Home brew? Homebrew? Winemaking

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  • any out there home brew or make their own wine? is this legal? any one want to show me the ropes?

  • It's legal and it can be good it can be bad. It will be strong. You can pick your own berries if you want e.t.c or for the first time buy a ready made mix. I got one from wilkinson. You can also buy a Demijohn, air lock and corks there too.

    If you buy a ready made mix it's well easy. Otherwise get out there now and pick some berries. You've missed the chance for elder flowers but I don't know about elder berries. Plenty of black currents out there now. Also I think slows are about now ish too for making slow gin. Now that is worth while doing!

    Alternatively you could but a bigger brewing vesicle and brew up some cider. I bought the tub but never made any in the end as the tub is so big I could not find room for it!

  • have you made beer, or just berry wine?

  • So many good items to be brewed and most of it is easy. Just decide if you want to do wine first of cider / beer (different vesicle size) buy the kit and get to it. Make me want to do another lot.

  • have you made beer, or just berry wine?

    Never made beer but there is a beer kit in Wilkinsons just like the wine kit, it will not be great but it will be cheap beer.

  • http://art-of-brewing.co.uk

    follow the instructions carefully or you'll be put off for life.

  • I've made heaps and heaps of beers, mainly from kit but a few from scratch. Its easy as to do, but hard to do right. The basic key is to follow the instructions with a kit and be very particular about keeping it clean, and don't go adding extra sugar just to make a high alcohol brew. Once you've got a few brews under your belt have a chat to your friendly home brew shop and start to experiment with malts, sugars and yeast combinations. Some of my favourite brews have been a vanilla stout, chocolate stout and some really nice Hoegarden style beers. Alcoholic ginger beer kits are really great to, always seem to be a big hit with non-beer drinkers.

    Remember homebrew can be like a fart, you tend to appreciate your own more than other people do.

  • Get into Rumtopf.

    My dad and grandad made one when my older brother was born to celebrate. They put it in the cupboard, forgot about it and ten years later it was rediscovered.. lethally alcoholic.

  • +1 to what JDB said. Easy to make strong and cheap, hard to make really drinkable, IME. Sloe gin doesn't need any kit and is very easy and delicious. Never done wine, but I imagine that would taste worse than the beer

  • The other thing we used to make lots of at uni was pure ethanol to use as spirit base or over-proof drinks mixer. We had a 5l electric still, took a full day to get through a 30l barrel of wort, but ended up with 5 or 6 bottles of "death-anol" 80-90% pure ethanol mix. You can buy nice spirits flovours to add to your watered down ethanol or just use it to make really potent cocktails liquors or mix with coke to blow your top off.

    Never try steaping wormwood in it to make your own absinth though, it is a very bad idea.

  • I have an apple tree and have been thinking about making cider with the ton of apples I get every year.

  • Just a note while JDB clearly does know what he is doing distilling is illegal. I did it once at school under supervision and the result takes your breath away.

    Does anyone know if the anaerobic respiration of yeast produces any other alcohols other than Ethanol? Hence producing the risk of of distilling a dodgey alcohol.

  • Just a note while JDB clearly does know what he is doing distilling is illegal. I did it once at school under supervision and the result takes your breath away.

    Does anyone know if the anaerobic respiration of yeast produces any other alcohols other than Ethanol? Hence producing the risk of of distilling a dodgey alcohol.

    I didn't know distilling was illegal, but this was all done in Australia where it is a bit of a grey area. You can't legally buy a still, but shops can sell them as long as they are called "essential oil distillers" and under 5l in capacity.

    And yes anaerobic respiration of yeast does produce other nasty stuff, namely methanol in very small but still dangerous levels. This is the main reason you need to be very careful with temperature control and stuff while distilling. Methanol is slightly more volatile than ethanol so you throw away the first liquid to come out of your still each run.

  • Slows need a good frost on them before they're ripe. You try one now and you'll regret it putting it anywhere near your mouth.

  • Also, aren't they slo*e*s?

  • you can buy kits for making beer in boots! I've made elderflower wine before.

  • Also, aren't they slo*e*s?

    Yes, I just could not remember how to spell it correctly so I just typed something to get the idea across.

  • good thread, been wanting to do this for years, totally forgot, i'll get on it in the new house :)

  • theres a really good zine all about home brew called "brewtopia" i havent followed the instructions yet but the two issues i have are all about doing it all diy and even making the equipment. you could possibly pick it up at 56a in kennington, or next time i come to bricklane polo or a ride ill bring them along.

  • I've done a fair bit of wine making over the last few years, some of it successful, some of it not even good enough for cooking with.

    These tips will go a long way to making the wine drinkable:

    • be fastidiously clean.
    • be patient.
    • wine likes to be kept at a constant temperature.

    As Tommy says it can be good and it can be bad. Good because it's cheap, bad because you tend to drink more of it, even when its not ready or is a bit suspect.

    *Best country wines I've made:
    Elderflower and ginger
    Sultana sherry


    Best beginners kit
    I got one from Morrisons last year that made up 5 gallons (20 litres). It was ready in no time, cheap to make and was a light enough red that it was hard to spoil it.

    I think I'll get another on soon, should be ready for Xmas ;)

    Currently waiting on a Rose-hip wine, apparently it needs about a year before it starts to taste reasonable. I'm a bit sporadic with this right now but a few years back I must have had about 90 bottles worth in various states of readiness at any one time!

    Chap I used to work with won prizes for his. I got to taste his plum and strawberry wines - they were exceptional. I think he took great care in looking after them while brewing, that's what made the difference.

  • I don't think I'd ever make cider from apples, theres just too much chance of poisoning myself.

    Plus I hate Cider!

  • the brew kits are cheap and easy to buy boots lager or bitter kits are worth a go

    i think you just need a warm cupboard to get the yeast active and a week or two
    made some for friends at uni to celebrate our last exam in our final year @ jdb agree with the extra sugar misnomer, instead of the alcohol content increasing i just got a very sweet bitter ! if that isn't a corruption of english
    DOH !

  • i recently was given a recipe book of making different brews, but i am not sure what equipment i need, anyone able to point me in the right direction?

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Home brew? Homebrew? Winemaking

Posted by Avatar for chris_crash @chris_crash