenge and far more rewarding in the end.

I'm far more interested in brewing (with additives) my own port / sherry / rum / gin / ... style booze that can then be used together with homemade additives e.g. lemon infused syrup and even some retail ones... to produce drinks like Flying Fish, Mojito, Smirnoff Spin, etc...

Off the bat... this style of brewing is most certainly far more complex than making beer and cider... and with any experimentation there's going to be a number of disappointing outcomes -- especially when that involves weeks of experimentation with fermentation, clarification etc... only to end up with a drink that's at best unpleasant or worse.

If this is something you're interested in exploring... let me know and I'll talk through the process of making from scratch a few lemon / orange / rum / ... infused drinks, for example:
  • Lemon infused liqueur, similar to Limoncello
  • Orange infused liqueur similar to Armagnac Orange Liqueur
  • Rum
Which are then used as mixers to infuse with e.g. homemade lemonade syrup, orange syrup, ... to produce carbonated beverages that are as enjoyable as Flying Fish and the like...

Although distillation will only improve my end results... I have so far avoided that completely, because of the obvious... its more costly, complex, etc... although I'll probably end up there at some point.

The rum, gin, liqueurs, ... that I produce are made by pushing yeast to its absolute fermentation limits... around 18% ABV, and optionally using freeze distillation if I require something stronger; similar to how Applejack Brandy was traditionally made. Although the 18% stuff already has more than enough of a kick on its own. Naturally the end product has a much lower ABV... around 5% as its diluted with the mixers and water in the same way you'd make a cocktail.
 

Snyper564

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Oct 1, 2008
Messages
11,517
Hey all,

Anyone use one of these? Is this an exposed element or not and is it easy to remove the tap

1632931747018.png

I am aware that it is a 2.5KW element dont plan on ever going to 50l typically between 12-25l so that size is fine I prefer more space anyway.
 

SykomantiS

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May 7, 2012
Messages
3,562
Hey all,

Anyone use one of these? Is this an exposed element or not and is it easy to remove the tap

View attachment 1156754

I am aware that it is a 2.5KW element dont plan on ever going to 50l typically between 12-25l so that size is fine I prefer more space anyway.
I have one. Element is not exposed, tap can be easily removed but you'll have to drill out the hole if you want to fit a 1/2" ball valve. It's exactly what I did.
 

Snyper564

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
11,517
I have one. Element is not exposed, tap can be easily removed but you'll have to drill out the hole if you want to fit a 1/2" ball valve. It's exactly what I did.
Sweet think I'm going to do it!

I have a solar pump and it's worked great on my current set up.

Do you need to mod it for rolling boil?

And temp control? I have a relayed stc that I will likely use but is its temp control accurate?

Could you share a pic if you have a monent.
 

SykomantiS

Expert Member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
3,562
Sweet think I'm going to do it!

I have a solar pump and it's worked great on my current set up.

Do you need to mod it for rolling boil?

And temp control? I have a relayed stc that I will likely use but is its temp control accurate?

Could you share a pic if you have a monent.
I'm not really using the system anymore, got a Grainfather for a steal. Thing is, we're in the middle of moving to our new house so everything is in boxes, but I'll try and get a pic. I used a pi4 with a SSR to drive the element, along with a DS18B20 temp probe (which I think has died on me) , software is CraftbeerPi using a PID algorithm.
 

Snyper564

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Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
11,517
I'm not really using the system anymore, got a Grainfather for a steal. Thing is, we're in the middle of moving to our new house so everything is in boxes, but I'll try and get a pic. I used a pi4 with a SSR to drive the element, along with a DS18B20 temp probe (which I think has died on me) , software is CraftbeerPi using a PID algorithm.
Thanks, don't worry abt the pic then. Did you have to mod it for rolling boiling boil?
 

menticide

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
Hey all,

Anyone use one of these? Is this an exposed element or not and is it easy to remove the tap

View attachment 1156754

I am aware that it is a 2.5KW element dont plan on ever going to 50l typically between 12-25l so that size is fine I prefer more space anyway.
I bought one recently, and it leaked like a sieve... struggled for 2 weeks to get a replacement and it had exactly the same problem; finally decided it wasn't worth a 3rd attempt.

The element is btw not exposed, and to remove the tap, you'd need to replace it with something else; there's a total of 3 holes; 1 for the tap and 2 for the gauge. The tap is pitifully slow to drain from; so fitment of a proper tap with a decent flow rate would be a must. Temperature setting and thermostat control was fairly decent; off by 4 to 5 degrees (fairly standard for urns), also rolling boil wasn't an issue. I'd have kept it if it wasn't for the quality issues.

Also the usable capacity is 42 litres, assuming you can get one that doesn't leak.

In the end I chose to source this instead, and I'm very happy with the quality.
FYI they also have smaller sizes; 50 litre, 34 litre and 21 litre.
 
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Snyper564

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Messages
11,517
I bought one recently, and it leaked like a sieve... struggled for 2 weeks to get a replacement and it had exactly the same problem; finally decided it wasn't worth a 3rd attempt.

The element is btw not exposed, and to remove the tap, you'd need to replace it with something else; there's a total of 3 holes; 1 for the tap and 2 for the gauge. The tap is pitifully slow to drain from; so fitment of a proper tap with a decent flow rate would be a must. Temperature setting and thermostat control was fairly decent; off by 4 to 5 degrees (fairly standard for urns), also rolling boil wasn't an issue. I'd have kept it if it wasn't for the quality issues.

Also the usable capacity is 42 litres, assuming you can get one that doesn't leak.

In the end I chose to source this instead, and I'm very happy with the quality.
FYI they also have smaller sizes; 50 litre, 34 litre and 21 litre.
Thanks will bear that in mind, what exactly was leaking?
 

menticide

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Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
Thanks will bear that in mind, what exactly was leaking?
IMO it's an issue stemming from manufacturing... the construction is a cylinder which appears to be folded to contain the internal floor above the chamber containing the heating element. It leaks directly from the main chamber, between the seams into the chamber containing the heating element + wiring and finally spilling out underneath onto the countertop. It was a rather fast leak; roughly a litre in less than 5 minutes, and it became worse when the urn came up to brewing temperatures.

FYI My intended use...
I was planning to use it for my experimental brews, as a cheap brewing kettle. I'm now retrofitting the 98 litre brew pot... a stainless steel circular heating element (same as braumeister), temperature gauge, controller, bazooka micro mesh screens and outlet tap. Also consider retrofitting it with a grain basket and external pump. I had somewhat similar plans for the urn, but I couldn't chance that another one would after some use start leaking, and then have to deal with Game's repair process as opposed to replacement.

The construction of the brewing pots from cactus craft are more robust; similar to how cooking pots are...where you can't see a seam i.e. the floor appears to be form press moulded, sides have a visible join that's welded together. The only negative is that the pot is a bit flexible under heat if its not at least half full... on a gas burner its dances a bit until it has sufficient water weight to create the rigidity -- not sure if this will be similar for the smaller sizes. Anyway I don't expect this to be a problem with the circular heating element as that distributes the heating more evenly as opposed to focusing it only on the bottom of the pot.
 
Last edited:

menticide

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Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
161
Haven't used Nottingham... but some of it's properties sound a lot my current favourite yeast...

Fermentis HA-18 which performs like kveik; fast fermentation with high temperature tolerances (ideal is 25°C – 35°C), but also is high on the esters (fruit flavours) and low on the phenolics (off flavours), and its formulation also includes glucoamylase enzyme which ensures that all starches are converted and available to the yeast... meaning your final gravity ends up very low e.g. 1.000...and that equates to more alcohol. Also great for high alcohol brews (18% tolerance); e.g. barley wines, quads, barrel aged, ...
Here's a recent example of Fermentis HA-18 performance with 4 beer varieties (45 litres each) from a batch I brewed on Sunday and pitched early Monday morning at ~5 am.

I tested the gravities yesterday evening, and all the fermentations were concluded, although the active (visible) fermentations were already finished by midday, quite possibly even earlier.
Beer​
SG​
FG prior yeasts​
FG with HA-18​
Duration re HA-18​
Kolsch
1.042​
1.009​
0.996​
~1.5 days​
Dunkelweizen
1.036​
1.005​
0.996​
~1.5 days​
Chocolate IPA
1.050​
1.017​
1.010​
~1.5 days​
Sweet Milk Stout
1.054​
1.017​
1.008​
~1.5 days​

I started all the fermentations at ~30° C using a small quantity of extracted wort mixed with HA-18, and let that settle for 10 minutes, before lightly mixing and then pitching; I also added yeast nutrient and diammonium phosphate to fast track the start, and finally aerated it -- it hit high krausen just after midday Monday.

Transferred this evening to the secondaries for cold crashing, and then Friday for bottling (~20 crates x 750ml).
 

Snyper564

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
11,517
Here's a recent example of Fermentis HA-18 performance with 4 beer varieties (45 litres each) from a batch I brewed on Sunday and pitched early Monday morning at ~5 am.

I tested the gravities yesterday evening, and all the fermentations were concluded, although the active (visible) fermentations were already finished by midday, quite possibly even earlier.
Beer​
SG​
FG prior yeasts​
FG with HA-18​
Duration re HA-18​
Kolsch
1.042​
1.009​
0.996​
~1.5 days​
Dunkelweizen
1.036​
1.005​
0.996​
~1.5 days​
Chocolate IPA
1.050​
1.017​
1.010​
~1.5 days​
Sweet Milk Stout
1.054​
1.017​
1.008​
~1.5 days​

I started all the fermentations at ~30° C using a small quantity of extracted wort mixed with HA-18, and let that settle for 10 minutes, before lightly mixing and then pitching; I also added yeast nutrient and diammonium phosphate to fast track the start, and finally aerated it -- it hit high krausen just after midday Monday.

Transferred this evening to the secondaries for cold crashing, and then Friday for bottling (~20 crates x 750ml).
If you on this level join us at

 

SykomantiS

Expert Member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
3,562
Thanks, don't worry abt the pic then. Did you have to mod it for rolling boiling boil?
No I did not. I did wrap it in a blankie in the cooler months. It would boil but not quite the same as in summer for example. But for the electrics/elements themselves, no modding to get the boil going. It think though that the thermal cut-out might have been removed- I can't recall now.
 

Rocket-Boy

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
10,109
Sweet think I'm going to do it!

I have a solar pump and it's worked great on my current set up.

Do you need to mod it for rolling boil?

And temp control? I have a relayed stc that I will likely use but is its temp control accurate?

Could you share a pic if you have a monent.
I have one, it gets a rolling boil on around 30L without any issues, I am at the coast though.
I removed the tap and the cover from the sight glass, then used a dremel to enlarge the hole a bit for a 1/2" ball valve.
I also used an accurate 2L jug to measure out water and mark the sight glass tube for accurate water measurements.
I wouldnt use a relay for a 2.5kw load personally, I have a C100 PID with a SSR running mine, works a treat.
 
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