What have you got brewing at the moment

Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
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catboy
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 174455Post catboy »

6 botltles of sloe gin so far, BTW was it me or were the sloes really really early this year??

i'd like to get some nettle beer on the go...anyone have any ideas or tips about this? i love the 'Stinger' ale Huge Furry Willingness has developed with the Badger brewery does real nettle beer taste anything like that? anyone got a recipe?

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Biscombe
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 174758Post Biscombe »

One gallon of of ginger and pumpkin and one gallon of plum and fig

craig.r
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 174852Post craig.r »

just in the process of making a summer ale beer kit. Just wanted to see what it was like because i noticed it sells really well.
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alec-ish
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177024Post alec-ish »

this is my first attempt at making wine seems to be going ok!

one gallon of ginger and raisin wine (hmmm whisky mac!)
one gallon of sloe wine
ginger and sloe wine
ginger and sloe wine
wine (Large).jpg (76.44 KiB) Viewed 2955 times
six bottles of sloe gin
sloe gin
sloe gin
sloe gin (Large).jpg (91.06 KiB) Viewed 2955 times
if anyone has any tips on how to get the wine to clear would be very grateful especially the sloe wine

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benner
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177030Post benner »

Hi alec-ish!

The wines will clear in time, I noticed your demijohns were near a radiator, cooler temperature also helps with clearing. Also, I would suggest wrapping a black bin bag around the sloe wine, most books advise using a dark coloured DJ for red wines, you might lose some of that lovely colour! :thumbright:

Good luck! :drunken:

Ben

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Sloe vodka
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177031Post MKG »

Hi Alec

Your wine won't clear at all until it's finished fermenting. Then you should be able to (slowly) see it clearing from the top as a deposit builds up at the bottom. However, it doesn't always happen like that (wouldn't you just know it). Nothing can be done until fermentation has well and truly stopped, then ...

Chilling the wine definitely helps clearing if the haze is just particles of whatever you made the wine out of. Failing that, you can get a lot of different fining agents from the home brew shop, which are simply stirred into the wine (and then you wait). Finally, if nothing else works, you may have a pectin haze which can only be cleared by using double doses of pectic enzyme.

But I wouldn't worry about it at this stage - neither of your wines looks like it's stopped yet (and the sloe wine certainly hasn't). Probably 95% of wines will clear quite naturally - just keep them (once again, after they've stopped) in the coolest place you can find.

Mike
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alec-ish
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177051Post alec-ish »

thanks for the tips mkg and benner

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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177103Post Story books »

craig.r wrote:Just thought i would see what everyone else has got Brewing ?

I myself have 1 gallon of each : Elderflower wine, Elderflower champagne, ginger beer, Blackberry (frozen berries from last year) and May Blossom wine.

I got table wines this time.

Endie
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177492Post Endie »

I've never brewed anything more than a pot of tea before in my life, so this could be a disaster! But having bought a house with a small orchard - four damson and plum, two pear and eight or nine apple trees of various sorts - I didn't have much choice. Unless you know anyone who wants a few hundred pounds of fruit? You can only make so many pies, crumbles, preserves, jams, syrups, chutneys...

Anyway, we've now got 10 gallons of plum/damson, ten more gallons of apple wine, and six demijohns of cider on the go. The sugar levels in the fruit were astonishingly high, and fermentation went on for almost a couple of months despite a moderately warm room, so we're expecting something terrifyingly strong. I'm one of life's pessimists, however, so I'll be happy if it is drinkable.

Like Alec, I seem to have a pectin haze in the wines (not the cider for some reason, which is already clear and looks an amazing, rich colour), so it could be a long time!

How long should I leave it before trying it? I'll be racking it into bottles soon and I'll no doubt give it a try then, but I've heard horror stories down at the Kirkcaldy homebrew store about pectin hazes taking a year to clear. Was he serious? Should I wait for it to clear before bottling it?

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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177515Post MKG »

Horror stories indeed, Endie - they're winding you up.

First of all, a pectin haze will do harm other than looking slightly cloudy (who cares? is my opinion). And it doesn't take a long time to clear - it'll never clear unless you do something about it. What you should have done when you started the wines is add a level teaspoon of pectic enyme per gallon. That would have broken down the pectin before the alcohol stopped it working. And that's the problem. Now that there's a lot of alcohol in the wine, it takes double the amount of enzyme to do the same thing (a heaped teaspoon per gallon). If you want to go that way, stir the enzyme into the wine and leave it for a month or so, then rack.

Your apple wine is very likely to have a pectin haze. Your plum/damson wine isn't so likely to have one (although it's possible), but those fruits produce wines which are notorious for clearing slowly. Cooling them down as much as possible helps - stick 'em outside for a few nights.

To be quite frank, a light haze never bothers me in the slightest (they're all harmless) and, if you don't like using chemicals, then hazes are going to be a fact of life.

How long to leave it before trying it? Well, you should be tasting it from the moment it finishes, and that will give you a guide as to how long to store it. If it tastes OK right away, then enjoy it right away. If it's too dry, make a note to sweeten it before you drink it. If it tastes rough as old boots, it's going to need 6 months to a year in storage. Just remember that most fruits, deprived of their natural sugars, taste completely different to the fresh version.

Nearly forgot - don't rush to the bottling stage. Apart from the risk of secondary fermentations occurring and exploding your bottles, wine matures much more quickly in bulk. VERY LITTLE maturation occurs in a bottle.

Mike
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

Endie
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177567Post Endie »

Great advice, thanks... I suspect you've done this before :iconbiggrin:

I've not tasted it yet because of the fear of oxidation or contamination once I remove the airlock. Am I being over-protective of it? How should I test it?

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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177595Post spughy »

Wow this thread is making me wish I had scavenged more fruit this summer! Sadly I borrow brewing equipment and only have space for 2 5-gallon carboys in my pantry. If I put them anywhere else the husband starts making noises of distress.

BUT - I do have upwards of 20 litres of naturally fermented mead stashed away for X-Mas/Solstice presents. No added yeast, just what was floating around the house. I split the batch and threw a pint of blackberries into one carboy - must have had some extra yeasts or something on them because that batch fermented off a lot drier. Both are very nice though.

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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177605Post MKG »

Endie wrote:I've not tasted it yet because of the fear of oxidation or contamination once I remove the airlock. Am I being over-protective of it? How should I test it?
Yes, you are :iconbiggrin:

It takes ages to oxidise a wine. If you took the airlock off, the wine would still be effectively unoxidised a couple of weeks later as long as you don't shake it about. Mind you, bacteria would probably get in and turn it into vinegar, so I wouldn't advise it. Just take off the airlock and either syphon (or simply pour) out a half-glassful. Replace the wine with tap water and put the lock back on. Pretty simple, and no paranoia.

You can test it as scientifically as you like, but the whole point of wine is that you want it to taste good, so the best possible test is your tongue. And now you have a half-glass to savour. I'll almost guarantee that your apple wine will taste awful (unless you really loaded it with sugar) and your plum/damson will taste OK in a crude kind of way. Time will improve both, but so will various adjustments you can make. The point is that you can't make the adjustments unless you have a known datum point - that first tasting. So, note down your impressions, even if they're of the Oh my God sort. Later, when you know that fermentation has well and truly stopped and you've got rid of any remaining yeast, you can start tinkering. The apple wine will very probably need to be sweetened slightly by the addition of sugar syrup (which is why it's important to get rid of that yeast). Because of that first tasting, and then a second tasting just before you make any adjustments, you'll have a very good idea of how much improvement there's been and so how much sweetening you need to do.

Just don't be fearful of horror stories. The wine is going to be chucked about mercilessly when you bottle it anyway. As long as you treat it with care and cleanliness, you'll be OK.

Mike
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indy
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177639Post indy »

I have on the brew at the moment, elderflower wine, marrow wine, apple wine, peapod wine and plum wine!
Think next christmas could be wobbly! :cheers:
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Re: What have you got brewing at the moment

Post: # 177735Post Endie »

MKG wrote:
Endie wrote:I've not tasted it yet because of the fear of oxidation or contamination once I remove the airlock. Am I being over-protective of it? How should I test it?
Yes, you are :iconbiggrin:

I'll almost guarantee that your apple wine will taste awful (unless you really loaded it with sugar) and your plum/damson will taste OK in a crude kind of way. [snip...]
Heh, you're good! The apple wine tasted like wine, but with a tingling acidity and a real roughness that I hope will smooth out. The plum/damson was a little sweet but with real bitterness from the skins.

The cider is a quandary. I suspected it would be appley because the fermentation stopped quickly, but basically it was like a weak apple juice with a hint of alcohol. I'm tempted to add some sugar (I added none at first to the cider) and restart it.

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