Discussion:
home brewed beer
(too old to reply)
Jeßus
2012-01-25 22:05:32 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 16:07:45 +1100, "Rod Speed"
<***@gmail.com> wrote:

<alt.beer.home-brewing & rec.food.drink.beer added in the vain hope
that it may resuscitate them>
Mead can be very simple to make - but not necessarily cheap -
depending on the honey used. The 30L one I racked today cost $150 in
Rainforest honey and $20 for the 2 packs of special mead yeast that I use.
Yeah, thats a hell of a lot more than I ever spend on a batch of beer.
Indeed it is, but then my motives for home brewing isn't purely to
save money. I actually prefer my beer to almost all commercial beers.
My favourite commercial beer - from the bigger breweries at least -
has always been Coopers, so sediment has never been something that's
bothered me. As for the mead, well I just love the stuff and it's very
expensive to buy, assuming you can even find some to buy, that is.


<snip>
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that I infected with
the beer brewing bug has just got one and its worked out pretty well.
Mostly scotch, I do spend a bit on commercial scotch currently.
Unlikely that the 80 year old scotch will be viable to make myself tho.
I've been distilling for a couple of years now, at first with one of
those 'air' stills, but now mainly I use a pot still. I'm not really a
spirit drinker, but I do like apple cider brandy and other brandies.
I intend to lightly distill mead at some point, hoping to make a mead
liqueur. There is a Tasmanian company that makes one, and it's bloody
delicious, neat with ice. The vodka comes in handy for making vanilla
essence as well.

------
If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there, is he still wrong? ? Steven Wright
Jeßus
2012-01-25 22:22:07 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:15:50 -0800 (PST), BruceS
I just racked a batch of spiced mead this arvo.
Started brewing mead last year and now it's my main drink (in winter, at least)...
just love the stuff. It can blow your head off if you're not careful though :)
I used to drink mead from a wine glass. Recently, I started drinking
it from a beer glass. Wow.
:) I did similar actually. Started off using shot glasses, then mid-sized glasses, then full size glasses.
It's insidious stuff though, you need to keep an eye on your
consumption, it seems to sneak up to you in a way that beer and
spirits don't. That's my experience at least.
FWIW, if you get into kegging, you can
force carbonate mead very nicely. It's a lot nicer getting it from a
tap than opening a champagne bottle each time. I only made a couple
batches of still mead---everything else sparkling, including my best
batch, which was meant to be still. Oops.
Never thought of kegging mead. I've been flip-flopping on the idea of
kegs. On the one hand they're convenient in many ways - OTOH bottles
are much more portable.

<snip>
I wasn't very impressed with the expensive "mead" yeast I used on my
last batch. It cost a lot more than champagne yeast, and didn't
produce any better result. Even the dry champagne yeast gives good
results with mead. I also tend to use less honey than many, like 10
to 12 pounds per five gallons, vs. the 15 to 18 some prefer. With the
lower honey content, and champagne yeast, you can get a completely
fermented out (dry) mead, with none of the sticky sweetness so common
in mead.
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast. For
my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an air leak in
the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there as well... but
all I know is, that remains the best mead I've made yet :) As
mentioned before, my next batches will use champagne yeast, will be
interesting to see the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys
and yeast, but eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
This apple and pear season I plan to substitute the sugar for honey on
a couple of batches, and make a hybrid cider/mead or perry/mead.
Should be interesting.
A friend made that a lot, called it "sizer", or something like that.
I liked the result, but didn't try doing it myself. Good luck.
Thanks. I'm looking forward to doing this, the honey, apples and pears
will all come from the local area here.
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that I infected with
the beer brewing bug has just got one and its worked out pretty well.
You can distill? Here (U.S.) it's legal for me to ferment up to 200
gallons per year, but I can't distill any of it without an expensive
and difficult-to-obtain license, or a "fuel" license which requires
poisoning the result. Stupid law, but I follow it.
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a
blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any home
brew shop here in Oz and you'll see stills, essences etc. openly for
sale. We are actually allowed to own and use a till for oil extracts
or water distillation... but NOT for alcohol production. Max.
allowable size is only 5L as well, although there is no trouble
purchasing much bigger stills.
BruceS
2012-01-26 23:06:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:15:50 -0800 (PST), BruceS
I just racked a batch of spiced mead this arvo.
Started brewing mead last year and now it's my main drink (in winter, at least)...
just love the stuff. It can blow your head off if you're not careful though :)
I used to drink mead from a wine glass.  Recently, I started drinking
it from a beer glass.  Wow.
:) I did similar actually. Started off using shot glasses, then mid-sized glasses, then full size glasses.
It's insidious stuff though, you need to keep an eye on your
consumption, it seems to sneak up to you in a way that beer and
spirits don't. That's my experience at least.
Same here. I seem to go from not feeling it at all to feeling it a
lot, more so even than when I'm drinking neat whisk{e}y.
Post by Jeßus
FWIW, if you get into kegging, you can
force carbonate mead very nicely.  It's a lot nicer getting it from a
tap than opening a champagne bottle each time.  I only made a couple
batches of still mead---everything else sparkling, including my best
batch, which was meant to be still.  Oops.
Never thought of kegging mead. I've been flip-flopping on the idea of
kegs. On the one hand they're convenient in many ways - OTOH bottles
are much more portable.
Another consideration, that didn't occur to me until I emptied my
first keg, is knowing when you're low. With bottles, it's pretty easy
to see when you're down to a few bottles of brew. With a keg, about
the best you can do (AFAIK) is check its weight to get a rough feel of
how much is in there. A full keg is about 40 lbs (18kg) heavier than
an empty, which is very light. Drawing a glass for a friend, only to
have it start blowing CO2 halfway through, can disappoint.
Post by Jeßus
<snip>
I wasn't very impressed with the expensive "mead" yeast I used on my
last batch.  It cost a lot more than champagne yeast, and didn't
produce any better result.  Even the dry champagne yeast gives good
results with mead.  I also tend to use less honey than many, like 10
to 12 pounds per five gallons, vs. the 15 to 18 some prefer.  With the
lower honey content, and champagne yeast, you can get a completely
fermented out (dry) mead, with none of the sticky sweetness so common
in mead.
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast. For
my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an air leak in
the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there as well... but
all I know is, that remains the best mead I've made yet :) As
mentioned before, my next batches will use champagne yeast, will be
interesting to see the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys
and yeast, but eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
I think they'll work fine, and I hope you find that as well. No need
to spend so much on yeast, though I'd opt for the champagne long
before the bakers'.
Post by Jeßus
This apple and pear season I plan to substitute the sugar for honey on
a couple of batches, and make a hybrid cider/mead or perry/mead.
Should be interesting.
A friend made that a lot, called it "sizer", or something like that.
I liked the result, but didn't try doing it myself.  Good luck.
Thanks. I'm looking forward to doing this, the honey, apples and pears
will all come from the local area here.
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that I infected with
the beer brewing bug has just got one and its worked out pretty well.
You can distill?  Here (U.S.) it's legal for me to ferment up to 200
gallons per year, but I can't distill any of it without an expensive
and difficult-to-obtain license, or a "fuel" license which requires
poisoning the result.  Stupid law, but I follow it.
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a
blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any home
brew shop here in Oz and you'll see stills, essences etc. openly for
sale. We are actually allowed to own and use a till for oil extracts
or water distillation... but NOT for alcohol production. Max.
allowable size is only 5L as well, although there is no trouble
purchasing much bigger stills.
I'm not sure how seriously they take it here, but I haven't seen any
distilling equipment at the brew shops, so that's probably a fair
indicator. Years ago I bought a book on building stills, but now I
can't even find it. I'm paranoid enough that I bought it with cash,
even though I had no intent to actually build a still. I like the
design with a vertical tube of marbles to improve efficiency.
Authorities here can sometimes be breathtakingly absurd in their
enforcement of laws related to recreational drugs. Colorado now
allows "medical" marijuana, with shops having "compassionate" doctors
ready to write nearly anyone a prescription, so I could more easily
(legally) grow and use pot than run a pot still.
Jeßus
2012-01-27 23:14:25 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:06:43 -0800 (PST), BruceS
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:15:50 -0800 (PST), BruceS
I just racked a batch of spiced mead this arvo.
Started brewing mead last year and now it's my main drink (in winter, at least)...
just love the stuff. It can blow your head off if you're not careful though :)
I used to drink mead from a wine glass.  Recently, I started drinking
it from a beer glass.  Wow.
:) I did similar actually. Started off using shot glasses, then mid-sized glasses, then full size glasses.
It's insidious stuff though, you need to keep an eye on your
consumption, it seems to sneak up to you in a way that beer and
spirits don't. That's my experience at least.
Same here. I seem to go from not feeling it at all to feeling it a
lot, more so even than when I'm drinking neat whisk{e}y.
Twice I've overdone it on the mead... having a quiet drink with a
mate... then a couple more come over and before you know it it's 11PM
and I've cleaned up a litre of mead. Then I wake up in front of the
wood heater, with the dog snuggled up to me :p
Post by BruceS
Another consideration, that didn't occur to me until I emptied my
first keg, is knowing when you're low. With bottles, it's pretty easy
to see when you're down to a few bottles of brew. With a keg, about
the best you can do (AFAIK) is check its weight to get a rough feel of
how much is in there. A full keg is about 40 lbs (18kg) heavier than
an empty, which is very light. Drawing a glass for a friend, only to
have it start blowing CO2 halfway through, can disappoint.
I'd never thought of that problem, hmm.
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast. For
my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an air leak in
the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there as well... but
all I know is, that remains the best mead I've made yet :) As
mentioned before, my next batches will use champagne yeast, will be
interesting to see the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys
and yeast, but eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
I think they'll work fine, and I hope you find that as well. No need
to spend so much on yeast, though I'd opt for the champagne long
before the bakers'.
As would I, normally. All I know is the very first 5L batch of mead is
still the best one I made, I used bakers yeast (followed the recipe to
the letter). Mind you, there was a leak around the airlock and wild
yeast may have gotten in. After only 2-3 months, the honey had
clarified completely, something I haven't achieved with any other
yeast. And it really does taste the best of all the batches I've done
so far <shrug>. But yeah, next batch of mead will be either champagne
or other wine yeast.
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a
blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any home
brew shop here in Oz and you'll see stills, essences etc. openly for
sale. We are actually allowed to own and use a till for oil extracts
or water distillation... but NOT for alcohol production. Max.
allowable size is only 5L as well, although there is no trouble
purchasing much bigger stills.
I'm not sure how seriously they take it here, but I haven't seen any
distilling equipment at the brew shops, so that's probably a fair
indicator. Years ago I bought a book on building stills, but now I
can't even find it. I'm paranoid enough that I bought it with cash,
even though I had no intent to actually build a still. I like the
design with a vertical tube of marbles to improve efficiency.
Authorities here can sometimes be breathtakingly absurd in their
enforcement of laws related to recreational drugs. Colorado now
allows "medical" marijuana, with shops having "compassionate" doctors
ready to write nearly anyone a prescription, so I could more easily
(legally) grow and use pot than run a pot still.
Indeed. If you're interested in distilling and/or making your own
still, there is a Yahoo group that's got a pretty good group of people
on there who know their stuff. Called 'new distillers'

Or maybe have a look at:
http://www.taet.com.au/distillers.nsf/ and http://homedistiller.org
BruceS
2012-01-29 18:48:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:06:43 -0800 (PST), BruceS
Post by Jeßus
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:15:50 -0800 (PST), BruceS
I just racked a batch of spiced mead this arvo.
Started brewing mead last year and now it's my main drink (in winter, at least)...
just love the stuff. It can blow your head off if you're not careful though :)
I used to drink mead from a wine glass.  Recently, I started drinking
it from a beer glass.  Wow.
:) I did similar actually. Started off using shot glasses, then mid-sized glasses, then full size glasses.
It's insidious stuff though, you need to keep an eye on your
consumption, it seems to sneak up to you in a way that beer and
spirits don't. That's my experience at least.
Same here.  I seem to go from not feeling it at all to feeling it a
lot, more so even than when I'm drinking neat whisk{e}y.
Twice I've overdone it on the mead... having a quiet drink with a
mate... then a couple more come over and before you know it it's 11PM
and I've cleaned up a litre of mead. Then I wake up in front of the
wood heater, with the dog snuggled up to me :p
Another consideration, that didn't occur to me until I emptied my
first keg, is knowing when you're low.  With bottles, it's pretty easy
to see when you're down to a few bottles of brew.  With a keg, about
the best you can do (AFAIK) is check its weight to get a rough feel of
how much is in there.  A full keg is about 40 lbs (18kg) heavier than
an empty, which is very light.  Drawing a glass for a friend, only to
have it start blowing CO2 halfway through, can disappoint.
I'd never thought of that problem, hmm.
One of my recent batches, I tried getting around it by filling a 1L
bottle with beer, and force-carbonating it in that bottle. I built a
simple cap & valve setup based on a YouTube video I found, and it
works OK. Still, it's a bit offputting to have beer in a plastic
bottle. I think next batch, I'll put beer in a couple champagne
bottles, and add the small amount of invert sugar needed. Either way,
it's a bit of extra hassle, when using the keg is mainly about
reducing hassle. I guess I should just be happy to have four kegs,
and stop whining, but each one is different, so I still run out of
something for a while.
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast. For
my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an air leak in
the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there as well... but
all I know is, that remains the best mead I've made yet :) As
mentioned before, my next batches will use champagne yeast, will be
interesting to see the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys
and yeast, but eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
I think they'll work fine, and I hope you find that as well.  No need
to spend so much on yeast, though I'd opt for the champagne long
before the bakers'.
As would I, normally. All I know is the very first 5L batch of mead is
still the best one I made, I used bakers yeast (followed the recipe to
the letter). Mind you, there was a leak around the airlock and wild
yeast may have gotten in. After only 2-3 months, the honey had
clarified completely, something I haven't achieved with any other
yeast. And it really does taste the best of all the batches I've done
so far <shrug>. But yeah, next batch of mead will be either champagne
or other wine yeast.
That's part of the fun of brewing; it isn't entirely predictable or
reproducible for those of us that don't write down every detail. My
best batch of mead was a mistake, and I've never been able to come
close to it. Mine do clarify pretty well, once the carbonation has
slowed. In case you're not already doing it, it may help to rack it
every time it builds up a significant layer of sediment.
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a
blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any home
brew shop here in Oz and you'll see stills, essences etc. openly for
sale. We are actually allowed to own and use a till for oil extracts
or water distillation... but NOT for alcohol production. Max.
allowable size is only 5L as well, although there is no trouble
purchasing much bigger stills.
I'm not sure how seriously they take it here, but I haven't seen any
distilling equipment at the brew shops, so that's probably a fair
indicator.  Years ago I bought a book on building stills, but now I
can't even find it.  I'm paranoid enough that I bought it with cash,
even though I had no intent to actually build a still.  I like the
design with a vertical tube of marbles to improve efficiency.
Authorities here can sometimes be breathtakingly absurd in their
enforcement of laws related to recreational drugs.  Colorado now
allows "medical" marijuana, with shops having "compassionate" doctors
ready to write nearly anyone a prescription, so I could more easily
(legally) grow and use pot than run a pot still.
Indeed. If you're interested in distilling and/or making your own
still, there is a Yahoo group that's got a pretty good group of people
on there who know their stuff. Called 'new distillers'
Thanks, I'll look into that.
Post by Jeßus
Or maybe have a look at:http://www.taet.com.au/distillers.nsf/and  http://homedistiller.org
Or that.
Or both. I have a lot of free time these days.
Rod Speed
2012-01-29 19:17:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
I just racked a batch of spiced mead this arvo.
Started brewing mead last year and now it's my
main drink (in winter, at least)... just love the stuff.
It can blow your head off if you're not careful though :)
I used to drink mead from a wine glass. Recently,
I started drinking it from a beer glass. Wow.
:) I did similar actually. Started off using shot glasses, then
mid-sized glasses, then full size glasses. It's insidious stuff
though, you need to keep an eye on your
consumption, it seems to sneak up to you in a way that beer and
spirits don't. That's my experience at least.
Same here. I seem to go from not feeling it at all to feeling it a
lot, more so even than when I'm drinking neat whisk{e}y.
Twice I've overdone it on the mead... having a quiet drink with a
mate... then a couple more come over and before you know it it's 11PM
and I've cleaned up a litre of mead. Then I wake up in front of the
wood heater, with the dog snuggled up to me :p
Another consideration, that didn't occur to me until I emptied my
first keg, is knowing when you're low. With bottles, it's pretty
easy to see when you're down to a few bottles of brew. With a keg,
about the best you can do (AFAIK) is check its weight to get a
rough feel of how much is in there. A full keg is about 40 lbs
(18kg) heavier than an empty, which is very light. Drawing a glass
for a friend, only to have it start blowing CO2 halfway through,
can disappoint.
I'd never thought of that problem, hmm.
One of my recent batches, I tried getting around it by filling a 1L
bottle with beer, and force-carbonating it in that bottle. I built a
simple cap & valve setup based on a YouTube video I found, and it
works OK. Still, it's a bit offputting to have beer in a plastic bottle.
Dunno, I do about half of mine in plastic, Cooper's PETs.

The other half in glass 375ml bottles we call stubbys.

Mate of mine whose kids drink lots of softdrink uses those plastic bottles.

The PETs are easier to fill because they are twice the size but you cant
leave them in the plastic bottles as long, Coopers recommends no longer
than 3 months. I routinely drink some beer a year after its bottled because
some years I do the entire year's supply in just one mega brewing season.

The main think I dont like with plastic other than that is that you cant
wash them in the dishwasher. The stubbys are fine in the dishwasher.

I do have some traditional glass beer bottles, but I got them at yard/
garage sales and so far havent gotten around to cleaning them. They
dont do well in the dishwasher, it doesnt work that well with those
much bigger bottles.
Post by BruceS
I think next batch, I'll put beer in a couple champagne
bottles, and add the small amount of invert sugar needed.
Either way, it's a bit of extra hassle, when using the keg
is mainly about reducing hassle.
Yeah, certainly saves the bottling time which
is by far the most effort with a particular batch.
Post by BruceS
I guess I should just be happy to have four kegs,
and stop whining, but each one is different, so I
still run out of something for a while.
And they need their own dedicated fridge/fridges with beer.

That adds to the cost considerably, and the running cost too.
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts -
both dry and sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20
just for the yeast. For my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast.
There was also an air leak in the lid, and possibly some wild
yeasts snuck in there as well... but all I know is, that remains
the best mead I've made yet :) As mentioned before, my next
batches will use champagne yeast, will be interesting to see
the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys and yeast, but
eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
I think they'll work fine, and I hope you find that as well.
No need to spend so much on yeast, though I'd opt for
Post by Jeßus
the champagne long before the bakers'.
As would I, normally. All I know is the very first 5L batch of mead is
still the best one I made, I used bakers yeast (followed the recipe to
the letter). Mind you, there was a leak around the airlock and wild
yeast may have gotten in. After only 2-3 months, the honey had
clarified completely, something I haven't achieved with any other
yeast. And it really does taste the best of all the batches I've done
so far <shrug>. But yeah, next batch of mead will be either champagne
or other wine yeast.
That's part of the fun of brewing; it isn't entirely predictable or
reproducible for those of us that don't write down every detail.
My best batch of mead was a mistake, and I've never been
able to come close to it.
Thats why I document things properly, including the temps.

That situation of not being about to duplicate one of the best
irritates the hell out of me.
Post by BruceS
Mine do clarify pretty well, once the carbonation has slowed.
In case you're not already doing it, it may help to rack it
every time it builds up a significant layer of sediment.
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly> turn a
blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any
home brew shop here in Oz and you'll see stills, essences etc.
openly for sale. We are actually allowed to own and use a till for
oil extracts or water distillation... but NOT for alcohol production.
Max. allowable size is only 5L as well, although there is no trouble
purchasing much bigger stills.
I'm not sure how seriously they take it here, but I haven't seen any
distilling equipment at the brew shops, so that's probably a fair
indicator. Years ago I bought a book on building stills, but now I
can't even find it. I'm paranoid enough that I bought it with cash,
even though I had no intent to actually build a still. I like the
design with a vertical tube of marbles to improve efficiency.
Authorities here can sometimes be breathtakingly absurd in their
enforcement of laws related to recreational drugs. Colorado now
allows "medical" marijuana, with shops having "compassionate"
doctors ready to write nearly anyone a prescription, so I could
more easily (legally) grow and use pot than run a pot still.
Indeed. If you're interested in distilling and/or making your own
still, there is a Yahoo group that's got a pretty good group of
people on there who know their stuff. Called 'new distillers'
Thanks, I'll look into that.
Post by Jeßus
Or maybe have a look at:http://www.taet.com.au/distillers.nsf/and
http://homedistiller.org
Or that.
Or both. I have a lot of free time these days.
Jeßus
2012-02-06 21:22:07 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 29 Jan 2012 10:48:10 -0800 (PST), BruceS
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:

Lost track of this thread, sorry...
<snip>
Post by BruceS
One of my recent batches, I tried getting around it by filling a 1L
bottle with beer, and force-carbonating it in that bottle. I built a
simple cap & valve setup based on a YouTube video I found, and it
works OK. Still, it's a bit offputting to have beer in a plastic
bottle. I think next batch, I'll put beer in a couple champagne
bottles, and add the small amount of invert sugar needed. Either way,
it's a bit of extra hassle, when using the keg is mainly about
reducing hassle. I guess I should just be happy to have four kegs,
and stop whining, but each one is different, so I still run out of
something for a while.
Pros and cons to all approaches, 4 kegs is a reasonable range of brews
to have available at any given time I would think :)
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast. For
my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an air leak in
the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there as well... but
all I know is, that remains the best mead I've made yet :) As
mentioned before, my next batches will use champagne yeast, will be
interesting to see the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys
and yeast, but eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
I think they'll work fine, and I hope you find that as well.  No need
to spend so much on yeast, though I'd opt for the champagne long
before the bakers'.
Yep, it wasn't my long range plan to keep using these expensive
yeasts. I was just somewhat playing it 'safe' by using a so-called
proper yeast for a while, now it's time to start trying other types.
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
As would I, normally. All I know is the very first 5L batch of mead is
still the best one I made, I used bakers yeast (followed the recipe to
the letter). Mind you, there was a leak around the airlock and wild
yeast may have gotten in. After only 2-3 months, the honey had
clarified completely, something I haven't achieved with any other
yeast. And it really does taste the best of all the batches I've done
so far <shrug>. But yeah, next batch of mead will be either champagne
or other wine yeast.
That's part of the fun of brewing; it isn't entirely predictable or
reproducible for those of us that don't write down every detail. My
best batch of mead was a mistake, and I've never been able to come
close to it. Mine do clarify pretty well, once the carbonation has
slowed. In case you're not already doing it, it may help to rack it
every time it builds up a significant layer of sediment.
I do rack, but only once before it gets used or bottled (generally
around 3 months). Only now I'm starting to build a bit of a stockpile
of mead, meaning that future batches should get to age for a year or
two before use. That should help a lot when it comes to sediment,
being able to rack it more than once and after it has clarified
properly.
Rod Speed
2012-02-06 21:30:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Lost track of this thread, sorry...
<snip>
Post by BruceS
One of my recent batches, I tried getting around it by filling a 1L
bottle with beer, and force-carbonating it in that bottle. I built a
simple cap & valve setup based on a YouTube video I found, and
it works OK. Still, it's a bit offputting to have beer in a plastic
bottle. I think next batch, I'll put beer in a couple champagne
bottles, and add the small amount of invert sugar needed. Either
way, it's a bit of extra hassle, when using the keg is mainly about
reducing hassle. I guess I should just be happy to have four kegs,
and stop whining, but each one is different, so I still run out of
something for a while.
Pros and cons to all approaches, 4 kegs is a reasonable range
of brews to have available at any given time I would think :)
I tend to drink a brew at a time except when visitors show up.

Mate of mine prefers much more variety than my approach, even on a particular day.

Dont think he ever has more than 4 different brews
on a particular day, but could well do in a week etc.

With fridges alone, thats a real problem.
Post by Jeßus
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast.
For my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an
air leak in the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there
as well... but all I know is, that remains the best mead I've
made yet :) As mentioned before, my next batches will use
champagne yeast, will be interesting to see the results. I'm
still experimenting with honeys and yeast, but eventually I'll
settle on one or two combinations. I'm hoping the cheaper yeasts
work best, for obvious reasons.
I think they'll work fine, and I hope you find that as well. No
need to spend so much on yeast, though I'd opt for the champagne
long before the bakers'.
Yep, it wasn't my long range plan to keep using these expensive
yeasts. I was just somewhat playing it 'safe' by using a so-called
proper yeast for a while, now it's time to start trying other types.
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
As would I, normally. All I know is the very first 5L batch of mead
is still the best one I made, I used bakers yeast (followed the
recipe to the letter). Mind you, there was a leak around the
airlock and wild yeast may have gotten in. After only 2-3 months,
the honey had clarified completely, something I haven't achieved
with any other yeast. And it really does taste the best of all the
batches I've done so far <shrug>. But yeah, next batch of mead will
be either champagne or other wine yeast.
That's part of the fun of brewing; it isn't entirely predictable or
reproducible for those of us that don't write down every detail. My
best batch of mead was a mistake, and I've never been able to come
close to it. Mine do clarify pretty well, once the carbonation has
slowed. In case you're not already doing it, it may help to rack it
every time it builds up a significant layer of sediment.
I do rack, but only once before it gets used or bottled (generally
around 3 months). Only now I'm starting to build a bit of a stockpile
of mead, meaning that future batches should get to age for a year or
two before use. That should help a lot when it comes to sediment,
being able to rack it more than once and after it has clarified properly.
What is your opinion on whats a desirable max temp in summer ?
Jeßus
2012-02-08 02:09:53 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 7 Feb 2012 08:30:04 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
Lost track of this thread, sorry...
<snip>
Post by BruceS
One of my recent batches, I tried getting around it by filling a 1L
bottle with beer, and force-carbonating it in that bottle. I built a
simple cap & valve setup based on a YouTube video I found, and
it works OK. Still, it's a bit offputting to have beer in a plastic
bottle. I think next batch, I'll put beer in a couple champagne
bottles, and add the small amount of invert sugar needed. Either
way, it's a bit of extra hassle, when using the keg is mainly about
reducing hassle. I guess I should just be happy to have four kegs,
and stop whining, but each one is different, so I still run out of
something for a while.
Pros and cons to all approaches, 4 kegs is a reasonable range
of brews to have available at any given time I would think :)
I tend to drink a brew at a time except when visitors show up.
Mate of mine prefers much more variety than my approach, even on a particular day.
I get 2.5 cartons per batch (stubbies), I generally wait 2-3 months,
then drink 1 to 1.5 cartons of those cartons, then leave the other
carton to age for up to 18 months. I try to maintain the 'stockpile'
around 30 cartons of beer and cider at any given time.
I like to have two different beers, one type of cider and mead in the
fridge.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
I do rack, but only once before it gets used or bottled (generally
around 3 months). Only now I'm starting to build a bit of a stockpile
of mead, meaning that future batches should get to age for a year or
two before use. That should help a lot when it comes to sediment,
being able to rack it more than once and after it has clarified properly.
What is your opinion on whats a desirable max temp in summer ?
I don't have much of an opinion on that at this stage, not something
I've investigated... yet. However, I would say 28ºC is as high as many
yeasts can handle. Most of my brews sit around 24-26ºC, summer or
winter (in winter I use aquarium heaters).
Rod Speed
2012-02-08 03:28:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
Lost track of this thread, sorry...
Post by BruceS
One of my recent batches, I tried getting around it by filling a
1L bottle with beer, and force-carbonating it in that bottle. I
built a simple cap & valve setup based on a YouTube video I found,
and it works OK. Still, it's a bit offputting to have beer in a
plastic bottle. I think next batch, I'll put beer in a couple
champagne bottles, and add the small amount of invert sugar
needed. Either way, it's a bit of extra hassle, when using the
keg is mainly about reducing hassle. I guess I should just be
happy to have four kegs, and stop whining, but each one is
different, so I still run out of something for a while.
Pros and cons to all approaches, 4 kegs is a reasonable range
of brews to have available at any given time I would think :)
I tend to drink a brew at a time except when visitors show up.
Mate of mine prefers much more variety than my approach, even on a particular day.
I get 2.5 cartons per batch (stubbies),
Yeah, me too, 60 stubbys or 30 PETs.
Post by Jeßus
I generally wait 2-3 months,
I always wait at least that long, sometime much longer
because I brew at most once or twice a year.

Just once this year because it stayed warm and cool enough for longer than usual.

I prefer not to heat or cool while brewing.
Post by Jeßus
then drink 1 to 1.5 cartons of those cartons, then
leave the other carton to age for up to 18 months.
I dont need to split the brew like that because of the way I brew.
Post by Jeßus
I try to maintain the 'stockpile' around 30 cartons of beer and cider at any given time.
I dont try to ensure I always have that as a minimum.

And I dont bother with cider anymore, I prefer the beer.
Post by Jeßus
I like to have two different beers, one
type of cider and mead in the fridge.
I normally have more than a couple of beer brews because
some of the visitors prefer more than one beer brew in a session.
Post by Jeßus
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
I do rack, but only once before it gets used or bottled (generally
around 3 months). Only now I'm starting to build a bit of a stockpile
of mead, meaning that future batches should get to age for a year or
two before use. That should help a lot when it comes to sediment,
being able to rack it more than once and after it has clarified properly.
What is your opinion on whats a desirable max temp in summer ?
I don't have much of an opinion on that at this stage,
not something I've investigated... yet. However, I
would say 28ºC is as high as many yeasts can handle.
In that case I cant do it thru the summer.
Post by Jeßus
Most of my brews sit around 24-26ºC,
Yeah, thats what I mostly brew at. The main exception is the
Coopers European Lager which prefers 21. Its a bit tricky temp
wise because I prefer not to heat or cool and we can swing from
too hot to too cold and the reverse in just a week some years.
Post by Jeßus
summer or winter (in winter I use aquarium heaters).
I do have a heater belt but only for one fermenter.
I normally run 3 fermenters at a time now, tho I
obvously wouldnt with a trial mead that can be in
the fermenter for 6-12 months. I'd use the Tooheys
fermenter that I dont use for beer anymore, because
its just a bit too small and you can get quite a bit of
the early fermentation coming out the airlock with
particularly the Cooper's yeasts.

Or the massive great black on I got for free at a garage sale.
The problem with that one is that you can see the water level
accurately when you fill it so have to use a dip stick etc.
Jeßus
2012-02-13 01:32:27 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 8 Feb 2012 14:28:26 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
I do have a heater belt but only for one fermenter.
I broke one of my aquarium heaters yeasterday, I think I might go to
heating mats... the aquarium heaters are fragile and make cleaning
quite a bit harder.
Post by Rod Speed
Or the massive great black on I got for free at a garage sale.
The problem with that one is that you can see the water level
accurately when you fill it so have to use a dip stick etc.
Heh, I also got the same type of drum from garage sales a couple of
months ago, must be a good 40L. I'd never even thought about the fact
that it's not transparent, I still havent used it (obviously). Come
apple season time, I will though.

Bought two 34L glass carboys the other day and as I type this I'm
re-racking two batches of mead into those. Then I'll rack the two
batches of Cascade lager, let it resettle and bottle 'em tomorrow.
And start two more batches of Cascade pale ale...
BruceS
2012-02-13 23:37:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Wed, 8 Feb 2012 14:28:26 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
I do have a heater belt but only for one fermenter.
I broke one of my aquarium heaters yeasterday, I think I might go to
heating mats... the aquarium heaters are fragile and make cleaning
quite a bit harder.
Post by Rod Speed
Or the massive great black on I got for free at a garage sale.
The problem with that one is that you can see the water level
accurately when you fill it so have to use a dip stick etc.
Heh, I also got the same type of drum from garage sales a couple of
months ago, must be a good 40L. I'd never even thought about the fact
that it's not transparent, I still havent used it (obviously). Come
apple season time, I will though.
Here's a thought: drill two holes in the can, one near the top and one
near the bottom. Cut a length of clear plastic pipe about as long as
the distance between the holes. Attach right-angle fittings (aka
"elbows") to each end of the tube, and seal onto the can. If you can
picture this, it would be a sort of "window" into the can, letting you
see the level. It would be a bit of a hassle, but not too bad and not
too expensive. It may also make cleaning a bit harder. I don't know
if it's worth it, but I may try this with a korny keg. For that, I'd
also have to be sure the whole thing could handle pressure, up to
maybe 50psi to be safe.
Rod Speed
2012-02-14 01:20:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Post by Rod Speed
I do have a heater belt but only for one fermenter.
I broke one of my aquarium heaters yeasterday,
I think I might go to heating mats... the aquarium
heaters are fragile and make cleaning quite a bit harder.
Post by Rod Speed
Or the massive great black on I got for free at a garage sale.
The problem with that one is that you can see the water level
accurately when you fill it so have to use a dip stick etc.
Heh, I also got the same type of drum from garage sales a
couple of months ago, must be a good 40L. I'd never even
thought about the fact that it's not transparent, I still havent
used it (obviously). Come apple season time, I will though.
Here's a thought: drill two holes in the can, one near the top
and one near the bottom. Cut a length of clear plastic pipe
about as long as the distance between the holes. Attach
right-angle fittings (aka "elbows") to each end of the tube,
and seal onto the can. If you can picture this, it would be
a sort of "window" into the can, letting you see the level.
Lot easier to just use a dip stick at the only time it matters, when filling
the barrel with water when making up the initial mix of the wort and water.
Post by BruceS
It would be a bit of a hassle, but not too bad and not too expensive.
A dip stick is even less expensive and much less hassle.
Post by BruceS
It may also make cleaning a bit harder. I don't know
if it's worth it, but I may try this with a korny keg. For
that, I'd also have to be sure the whole thing could
handle pressure, up to maybe 50psi to be safe.
Jeßus
2012-02-15 21:38:52 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:37:49 -0800 (PST), BruceS
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
On Wed, 8 Feb 2012 14:28:26 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
I do have a heater belt but only for one fermenter.
I broke one of my aquarium heaters yeasterday, I think I might go to
heating mats... the aquarium heaters are fragile and make cleaning
quite a bit harder.
Post by Rod Speed
Or the massive great black on I got for free at a garage sale.
The problem with that one is that you can see the water level
accurately when you fill it so have to use a dip stick etc.
Heh, I also got the same type of drum from garage sales a couple of
months ago, must be a good 40L. I'd never even thought about the fact
that it's not transparent, I still havent used it (obviously). Come
apple season time, I will though.
Here's a thought: drill two holes in the can, one near the top and one
near the bottom. Cut a length of clear plastic pipe about as long as
the distance between the holes. Attach right-angle fittings (aka
"elbows") to each end of the tube, and seal onto the can. If you can
picture this, it would be a sort of "window" into the can, letting you
see the level. It would be a bit of a hassle, but not too bad and not
too expensive. It may also make cleaning a bit harder.
That would work, but as you say the cleaning would be tedious when the
krausen dries on it... I reckon I'll just get used to it after a
couple of uses.

Rod Speed
2012-01-27 00:25:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
I just racked a batch of spiced mead this arvo.
Started brewing mead last year and now it's my main drink (in
winter, at least)... just love the stuff. It can blow your head
off if you're not careful though :)
I used to drink mead from a wine glass. Recently,
I started drinking it from a beer glass. Wow.
:) I did similar actually. Started off using shot glasses, then
mid-sized glasses, then full size glasses. It's insidious stuff
though, you need to keep an eye on your
consumption, it seems to sneak up to you in a way that beer and
spirits don't. That's my experience at least.
FWIW, if you get into kegging, you can
force carbonate mead very nicely. It's a lot nicer getting it from a
tap than opening a champagne bottle each time. I only made a couple
batches of still mead---everything else sparkling, including my best
batch, which was meant to be still. Oops.
Never thought of kegging mead. I've been flip-flopping on the idea of kegs.
Yeah, I've considered them but so far have rejected them.
Post by Jeßus
On the one hand they're convenient in many ways
Yeah, the bottling is certainly by far the most labor intensive part of the whole operation.

Specially when you do 3 batches at a time like I do.
Post by Jeßus
- OTOH bottles are much more portable.
And a lot more convenient fridge wise too.
Post by Jeßus
I wasn't very impressed with the expensive "mead" yeast I used on my
last batch. It cost a lot more than champagne yeast, and didn't
produce any better result. Even the dry champagne yeast gives good
results with mead. I also tend to use less honey than many, like 10
to 12 pounds per five gallons, vs. the 15 to 18 some prefer. With
the lower honey content, and champagne yeast, you can get a
completely fermented out (dry) mead, with none of the sticky
sweetness so common in mead.
Most of my meads have used those wyeast mead yeasts - both dry and
sweet. For a 30L batch, that costs me AUD$20 just for the yeast. For
my first ever mead, I used bakers yeast. There was also an air leak in
the lid, and possibly some wild yeasts snuck in there as well... but
all I know is, that remains the best mead I've made yet :) As
mentioned before, my next batches will use champagne yeast, will be
interesting to see the results. I'm still experimenting with honeys
and yeast, but eventually I'll settle on one or two combinations. I'm
hoping the cheaper yeasts work best, for obvious reasons.
This apple and pear season I plan to substitute the sugar for honey on
a couple of batches, and make a hybrid cider/mead or perry/mead.
Should be interesting.
A friend made that a lot, called it "sizer", or something like that.
I liked the result, but didn't try doing it myself. Good luck.
Thanks. I'm looking forward to doing this, the honey, apples and pears
will all come from the local area here.
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that I
infected with the beer brewing bug has just got one and its worked
out pretty well.
You can distill? Here (U.S.) it's legal for me to ferment up to 200
gallons per year, but I can't distill any of it without an expensive
and difficult-to-obtain license, or a "fuel" license which requires
poisoning the result. Stupid law, but I follow it.
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly
turn a blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course.
I havent even noticed any prosecutions for that either, not clear
if thats because no on is silly enough to do that or what.
Post by Jeßus
Go into any home brew shop here in Oz and
you'll see stills, essences etc. openly for sale.
And plenty of local web sites flogging the stuff too.
Post by Jeßus
We are actually allowed to own and use a till for oil extracts
or water distillation... but NOT for alcohol production. Max.
allowable size is only 5L as well, although there is no trouble
purchasing much bigger stills.
Jeßus
2012-01-27 22:58:18 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 11:25:48 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly
turn a blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course.
I havent even noticed any prosecutions for that either, not clear
if thats because no on is silly enough to do that or what.
Probably the latter, and no real perceived benefit for any politician
to get on their high-horse and demand enforcement.
Jonathan Wilson
2012-01-27 22:15:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a
blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any home
I have never understood why its legal to ferment alcohol for home
production (as long as you dont sell it without a license) yet its illegal
to distill alcohol without being a big high-volume commercial operation and
getting a hard-to-get license (which is why you dont see small-scale
distilling operations along the lines of the microbreweries that are
popping up)

If its because of tax, they could introduce new licenses for small shops
and use that as a way of enforcing tax regulations.
Rod Speed
2012-01-27 22:37:42 UTC
Permalink
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of
course. Go into any home
I have never understood why its legal to ferment alcohol for home production (as long as you dont sell it without a
license) yet its illegal to distill alcohol without being a big high-volume commercial operation and getting a
hard-to-get license (which is why you dont see small-scale distilling operations along the lines of the microbreweries
that are popping up)
You do actually, there are in fact a number of them.
If its because of tax, they could introduce new licenses for small shops and use that as a way of enforcing tax
regulations.
Not really feasible. Its essentially impossible to
reliably measure how much alcohol they have produced.

I agree that it should be legal, but for some odd
reason its only legal in NZ as far as I know.

Most likely its got something to do with what had to be
done to stamp out cheap gin in Hogarthian england all
those years ago when it became clear what the result
of cheap gin could be and the authoritys being too
stupid to have noticed that it works fine in NZ.

You see a similar thing with growing cannabis for
personal use, very few places have enough of a
clue to decriminalise it, let alone make it legal.

Even the obscene tax levels on spirits make no sense at all.

Why should those who prefer decent single malts have to pay a hell
of a lot more tax than those who prefer commercial wine instead ?
Jeßus
2012-01-27 23:21:39 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 09:37:42 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a blind eye - unless you're mass-producing of
course. Go into any home
I have never understood why its legal to ferment alcohol for home production (as long as you dont sell it without a
license) yet its illegal to distill alcohol without being a big high-volume commercial operation and getting a
hard-to-get license (which is why you dont see small-scale distilling operations along the lines of the microbreweries
that are popping up)
You do actually, there are in fact a number of them.
There's quite a few micro breweries here in Tassie and I'm even
contemplating joining their ranks at some point. We have all the
ingredients right here locally. If I do, it'll be mead and/or cider
and perry, or some combination thereof.
I'm in no hurry to jump into the deep end though.
Post by Rod Speed
Why should those who prefer decent single malts have to pay a hell
of a lot more tax than those who prefer commercial wine instead ?
Just an outdated tax... but being a tax, good luck trying to get it
repealed :\
Rod Speed
2012-01-28 01:07:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jonathan Wilson
Distilling alcohol is illegal here, but the authorities clearly turn a blind
eye - unless you're mass-producing of course. Go into any home
I have never understood why its legal to ferment alcohol for
home production (as long as you dont sell it without a license)
yet its illegal to distill alcohol without being a big high-volume
commercial operation and getting a hard-to-get license (which
is why you dont see small-scale distilling operations along the
lines of the microbreweries that are popping up)
You do actually, there are in fact a number of them.
There's quite a few micro breweries here in Tassie
Yeah, a couple of our major wine operations have got into microbrewing, most obviously with de Bortolis.
Post by Jeßus
and I'm even contemplating joining their ranks at some point.
We have all the ingredients right here locally. If I do, it'll be
mead and/or cider and perry, or some combination thereof.
I'm in no hurry to jump into the deep end though.
Post by Rod Speed
Why should those who prefer decent single malts have to pay a hell
of a lot more tax than those who prefer commercial wine instead ?
Just an outdated tax...
I thought it might have got rethought when we got our GST, but
they just carried on regardless with that aspect of the tax system.

Presumably with the same idea behind it as the immense tax on cigarettes.
Post by Jeßus
but being a tax, good luck trying to get it repealed :\
They have been trying to makes some changes with the way commercial wine is taxed.
Petzl
2012-01-27 23:54:44 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 09:37:42 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
If its because of tax, they could introduce new licenses for small shops and use that as a way of enforcing tax
regulations.
Not really feasible. Its essentially impossible to
reliably measure how much alcohol they have produced.
I agree that it should be legal, but for some odd
reason its only legal in NZ as far as I know.
Don't think it is "legal" in NZ but you can buy very, very good reflux
stills there, as long as you intend to use it only for distilling (eg)
"Lavender oil", Garlic oil!
All stills sold come with a recipe book on how to make Whiskey Rum
etc, though. Most home brewers I met over make spirits also very good
quality. In Campbelltown hills where I live many Sydney clubs pubs
were buying spirits from our "Croatian" Hillbillies. They only got
discovered because the legal suppliers noticed they were not selling
"Johnny Walker" "Jim Beam" to whole areas of Sydney and the AFP were
called in. No complaints from public
--
Petzl
Plonk is bad wine, Plink is bad Plonk
Rod Speed
2012-01-28 01:20:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Petzl
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jonathan Wilson
If its because of tax, they could introduce new licenses for
small shops and use that as a way of enforcing tax regulations.
Not really feasible. Its essentially impossible to
reliably measure how much alcohol they have produced.
I agree that it should be legal, but for some odd
reason its only legal in NZ as far as I know.
Don't think it is "legal" in NZ
It is anyway. Check any of the distillation sites.
Post by Petzl
but you can buy very, very good reflux stills there,
You can here too.
Post by Petzl
as long as you intend to use it only for distilling (eg) "Lavender oil", Garlic oil!
There is no such requirement in NZ.
Post by Petzl
All stills sold come with a recipe book on how to make Whiskey
Rum etc, though. Most home brewers I met over make spirits also
very good quality. In Campbelltown hills where I live many Sydney
clubs pubs were buying spirits from our "Croatian" Hillbillies. They
only got discovered because the legal suppliers noticed they were
not selling "Johnny Walker" "Jim Beam" to whole areas of Sydney
I just dont believe that.
Post by Petzl
and the AFP were called in.
The AFP aint even the relevant authority.
Post by Petzl
No complaints from public
Jeßus
2012-01-28 01:27:27 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 12:20:34 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
All stills sold come with a recipe book on how to make Whiskey
Rum etc, though. Most home brewers I met over make spirits also
very good quality. In Campbelltown hills where I live many Sydney
clubs pubs were buying spirits from our "Croatian" Hillbillies. They
only got discovered because the legal suppliers noticed they were
not selling "Johnny Walker" "Jim Beam" to whole areas of Sydney
I just dont believe that.
Post by Petzl
and the AFP were called in.
The AFP aint even the relevant authority.
Post by Petzl
No complaints from public
And you'd think something like that'd be splashed all over the news,
the media would jump onto something like that quick smart.
Petzl
2012-01-28 06:17:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 12:20:34 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
All stills sold come with a recipe book on how to make Whiskey
Rum etc, though. Most home brewers I met over make spirits also
very good quality. In Campbelltown hills where I live many Sydney
clubs pubs were buying spirits from our "Croatian" Hillbillies. They
only got discovered because the legal suppliers noticed they were
not selling "Johnny Walker" "Jim Beam" to whole areas of Sydney
I just dont believe that.
Post by Petzl
and the AFP were called in.
The AFP aint even the relevant authority.
Post by Petzl
No complaints from public
And you'd think something like that'd be splashed all over the news,
the media would jump onto something like that quick smart.
Front page on the Telegraph but can't find it on google? Probably mid
1980's
--
Petzl
Plonk is bad wine, Plink is bad Plonk
Petzl
2012-01-28 06:11:22 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 12:20:34 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
Don't think it is "legal" in NZ
It is anyway. Check any of the distillation sites.
Long time since I were there. Seems the law has been changed and is
now legal.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
but you can buy very, very good reflux stills there,
You can here too.
Post by Petzl
as long as you intend to use it only for distilling (eg) "Lavender oil", Garlic oil!
There is no such requirement in NZ.
Post by Petzl
All stills sold come with a recipe book on how to make Whiskey
Rum etc, though. Most home brewers I met over make spirits also
very good quality. In Campbelltown hills where I live many Sydney
clubs pubs were buying spirits from our "Croatian" Hillbillies. They
only got discovered because the legal suppliers noticed they were
not selling "Johnny Walker" "Jim Beam" to whole areas of Sydney
I just dont believe that.
It happened in the 80's would I lie to you?
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
and the AFP were called in.
The AFP aint even the relevant authority.
Not sure it happened around 30 years ago.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
No complaints from public
Rod Speed
2012-01-28 10:21:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
Don't think it is "legal" in NZ
It is anyway. Check any of the distillation sites.
Long time since I were there. Seems the law has been changed and is now legal.
Its been legal there for a long time.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
but you can buy very, very good reflux stills there,
You can here too.
Post by Petzl
as long as you intend to use it only for distilling (eg) "Lavender oil", Garlic oil!
There is no such requirement in NZ.
Post by Petzl
All stills sold come with a recipe book on how to make Whiskey
Rum etc, though. Most home brewers I met over make spirits also
very good quality. In Campbelltown hills where I live many Sydney
clubs pubs were buying spirits from our "Croatian" Hillbillies. They
only got discovered because the legal suppliers noticed they were
not selling "Johnny Walker" "Jim Beam" to whole areas of Sydney
I just dont believe that.
It happened in the 80's
Dont believe that last was ever true anywhere.
would I lie to you?
You could well be stupid enough to have bought that lie from someone else.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
and the AFP were called in.
The AFP aint even the relevant authority.
Not sure
I am.
it happened around 30 years ago.
They werent then either.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Petzl
No complaints from public
Jeßus
2012-01-28 01:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 09:37:42 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
If its because of tax, they could introduce new licenses for small shops and use that as a way of enforcing tax
regulations.
Not really feasible. Its essentially impossible to
reliably measure how much alcohol they have produced.
I agree that it should be legal, but for some odd
reason its only legal in NZ as far as I know.
Don't think it is "legal" in NZ
Distilling alcohol is most definitely is legal in N.Z, since 1996
IIRC.
Petzl
2012-01-28 06:19:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 09:37:42 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
If its because of tax, they could introduce new licenses for small shops and use that as a way of enforcing tax
regulations.
Not really feasible. Its essentially impossible to
reliably measure how much alcohol they have produced.
I agree that it should be legal, but for some odd
reason its only legal in NZ as far as I know.
Don't think it is "legal" in NZ
Distilling alcohol is most definitely is legal in N.Z, since 1996
IIRC.
Yeah looked it up. Haven't been there for over 30 years but were
impressed at the quality of the spirits made
--
Petzl
Plonk is bad wine, Plink is bad Plonk
Jeßus
2012-01-27 23:33:07 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 07:17:05 -0800 (PST), BruceS
That's OK, but you need to be aware that freeze distillation doesn't
remove the methanol. Not necessarily a problem though, just so long as
you're aware of it and not aiming for maximum alcohol content.
I was only thinking last night of freeze distilling some of my mead,
in order to make a mead liqueur, I'm only looking to make the alcohol
content around 20-25% so it should work well and methanol shouldn't be
an issue at that strength. I could use the pot still of course, but
I'm thinking I might get a better result with freeze distillation
(retaining more colour and flavour than the pot still, hopefully).
I've thought about freeze-distilling, as it takes no extra equipment
that would be suspicious. If you have cold enough weather, you should
even be able to remove the methanol that way, though just thinking
about the temperatures involved (-73C to -115C) makes my fingers
ache.
We get regular -6ºC minimums during winter, which is cold enough,
thanks :)
No matter what the total alcohol concentration, the ethanol/
methanol ratio should be the same unless you've removed methanol
during distillation, so I don't get your focus on strength.
Sorry, you worded it much better than I did, yeah, the ratio would be
the same.
I would
also expect mead (and beer) to have negligible methanol concentration
since they don't use any fruit skin or other "woody" substances, but
I've never researched that so I could be completely off base.
Same here, I haven't done any research into if in fact there would be
any methanol in mead, I would assume there would be little if any, but
I'd rather err on the side of caution in the meantime. Not that that
will stop my freeze distilling. I may even get around to freeze
distilling some mead this weekend, time permitting. I have two batches
of lager to start and then bottle the mead I racked the other day as
it is.
Maybe I'll do that for my next mead batch. I could make it still, let
it sit until the weather gets cold enough, freeze distill it to a half
volume or so, then force carbonate some of the result in bottles while
leaving the majority still in bottles.
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
BruceS
2012-01-29 18:51:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 07:17:05 -0800 (PST), BruceS
That's OK, but you need to be aware that freeze distillation doesn't
remove the methanol. Not necessarily a problem though, just so long as
you're aware of it and not aiming for maximum alcohol content.
I was only thinking last night of freeze distilling some of my mead,
in order to make a mead liqueur, I'm only looking to make the alcohol
content around 20-25% so it should work well and methanol shouldn't be
an issue at that strength. I could use the pot still of course, but
I'm thinking I might get a better result with freeze distillation
(retaining more colour and flavour than the pot still, hopefully).
I've thought about freeze-distilling, as it takes no extra equipment
that would be suspicious.  If you have cold enough weather, you should
even be able to remove the methanol that way, though just thinking
about the temperatures involved (-73C to -115C) makes my fingers
ache.
We get regular -6ºC minimums during winter, which is cold enough,
thanks :)
Cold enough to separate water from alcohol, but not enough to separate
ethanol from methanol. I was just joking about "cold weather" doing
that.
Post by Jeßus
No matter what the total alcohol concentration, the ethanol/
methanol ratio should be the same unless you've removed methanol
during distillation, so I don't get your focus on strength.
Sorry, you worded it much better than I did, yeah, the ratio would be
the same.
I would
also expect mead (and beer) to have negligible methanol concentration
since they don't use any fruit skin or other "woody" substances, but
I've never researched that so I could be completely off base.
Same here, I haven't done any research into if in fact there would be
any methanol in mead, I would assume there would be little if any, but
I'd rather err on the side of caution in the meantime. Not that that
will stop my freeze distilling. I may even get around to freeze
distilling some mead this weekend, time permitting. I have two batches
of lager to start and then bottle the mead I racked the other day as
it is.
Maybe I'll do that for my next mead batch.  I could make it still, let
it sit until the weather gets cold enough, freeze distill it to a half
volume or so, then force carbonate some of the result in bottles while
leaving the majority still in bottles.
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
BruceS
2012-02-07 22:33:18 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
Hypothetically, imagine a person put some mead in the freezer. After
it got down to about 22F (-5.5C), the whole thing (about 3L) turns to
a fairly homogenous mush. There's some ice crystals, but no chunks.
On removal, the ice crystals have a decidedly yellow color, just like
the mead did originally. After being melted and consumed, they have
the same flavor and seem to have about the same effect as one would
expect of the original mead. What has this person done wrong?
Shouldn't the water portion (with a very small ethanol concentration)
separate out and freeze, leaving the remaining portion with a much
higher ethanol percentage?
EMWTK
atec77
2012-02-08 00:29:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
<snip>
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
Hypothetically, imagine a person put some mead in the freezer. After
it got down to about 22F (-5.5C), the whole thing (about 3L) turns to
a fairly homogenous mush. There's some ice crystals, but no chunks.
On removal, the ice crystals have a decidedly yellow color, just like
the mead did originally. After being melted and consumed, they have
the same flavor and seem to have about the same effect as one would
expect of the original mead. What has this person done wrong?
Shouldn't the water portion (with a very small ethanol concentration)
separate out and freeze, leaving the remaining portion with a much
higher ethanol percentage?
EMWTK
using a simple wort then freezing the thing until large lumps of ice
appear the remaining liquid tends to be mostly Alcohol in my experience
--
X-No-Archive: Yes
Rod Speed
2012-02-08 01:02:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
Hypothetically, imagine a person put some mead in the freezer. After
it got down to about 22F (-5.5C), the whole thing (about 3L) turns to
a fairly homogenous mush. There's some ice crystals, but no chunks.
On removal, the ice crystals have a decidedly yellow color, just like
the mead did originally. After being melted and consumed, they have
the same flavor and seem to have about the same effect as one would
expect of the original mead. What has this person done wrong?
Shouldn't the water portion (with a very small ethanol concentration)
separate out and freeze, leaving the remaining portion with a much
higher ethanol percentage?
EMWTK
That whole process is much more complicated than it looks.

Zone refining shows that its not as simple as just freezing it once.

There's a reason that the commercial process is distiling, not freezing.
Jeßus
2012-02-08 01:53:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
<snip>
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
Hypothetically, imagine a person put some mead in the freezer. After
it got down to about 22F (-5.5C), the whole thing (about 3L) turns to
a fairly homogenous mush. There's some ice crystals, but no chunks.
On removal, the ice crystals have a decidedly yellow color, just like
the mead did originally. After being melted and consumed, they have
the same flavor and seem to have about the same effect as one would
expect of the original mead. What has this person done wrong?
Shouldn't the water portion (with a very small ethanol concentration)
separate out and freeze, leaving the remaining portion with a much
higher ethanol percentage?
EMWTK
Based on my experience, I would say they've left it in the freezer for
too long. I found that approx. six hours nicely froze a good amount of
water, the ice did not appear to have much colour (if any) and was
easy to separate from the good stuff. When I left it in the freezer
overnight, I got the homogenous mush you speak of. My freezer temp is
somewhere around -20ºC, according to the thermometer.
Jeßus
2012-02-08 02:15:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
<snip>
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
Hypothetically, imagine a person put some mead in the freezer. After
it got down to about 22F (-5.5C), the whole thing (about 3L) turns to
a fairly homogenous mush. There's some ice crystals, but no chunks.
On removal, the ice crystals have a decidedly yellow color, just like
the mead did originally. After being melted and consumed, they have
the same flavor and seem to have about the same effect as one would
expect of the original mead. What has this person done wrong?
Shouldn't the water portion (with a very small ethanol concentration)
separate out and freeze, leaving the remaining portion with a much
higher ethanol percentage?
EMWTK
Based on my experience, I would say they've left it in the freezer for
too long. I found that approx. six hours nicely froze a good amount of
water, the ice did not appear to have much colour (if any) and was
easy to separate from the good stuff. When I left it in the freezer
overnight, I got the homogenous mush you speak of. My freezer temp is
somewhere around -20ºC, according to the thermometer.
I should also mention that I used a large rectangular plastic storage
container (food grade plastic of course), which meant that there was a
very large surface area for the liquid, which was probably only 2-3"
deep. This probably helped make the process a lot easier.
BruceS
2012-02-08 14:58:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
<snip>
Post by BruceS
Post by Jeßus
Please do this, I'd love to hear back about your experiences.
I'll try to remember to post here when I do.
Hypothetically, imagine a person put some mead in the freezer.  After
it got down to about 22F (-5.5C), the whole thing (about 3L) turns to
a fairly homogenous mush.  There's some ice crystals, but no chunks.
On removal, the ice crystals have a decidedly yellow color, just like
the mead did originally.  After being melted and consumed, they have
the same flavor and seem to have about the same effect as one would
expect of the original mead.  What has this person done wrong?
Shouldn't the water portion (with a very small ethanol concentration)
separate out and freeze, leaving the remaining portion with a much
higher ethanol percentage?
EMWTK
Based on my experience, I would say they've left it in the freezer for
too long. I found that approx. six hours nicely froze a good amount of
water, the ice did not appear to have much colour (if any) and was
easy to separate from the good stuff. When I left it in the freezer
overnight, I got the homogenous mush you speak of. My freezer temp is
somewhere around -20ºC, according to the thermometer.
I should also mention that I used a large rectangular plastic storage
container (food grade plastic of course), which meant that there was a
very large surface area for the liquid, which was probably only 2-3"
deep. This probably helped make the process a lot easier.
This was a round plastic container, not tall, just big around. At no
time did it seem to make hard ice chunks, just slowly went from cold
liquid to colder slush. I'm starting to wonder if my friendly local
distillery would be willing to distill a small batch of mead.

No experiment is a failure. Some confirm the experimenter's
expectations, which is ok. Others challenge those, leading to new
assumptions, new expectations, and new knowledge, which is better.
Jeßus
2012-02-13 01:34:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
This was a round plastic container, not tall, just big around. At no
time did it seem to make hard ice chunks, just slowly went from cold
liquid to colder slush. I'm starting to wonder if my friendly local
distillery would be willing to distill a small batch of mead.
Worth a try, I wish I had a local distillery to go to. Well, there are
a couple but a bit of a drive.
Post by BruceS
No experiment is a failure. Some confirm the experimenter's
expectations, which is ok. Others challenge those, leading to new
assumptions, new expectations, and new knowledge, which is better.
Exactly. It's all a learning process.
Jeßus
2012-01-25 22:26:09 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 16:19:28 +1100, "Rod Speed"
My mate who I infected with the brewing bug likes
something else local as well, forget which now.
Not Malt Shovel? I've tried their pale ale and lager extracts - but
they basically taste the same to me. My god they are MALTY... and
fairly expensive too. I'm in two minds whether I like them or not.
Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I don't.

Coulda also have been Brewcraft, but IIRC the brand name no longer
exists (was absorbed into another brand).
Rod Speed
2012-01-27 01:20:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
My mate who I infected with the brewing bug likes
something else local as well, forget which now.
Not Malt Shovel?
Nope one of the majors like your Cascade.
Post by Jeßus
I've tried their pale ale and lager extracts - but they basically
taste the same to me. My god they are MALTY... and fairly
expensive too. I'm in two minds whether I like them or not.
Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I don't.
Havent tried any of theirs.
Post by Jeßus
Coulda also have been Brewcraft,
Nar, definitely one of the majors, either Tooheys or Cascade.
Post by Jeßus
but IIRC the brand name no longer exists (was absorbed into another brand).
Rod Speed
2012-01-27 00:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
<alt.beer.home-brewing & rec.food.drink.beer
added in the vain hope that it may resuscitate them>
Mead can be very simple to make - but not necessarily cheap -
depending on the honey used. The 30L one I racked today cost $150 in
Rainforest honey and $20 for the 2 packs of special mead yeast that I use.
Yeah, thats a hell of a lot more than I ever spend on a batch of beer.
Indeed it is, but then my motives for home brewing isn't purely to
save money. I actually prefer my beer to almost all commercial beers.
Yeah, me too, and thats the reason I started brewing, a mate of mine's
home brew was at least as good as the commercial stuff and when he
told me that you didnt have to wash the stubbys that they were fine in
the dishwasher, and I tried them in mine and found he was right, I started
saving the commercial stubbys myself.
Post by Jeßus
My favourite commercial beer - from the bigger breweries
at least - has always been Coopers, so sediment has never
been something that's bothered me.
Yeah, I dont even bother to not pour out the very last from the stubby
anymore. I always drink from a proper glass now that I have stopped
drinking the commercial beers.

The only exception is the last stubby in a bottling run, I dont drink that sediment.
Post by Jeßus
As for the mead, well I just love the stuff and it's very expensive
to buy, assuming you can even find some to buy, that is.
Yeah, I've never noticed it for sale. Havent looked for it tho.

Might try some just like I did with cider etc.
Post by Jeßus
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that
I infected with the beer brewing bug has just got one
and its worked out pretty well.
Mostly scotch, I do spend a bit on commercial scotch currently.
Unlikely that the 80 year old scotch will be viable to make myself tho.
I've been distilling for a couple of years now, at first with one of those 'air' stills,
Yeah, thats what the mate of mine has just got.
Post by Jeßus
but now mainly I use a pot still. I'm not really a spirit drinker,
I do it in bursts.
Post by Jeßus
but I do like apple cider brandy and other brandies.
I intend to lightly distill mead at some point, hoping to
make a mead liqueur. There is a Tasmanian company
that makes one, and it's bloody delicious, neat with ice.
I drink my scotch neat with no ice and a drop of water, quite literally just a single drop.

I love the best single malts, hate the prices tho.

Dont expect I will ever make anything like that tho, hell of a lot of work and years quite literally too.

I really just want to replace the commercial blended scotches that arent cheap due to the duty system here.
Post by Jeßus
The vodka comes in handy for making vanilla essence as well.
Jeßus
2012-01-27 23:46:01 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 11:37:14 +1100, "Rod Speed"
Post by Rod Speed
Yeah, I dont even bother to not pour out the very last from the stubby
anymore.
I still do, but then I also take my brews up to 24L instead of 23L,
the extra liquid helps dealing with the sediment come racking and
bottling time and I can't taste the difference myself. And of course,
I still get the full 60 stubbies/2.5 cartons instead of being one or
two short.
BruceS
2012-01-30 02:16:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
<alt.beer.home-brewing & rec.food.drink.beer
added in the vain hope that it may resuscitate them>
Mead can be very simple to make - but not necessarily cheap -
depending on the honey used. The 30L one I racked today cost $150 in
Rainforest honey and $20 for the 2 packs of special mead yeast that I use.
Yeah, thats a hell of a lot more than I ever spend on a batch of beer.
Indeed it is, but then my motives for home brewing isn't purely to
save money. I actually prefer my beer to almost all commercial beers.
Yeah, me too, and thats the reason I started brewing, a mate of mine's
home brew was at least as good as the commercial stuff and when he
told me that you didnt have to wash the stubbys that they were fine in
the dishwasher, and I tried them in mine and found he was right, I started
saving the commercial stubbys myself.
The dishwasher should do a pretty good job of washing (no soap or
detergent) and sterilizing.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
My favourite commercial beer - from the bigger breweries
at least - has always been Coopers, so sediment has never
been something that's bothered me.
Yeah, I dont even bother to not pour out the very last from the stubby
anymore. I always drink from a proper glass now that I have stopped
drinking the commercial beers.
The only exception is the last stubby in a bottling run, I dont drink that sediment.
What's different there?
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
As for the mead, well I just love the stuff and it's very expensive
to buy, assuming you can even find some to buy, that is.
Yeah, I've never noticed it for sale. Havent looked for it tho.
I almost want to dissuade you from doing that. Commercial mead is not
only expensive, IME it's also generally sweet and still. What you
brew yourself will be as good, or better. Just don't expect the same
speed as beer, as yeast doesn't like to eat honey. Then again, maybe
a commercial mead will turn you on to what you can do on your own.
Post by Rod Speed
Might try some just like I did with cider etc.
Post by Jeßus
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that
I infected with the beer brewing bug has just got one
and its worked out pretty well.
Mostly scotch, I do spend a bit on commercial scotch currently.
Unlikely that the 80 year old scotch will be viable to make myself tho.
I've been distilling for a couple of years now, at first with one of those 'air' stills,
Yeah, thats what the mate of mine has just got.
What's an "air" still?
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
but now mainly I use a pot still. I'm not really a spirit drinker,
I do it in bursts.
I drink quite a bit of whisky, and a decent amount of whiskey. Almost
enough to make me do more cloud pics, but not nearly enough to see
genies or whatever in them.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
but I do like apple cider brandy and other brandies.
I intend to lightly distill mead at some point, hoping to
make a mead liqueur. There is a Tasmanian company
that makes one, and it's bloody delicious, neat with ice.
I drink my scotch neat with no ice and a drop of water, quite literally just a single drop.
No water here. I tried that with a couple of whisky brands, and
didn't think it added anything, so I just drink it neat. A guy at a
liquor shop the other night told me he did the same, but kept notes,
and found some whiskies were better with that drop, others not. Maybe
I quit too soon.
Post by Rod Speed
I love the best single malts, hate the prices tho.
Dont expect I will ever make anything like that tho, hell of a lot of work and years quite literally too.
I really just want to replace the commercial blended scotches that arent cheap due to the duty system here.
Here ether. I just trust that the work to get the best effect is more
than the cost of just buying it, and test various brands.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
The vodka comes in handy for making vanilla essence as well.
I drink almost no vodka, except the occasional zubrufka (sp) from
Poland. I used to drink a bit of rum in college, but have very little
now. Same goes for gin, though I tapered off more slowly. Now it's
beer, wine, mead, and whisk{e}y. I have barely had any liqueur (exc.
in margaritas) since college.

If any of this seems incoherent, it's because I had a little party
here for home brewers, and it's quite possible I overindulged just a
little bit. I know I wouldn't want to have tried driving home from
this, but since I hosted it, no problemo.
Rod Speed
2012-01-30 04:13:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
<alt.beer.home-brewing & rec.food.drink.beer
added in the vain hope that it may resuscitate them>
Mead can be very simple to make - but not necessarily cheap -
depending on the honey used. The 30L one I racked today cost $150
in Rainforest honey and $20 for the 2 packs of special mead yeast
that I use.
Yeah, thats a hell of a lot more than I ever spend on a batch of beer.
Indeed it is, but then my motives for home brewing isn't purely to
save money. I actually prefer my beer to almost all commercial beers.
Yeah, me too, and thats the reason I started brewing, a mate of mine's
home brew was at least as good as the commercial stuff and when he
told me that you didnt have to wash the stubbys that they were fine in
the dishwasher, and I tried them in mine and found he was right, I
started saving the commercial stubbys myself.
The dishwasher should do a pretty good job of washing
Yep, close to perfect. You do get a few that need to go thru the machine twice, but very few.
Post by BruceS
(no soap or detergent)
I just put them in with the normal load, so they get the normal detergent.

The rinse phase is so thorough that you never get any residue at all, in
fact they are so brilliantly clean that they are visibly better than by hand.

I dont use any rinse aid.
Post by BruceS
and sterilizing.
I rely on the final hot rinse to that.

Doesnt work for my mate tho, his dishwasher doesnt do as good a job.

Havent compared them to see why.

He prefers to use plastic soft drink bottles for his beer, mainly
because he fills 1/3 or 1/4 as many bottles per batch.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
My favourite commercial beer - from the bigger breweries
at least - has always been Coopers, so sediment has never
been something that's bothered me.
Yeah, I dont even bother to not pour out the very last from the stubby
anymore. I always drink from a proper glass now that I have stopped
drinking the commercial beers.
The only exception is the last stubby in a bottling run, I dont drink that sediment.
What's different there?
That last stubby has a hell olf a lot of sediment in it. Very visible when
just filled, you cant even see thru the bottle there's so much sediment.

That settles before I drink it but still has much more visible in the bottle
before pouring out the beer. You dont get any in the glass if you are
careful, its easy to see it coming with the last of the beer.

I never drink from the stubbys anymore except when I am out
visiting and bring my own beer and dont bother to take a glass.

I find that the beer tastes a lot better from a proper glass.

I used to drink the commercial stuff from the stubby, and
still do on the rare ocassion when I still drink commercial
beer, because the only alternative is softdrink etc.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
As for the mead, well I just love the stuff and it's very expensive
to buy, assuming you can even find some to buy, that is.
Yeah, I've never noticed it for sale. Havent looked for it tho.
I almost want to dissuade you from doing that. Commercial mead is
not only expensive, IME it's also generally sweet and still. What you
brew yourself will be as good, or better. Just don't expect the same
speed as beer, as yeast doesn't like to eat honey. Then again, maybe
a commercial mead will turn you on to what you can do on your own.
I do plan to try some. Managed to forget to check what
honey is available at the farmers markets yesterday tho.

Whats the story on the brewing temps ? I've just stopped
the beer brewing because its getting too hot here now.

We can have 10 days over 40C, tho we havent this year yet.

Obviously where I brew the beer doesnt get that hot but it
can easily get to 30C and I choose not to brew when I have
to heat or cool just to keep the cost down. Its normally easy
to brew when I dont need to heat or cool since I normally
brew 3 batches at a time.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Might try some just like I did with cider etc.
Post by Jeßus
I'll likely get a spirit still next. The mate of mine that
I infected with the beer brewing bug has just got one
and its worked out pretty well.
Mostly scotch, I do spend a bit on commercial scotch currently.
Unlikely that the 80 year old scotch will be viable to make myself tho.
I've been distilling for a couple of years now, at first with one of those 'air' stills,
Yeah, thats what the mate of mine has just got.
What's an "air" still?
Doesnt use water to cool the condenser.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
but now mainly I use a pot still. I'm not really a spirit drinker,
I do it in bursts.
I drink quite a bit of whisky, and a decent amount of whiskey.
I prefer scotch myself. My mate does prefer whiskey.
Post by BruceS
Almost enough to make me do more cloud pics, but
not nearly enough to see genies or whatever in them.
Never get that, the worst I ever get it that
I have to be a bit more careful walking.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
but I do like apple cider brandy and other brandies.
I intend to lightly distill mead at some point, hoping to
make a mead liqueur. There is a Tasmanian company
that makes one, and it's bloody delicious, neat with ice.
I drink my scotch neat with no ice and a drop of water,
quite literally just a single drop.
No water here. I tried that with a couple of whisky brands, and
didn't think it added anything, so I just drink it neat. A guy at a
liquor shop the other night told me he did the same, but kept notes,
and found some whiskies were better with that drop, others not.
Maybe I quit too soon.
I havent tried a proper double blind trial, not clear if I could pick it.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
I love the best single malts, hate the prices tho.
Dont expect I will ever make anything like that tho,
hell of a lot of work and years quite literally too.
I really just want to replace the commercial blended
scotches that arent cheap due to the duty system here.
Here ether. I just trust that the work to get the best effect is
more than the cost of just buying it, and test various brands.
Post by Rod Speed
Post by Jeßus
The vodka comes in handy for making vanilla essence as well.
I drink almost no vodka, except the occasional zubrufka (sp) from Poland.
I dont even drink that.

When I was in college, I majored in chemistry, a crazy Danish
temporary visitor who was escaped the Danish conscription
system in the 60s made some schapps with what chemists
call SVR, basically the purest ethanol you can get. It isnt safe
to drink the other form of pure ethanol, what chemists call
absolute alcohol, since the residual water is removed using
benzine and there will always be some benzene remaining
and its carcenogic.

He just added water and an oil whose name I cant quite remember,
probably carraway seed oil, but that doesnt sound quite right.

Dunno if it would appeal as much as it did then, damned near half a century ago now, bugger.
Post by BruceS
I used to drink a bit of rum in college, but have very little now.
Same goes for gin, though I tapered off more slowly.
I've never drunk it neat, only as G&T. That is a nice change from beer in the hottest weather.
Post by BruceS
Now it's beer, wine, mead, and whisk{e}y.
With me its all of those with G&T instead of mead.
Post by BruceS
I have barely had any liqueur (exc. in margaritas) since college.
I like a decent brandy but the only true liquer I have had in decades
was a bottle of Midori, and only because the local regional airline
had an opening special that included a bottle of that for some reason.
Post by BruceS
If any of this seems incoherent, it's because I had a little party here
for home brewers, and it's quite possible I overindulged just a little bit.
You're doing fine. Not even any spelling mistakes, thats usually the giveaway with me.
Post by BruceS
I know I wouldn't want to have tried driving home from this, but since I hosted it, no problemo.
BruceS
2012-02-01 18:47:16 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
Post by BruceS
What's different there?
That last stubby has a hell olf a lot of sediment in it. Very visible when
just filled, you cant even see thru the bottle there's so much sediment.
Ah, I get it. Mine settles enough before I give up on the
fermentation, it isn't a problem. I let it sit in the fermentation
vat a bit, so all the sediment settles. Then I rack it into a clean
fermentation vat, losing the last bit to avoid siphoning in sediment.
When I bottle, I then add invert sugar to that vat, mix well, and
bottle. The only sediment is what's formed in the bottle. Now that
I'm kegging, I just siphon/pour from the vat to the keg. A couple of
times, I even skipped the intermediate vat, just watching as I siphon
from the first one and stopping before sediment gets in. I also
support the fermentation vat at an angle (my only use for the phone
books they keep putting at my door), so I can get the maximum liquid
before giving up.

<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
I do plan to try some. Managed to forget to check what
honey is available at the farmers markets yesterday tho.
Whats the story on the brewing temps ?  I've just stopped
the beer brewing because its getting too hot here now.
I'll be interested to hear the results. It generally takes a long
time (months at least) before it's really ready to drink. I can't say
what temps exactly, but I usually do mead in the winter, when indoor
temps are right about 66F (19C).

<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
Post by BruceS
What's an "air" still?
Doesnt use water to cool the condenser.
Ah, thanks. I really don't know much about stills, but that sounds
much less efficient.
<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
Post by BruceS
If any of this seems incoherent, it's because I had a little party here
for home brewers, and it's quite possible I overindulged just a little bit.
You're doing fine. Not even any spelling mistakes, thats usually the giveaway with me.
I wasn't counting how much I drank, but I was definitely feeling it.
It was a relief to get messages from my friends when they got home. I
know they were drinking less, but probably still more than they should
have been driving after. One was on a bike, where you need to really
be more careful.
Rod Speed
2012-02-01 21:54:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by BruceS
What's different there?
That last stubby has a hell olf a lot of sediment in it. Very visible when
just filled, you cant even see thru the bottle there's so much sediment.
Ah, I get it. Mine settles enough before I give up on the
fermentation, it isn't a problem. I let it sit in the fermentation
vat a bit, so all the sediment settles.
Mine does too. The first 59 stubbys dont have that problem and
I just pour the entire stubby contents into the glass just being a
bit careful about the head not gettting too excessive when I do that.

Its only the LAST stubby which has got so much sediment in it due
to my scottish/jewish nature that I have to be careful when pouring
it into the glass that I stop before the sediment ends up in the glass.
Post by BruceS
Then I rack it into a clean fermentation vat,
I dont rack, I ferment and then bottle when the SG is stable
from one day to the next and the immense head you get on
the early SG samples has stopped happening so you dont
have to fill the stubbys twice.
Post by BruceS
losing the last bit to avoid siphoning in sediment.
Thats what I dont do, too jewish/scottish/tight.

Its easier to just be careful about pouring that LAST stubby into the glass.
Post by BruceS
When I bottle, I then add invert sugar to that vat, mix well, and bottle.
I put the secondary fermentation sugar into the stubby before filling it with the beer.
Post by BruceS
The only sediment is what's formed in the bottle.
Thats true of all 59 of my stubbys, but not the last one.
Post by BruceS
Now that I'm kegging, I just siphon/pour from the vat to the keg.
A couple of times, I even skipped the intermediate vat, just watching
as I siphon from the first one and stopping before sediment gets in.
I also support the fermentation vat at an angle (my only use for the
phone books they keep putting at my door), so I can get the
maximum liquid before giving up.
Yeah, I do that when bottling too but I only tilt it when doing the last
of the bottling, because I dont bottle from the fermentation barrel
where it ferments, because I ferment 3 batches at a time and move
the batch to the top of the washing machine before bottling.

I'll to stop doing that, the 23L barrels are quite a
weight and I'll do my back in eventually doing that.
Post by BruceS
<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
I do plan to try some. Managed to forget to check what
honey is available at the farmers markets yesterday tho.
Whats the story on the brewing temps ? I've just stopped
the beer brewing because its getting too hot here now.
I'll be interested to hear the results. It generally takes a long
time (months at least) before it's really ready to drink. I can't
say what temps exactly, but I usually do mead in the winter,
when indoor temps are right about 66F (19C).
Thats a problem. I dont heat the beer anymore, and even tho I
do have a barrel heater, not real keen on running that for 6 months.

We swing from too hot to too cold quite quickly most years.
Post by BruceS
<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
Post by BruceS
What's an "air" still?
Doesnt use water to cool the condenser.
Ah, thanks. I really don't know much about stills, but that sounds much less efficient.
They are quite effective when designed properly.
Post by BruceS
Post by Rod Speed
Post by BruceS
If any of this seems incoherent, it's because I had a little party here for
home brewers, and it's quite possible I overindulged just a little bit.
You're doing fine. Not even any spelling mistakes, thats usually the giveaway with me.
I wasn't counting how much I drank, but I was definitely feeling it.
It was a relief to get messages from my friends when they got home.
I know they were drinking less, but probably still more than they should
have been driving after. One was on a bike, where you need to really
be more careful.
Harry Vaderchi
2012-02-03 19:35:55 UTC
Permalink
2 problems:

1. You're arguing with Rod Speed the wannabee troll.

2. You're kegging beer. But maybe that's acceptable in some foreign places.

Real Beer is non-pasteurised, non-filtered, non-chilled and allowed to
secondary ferment in the cask.
Post by BruceS
have been driving after. One was on a bike, where you need to really
be more careful.
is that a bike or motorcycle?
--
[dash dash space newline 4line sig]

Albi CNU
BruceS
2012-02-03 23:04:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Vaderchi
1. You're arguing with Rod Speed the wannabee troll.
I haven't seen him do any trolling on this thread, so it doesn't
apply.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
2. You're kegging beer. But maybe that's acceptable in some foreign places.
It's only acceptable in places where people brew.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Real Beer is non-pasteurised, non-filtered, non-chilled and allowed to
secondary ferment in the cask.
Now *that* is some trolling, right there. How about "real"
computers? Or "real" cars? FTR, I don't pasteurize, filter, or chill
my beer, but I'm not out to start a flame war with those who do. As
for doing the secondary in a cask, that's just crazy talk. If you're
going to do the old-fashioned yeast-based carbonation, you should do
it in the bottle. If you're really serious, you then do the methode
champenoise to remove the sediment. But only a complete fruitbat
would do that with beer.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
have been driving after.  One was on a bike, where you need to really
be more careful.
is that a bike or motorcycle?
Motorcycle. I ride both, but neither when I've been drinking. Then
again, I also don't drive when I've been drinking much. The cutoff
point for riding is a lot lower than that for driving, as you need
more awareness, better response, and a lot more balance on two wheels.
Petzl
2012-02-07 06:09:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by Harry Vaderchi
1. You're arguing with Rod Speed the wannabee troll.
I haven't seen him do any trolling on this thread, so it doesn't
apply.
He doesn't troll, He does not like opposing opinion
Home Brewing I only do this as a "Team building" exercise with
workmates in places like
http://www.thebeerfactory.com.au/index.html
--
Petzl
Chattanooga choo choo
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1d2em_chattanooga-choo-choo_fun
Harry Vaderchi
2012-02-07 20:34:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceS
Post by Harry Vaderchi
1. You're arguing with Rod Speed the wannabee troll.
I haven't seen him do any trolling on this thread, so it doesn't
apply.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
2. You're kegging beer. But maybe that's acceptable in some foreign places.
that was the trolling bit!
Post by BruceS
It's only acceptable in places where people brew.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Real Beer is non-pasteurised, non-filtered, non-chilled and allowed to
secondary ferment in the cask.
Now *that* is some trolling, right there. How about "real"
computers? Or "real" cars? FTR, I don't pasteurize, filter, or chill
my beer, but I'm not out to start a flame war with those who do. As
for doing the secondary in a cask, that's just crazy talk. If you're
going to do the old-fashioned yeast-based carbonation, you should do
it in the bottle. If you're really serious, you then do the methode
champenoise to remove the sediment. But only a complete fruitbat
would do that with beer.
http://camra.org.uk/aboutale


You're right. I'd been drinking. Real Ale. with secondary fermentation in
the cask, but not brewed by me, I'll admit.

I'm sorry about the wind-up attempt.
Post by BruceS
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Post by BruceS
have been driving after. One was on a bike, where you need to really
be more careful.
is that a bike or motorcycle?
Motorcycle. I ride both, but neither when I've been drinking. Then
again, I also don't drive when I've been drinking much. The cutoff
point for riding is a lot lower than that for driving, as you need
more awareness, better response, and a lot more balance on two wheels.
I cycle to pubs and back. Only fell in the canal once, and then I was
pushed by a low bridge.
--
[dash dash space newline 4line sig]

Albi CNU
BruceS
2012-02-07 22:26:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Post by BruceS
Post by Harry Vaderchi
1. You're arguing with Rod Speed the wannabee troll.
I haven't seen him do any trolling on this thread, so it doesn't
apply.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
2. You're kegging beer. But maybe that's acceptable in some foreign places.
that was the trolling bit!
:s/the/a
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Post by BruceS
It's only acceptable in places where people brew.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Real Beer is non-pasteurised, non-filtered, non-chilled and allowed to
secondary ferment in the cask.
Now *that* is some trolling, right there.  How about "real"
computers?  Or "real" cars?  FTR, I don't pasteurize, filter, or chill
my beer, but I'm not out to start a flame war with those who do.  As
for doing the secondary in a cask, that's just crazy talk.  If you're
going to do the old-fashioned yeast-based carbonation, you should do
it in the bottle.  If you're really serious, you then do the methode
champenoise to remove the sediment.  But only a complete fruitbat
would do that with beer.
http://camra.org.uk/aboutale
Damnation! Seeing that you'd provided a link, I didn't even read the
link before clicking. I had the insane hope that you were linking to
a site for a group that used methode champenoise for beer. Oh well,
maybe nobody is crazy enough for that. The CAMRA definition of "real
beer" and "real ale" is a bit laughable. I only hope they aren't
taking themselves seriously. They really should *invent* a term (say
"CAMRA ale") instead of trying to appropriate an existing term, but I
guess companies like Microsoft have given bad examples. As for their
description of kegging, its also redefining an existing term, in a way
that's inconsistent with common usage. When I keg, I don't pasteurize
or filter. The degree of carbonation is also very controllable, so
their claim that it makes the beer "unnaturally fizzy" is another bit
of ignorant blather. My current setup doesn't give as much per-keg
control as I'd like, but even with it, I can maintain a lower pressure
on one or more kegs while forcing a higher pressure on other(s). This
is a normal part of the force carbonation process, as the brewer uses
a higher pressure at first, then lowers it after a short time. For
that matter, my beer (OK, so it's really ale, but we abuse those
words) and mead are "alive", in the sense that you could take a
portion, add it to a sterile wort, and start the whole fermentation
process over. I don't do that, since there's a chance of wild yeasts
having gotten in at some point (and because my brewery supply people
would frown at me for not buying fresh yeast), but others do.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
You're right. I'd been drinking. Real Ale. with secondary fermentation in
the cask, but not brewed by me, I'll admit.
No need to "admit" such a thing---it just implies you have friends!
While that may differentiate you from a substantial part of the Usenet
population, it isn't really anything to be too embarrassed about.
Well, maybe a *little* embarrassed.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
I'm sorry about the wind-up attempt.
Ooh, I took it as a humor attempt. My bad.
Post by Harry Vaderchi
Post by BruceS
Post by Harry Vaderchi
have been driving after.  One was on a bike, where you need to really
be more careful.
is that a bike or motorcycle?
Motorcycle.  I ride both, but neither when I've been drinking.  Then
again, I also don't drive when I've been drinking much.  The cutoff
point for riding is a lot lower than that for driving, as you need
more awareness, better response, and a lot more balance on two wheels.
I cycle to pubs and back. Only fell in the canal once, and then I was
pushed by a low bridge.
I only write this when it's literally true, as it's all too overused,
but LOL.
One time, I was with a couple friends, alternating between taking
shots of tequila (the whole salt, lime, toss one back bit) indoors,
and inhaling oxidized herb outdoors. By the end of the evening, we
were all feeling pretty good. The others drove home, and I went for a
bicycle ride. We all survived, and didn't hurt anyone else! Yay!
I'm sometimes appalled at the incredibly stupid and dangerous things I
did when younger, and try to keep that in mind when I see young people
today doing stupid stuff. Even today, I'm not a real "ATGATT" sort on
the motorcycle, sometimes going with no more protective gear than a
3/4 helmet, gloves, and boots. Maybe one day I'll look back on that
and shake my head. We cruiser bikers aren't nearly as polarized as
crotch rocket jockeys.
Charlie
2012-01-29 00:43:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeßus
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 16:07:45 +1100, "Rod Speed"
<alt.beer.home-brewing & rec.food.drink.beer added in the vain hope
that it may resuscitate them>
Mead can be very simple to make - but not necessarily cheap -
depending on the honey used. The 30L one I racked today cost $150 in
Rainforest honey and $20 for the 2 packs of special mead yeast that I use.
Yeah, thats a hell of a lot more than I ever spend on a batch of beer.
Indeed it is, but then my motives for home brewing isn't purely to
save money. I actually prefer my beer to almost all commercial beers.
My favourite commercial beer - from the bigger breweries at least -
has always been Coopers, so sediment has never been something that's
bothered me. As for the mead, well I just love the stuff and it's very
expensive to buy, assuming you can even find some to buy, that is.
<snip>

A few years ago, I and an american friend did a tour of all the
meaderies in Australia.

The best in our opinion [and he is also involved in judging meads in
the US] was one in SA called Chateau Dorrien.

When I returned to WA I ordered a couple of cartons from them and from
memory it only cost about $20 freight.

I started making mead in 2005 but mostly sweetish stuff and I didn't
bother with bottles storing it in flagons and demijohns.

Charlie
Jeßus
2012-02-06 21:26:27 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 29 Jan 2012 08:43:32 +0800, Charlie <charliedatiinet.net.aus>
Post by Jeßus
Post by Jeßus
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 16:07:45 +1100, "Rod Speed"
<alt.beer.home-brewing & rec.food.drink.beer added in the vain hope
that it may resuscitate them>
Mead can be very simple to make - but not necessarily cheap -
depending on the honey used. The 30L one I racked today cost $150 in
Rainforest honey and $20 for the 2 packs of special mead yeast that I use.
Yeah, thats a hell of a lot more than I ever spend on a batch of beer.
Indeed it is, but then my motives for home brewing isn't purely to
save money. I actually prefer my beer to almost all commercial beers.
My favourite commercial beer - from the bigger breweries at least -
has always been Coopers, so sediment has never been something that's
bothered me. As for the mead, well I just love the stuff and it's very
expensive to buy, assuming you can even find some to buy, that is.
<snip>
A few years ago, I and an american friend did a tour of all the
meaderies in Australia.
The best in our opinion [and he is also involved in judging meads in
the US] was one in SA called Chateau Dorrien.
When I returned to WA I ordered a couple of cartons from them and from
memory it only cost about $20 freight.
I started making mead in 2005 but mostly sweetish stuff and I didn't
bother with bottles storing it in flagons and demijohns.
Thanks for that Charlie, I'll check out Chateau Dorrien. Always
intersted in trying out other meads, be they commercial or home
brewed, if only to compare mine with theirs.
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