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  • Homebrew :)

    Some here might have already tried some homebrew, either beer or something with more proof like wine or spirits.
    Stuffed my back again a few days back, so I thought I start another batch for the X-mas time.
    Never tried to make beer as I don't drink it that often, but wine and spirits are always nice
    So I thought I write a bit about family recipes and some things people seem to have forgotten over the years.

    If you want to make your own beer, just go get a ready to go kit.
    Getting real malt and hops in AU is almost impossible or at least costly, so I'm not going into the details of making real beer.

    First off, some things you should keep in mind when starting the first time:
    Equipment is one thing, hygine another, so take a shower
    Ok, jokes aside, hygine in terms of your equipment and everything around it is paramount!
    You are dealing with very sweet liquids, ideal temperatures and yeast - a mix that is delicate when it comes to contamination!
    Before you start a batch clean all your tools, funnels, jars drums or balloons.
    There is special sanitizer available for the job, which is good AFTER a proper cleaning and rinse, but there are cheap alternatives.
    A) Citric Acid - can be found as a cleaner for your coffee machine, as crystals on Ebay, pharmacies and health shops
    B) Bleech - pure bleech and nothing with fancy smells or other things in it
    No matter what you use for the final cleaning, make sure to rinse out all residue, especially with bleech less is better as it can be hard to remove the chlorine smell if you used too much.
    Always use filtered water!
    I can not stress this enough as normal tap water contains chlorine and other "additives" which in turn are harmful for our yeast.

    Ok, let's get going with some spirit first...
    Before you consider it, be aware that "moonshining" is still considered to be illegal in AU, although noone will put you in jail for your private use - just don't sell and don't start storing 50gallon drums of your product
    As so many I started with a simple kit that had cost me an arm and a leg.
    Could not get my hands on the material for a proper small still at that time, but if you search Google you will find many plans in all sizes.
    For starters that don't want build their own reflux still it is best to use one these machines for destilled water.
    It is basically a heated pot with a cooling system on top, you can get them in any homebrew shop or on Ebay.
    A lot of people stress that you need a temperature regulated still if you use those water boilers - I noticed that only matters when you do a proper mash from grains or fruit products, using simple white sugar is fine with any type.
    Ok, that is something for a future part to explain in detail, let's just keep it simple and say by using just sugar you don't have enough unwanted alcohols or harmful stuff that causes a bad taste.
    For the wash anything that does not corrode, affect the taste or reacts with alcohol can be used, I prefer 30L plastic drums with a lid and bung plug (so I screw in a tap).
    But there are people out there using 1000L tanks for their wash - it all depends...
    If you go the normal way, than most likely you will get some special fermenting sugar, some still spirit yeast, carbon and clearing agent as well as activate cabon filters - all from you local homebrew supplier who loves to make good money.
    Trust me I know as I have done it this way for quite some time due to being lazy.
    Nothing is wrong with that and you get perfect instructions on the packs as well as good results when you follow them.
    But for each wash of 25 liters you will have to fork out about 60$ in these still products....
    It all fine if you just want to make your 4-5 liters of spirit every now and then without having to worry - or to try it out to start with.
    So I won't go into the details of mixing water, sugar and you favourite yeast product - this is all well explained on the packs
    But I will let you know some alternatives that I learned from my grandfather.
    He loved to make his port wine but proper pure port yeast cultures are damn expensive and only come in small quantities, so he had a way of re-using and multiplying these percious cultures.

    Part1: re-using a good yeast
    Not very common these days as it is sort of a "lost talent".
    For my sake I assume you know the basics of using yeast already.
    Once your wash reaches the end it will produce less bubbles coming out of the air trap, this either means all sugar is consumed or the alcohol level is too high for the yeast to tolerate - the last you want to avaoid as it leaves sugar in your alcohol and this in return will make the cleaning of your still take much longer
    At this stage you would usually add you clearing agent and discard everything on the bottom of your drum.
    But since we already knew that we want to reuse the yeast, no carbon was added to the wash and no clearing agent will be used.
    Instead we use mother nature, or in our case a good fride/freezer that the drum will fit in to.
    Chill the wash down to about 4 degrees celsius and the yeast and everything else will settle to the bottom.
    Don't let it get too cold as you don't want to freeze the yeast!
    Remove your alcohol and store it in a different container to be filtered and destilled later on.
    Get a big jar (about 2liters) or big bottle and fill in the stuff that collected on the bottom - dont go too deep as there is only unwanted material on the ground.
    And did I mention hygine? Everythign you use here must be sterile, so if in doubt prepare all the day before with boiling water.
    Let the stuff get back to room temperature and once reached add filtered water.
    In a 2L jar you should have about 10cm of goo and at least 10 free at the top.
    Shake the stuff hard for few seconds so the result is a milky liquid.
    The yeast is now active again, at least the ones still alive.
    Now put the jar in your fridge and let it set.
    You should get several layers once all is set.
    Starting from the bottom:
    Dead yeast, nutrients and waste products, should be the darkest layer.
    Second layer is the yeast, it should be of milky color.
    Above that is a thin layer of dead cells and the top is water/alcohol mix.
    We only need the yeast layer, so you either pour the top layer off and fill the yeast layer into a smaller jar, or you use a hose and carefully suck only the yeast layer out.
    Either way you can re-do the procedure until you are satisfied that you only collected the yeast layer.
    Now you need some filtered water that was boiled for 15 minutes and cooled down.
    The reason is that this process will remove the oxygen from the water!
    Fill your yeast jar with the water as full as possible without spilling.
    Put in the fridge and you can leave it for up to 2 years, if all was sterile.
    Of course this yeast can not be used for new wash as it is - the whole idea was to seperate the living yeast and keep them dormant.
    To use the yeast again you need a kickstarter.
    DME is good for it or you can buy special kickstarter packs - DME is Dry Molasses Extract, a cheap powder.
    To activate mix about 50ml of your yeast with a table spoon of DME and 200ml luke warm, filtered water.
    After quite a while you should see bubbles forming or if they are too fast for you it will look like the top of a good beer
    If you see that it means all is good and your yeast starts eating.
    Fill up to about a liter and add 50grams of sugar - you want to do this in a container that is high enough!
    Put a loose lid or clean cloth over it and let it rest at room temp for a day.
    Now you can make your next wash and add the recycled yeast to get the same tasting product as with your last run.
    This procedure can be done so you first wash results in up to 10 jars of yeast, each jar can be activate so the yeast that multiplying and makes another wash....
    If you produce a lot of standard 25L washes you save at least 25$ each time

    Part 2, direct transfer of yeast....
    You might use two three washes timed so they produce a continous stream of product.
    This means once a wash is finiished you could directly start the next in the cleaned drum.
    The steps to re-use the yeast are the same as in part one, only that you don't fill it in smaller jars - you re-use the lot.
    So it is only seperating, washing and activating before you put them into the new wash - simple isn't it ?

    Ok, you got all that and you also got your first wash ready to be destilled?
    Apart from what you put into your wash to start with, also the quality of your finnished wash will affect the tast of your product!
    So take your time, let all the yeast settle, get the clear wash and filter it through a coffee filter.
    Once done filter it again, this time through a reusable ceramic filter or something diposable in the 1-2 micron range.
    Last filtration is through activated charcoal to remove any unwanted taste - skip that step if you use anything else but whit sugar for your wash as it can also remove some of wanted tastes from your wash.
    Pure sugar wash should result in "vodka" that has basically no smell at all.
    This means your wash should also be clean.
    Depending on your setup you will have to destill several rounds to complete your wash, as for legal reasons a private still is not allowed to take more than 4liters of wash.
    Now comes the part where you need your alcohol float.
    The first bit that comes out should be very high in concentration, on a simple still about 70% or higher, on a reflux still up to 95%.
    The longer the wash is destilled the less alcohol it will contain.
    You can follow that by checking the proof of the product.
    Once it reaches 50% collect the rest down to about 40% in a different container.
    Use this "last drop" in your next still cycle together with the wash - this way you get all the wanted alcohol out without wasting too much.
    Re-using these last drops can mean up to 1 liter more for your finnied product depending on the strengh of the wash and the yeast used.
    If at any stage you notice a bad smell stop collecting and discard the rest of the wash in the still.

    Secrets of getting a cleaner product....
    Once you have collected all your alcohol it is time to filter it again through activated charcoal - again if you use anything but sugar you might want to skip this step but you might want to wait on a second part explaining different sources for a good wash as unwanted alcohols also mean methanol, which won't be produced using just sugar.
    The opinions on filtering the finnished product go two ways.
    One side says that alcohol must be diluted down to about 40% before filtering, the other side states filtering the concentrated alcohol results in the better product.
    I tried them both and could not tell the difference...
    But I can tell you that a wash that was not filtered properly will result in a "vodka" that even activated charcoal won't clean.
    this comes from the cooked yeast and by-products that often go into the steam with the alcohol.
    If you had that bad luck leaving the alcohol container covered with a cloth for a few days can often remove some of the smell.

    Once you got a few bottles of your own vodka you might want to give it a different flavour.
    Although you can get ittle bottles of flavour concentrate, like Whiskey, Bourbon and so on - I don't like them at all.
    Not only are they quite costly if you want to fill a few bottles, I think their taste is always somehow artificial.
    If you compare a bourbon with a homemade vodka based thingy you will know what I mean - the age and reality is missing.
    One of the best ways of getting a good product is by making sure the base materials are correct.
    Clean vodka: just white sugar and yeast
    Burbon: Corn and yeast, aging in charred oak barrels (or with charred oak wood chips) American Burbon is aked in new oak barrels
    Whiskey: Barley and yeast, aging in used barrels - the used barrels make part of the special aroma

    Ok, who has some nice oak barrels sitting around that are still clean and leakproof? ...
    And most likely you won't have enough to fill a barrel anyway, so how to overcome the problem?
    Since using barley, corn or even Molasses can and will produce methanol at the beginning of the still process and preparing these things takes quite some time, I prefer to cheat my way out.
    At your local hardware or camping store you will get packs of smoke pellets, meant to be used for your BBQ.
    The Jack Daniels variation is created from used Jack Daniels barrels, making them perfect to give our vodka a much better taste and color.
    A pack of these pellets is good for about 20 liters of spirit.
    Use a proper container for your product and simply add the pellets.
    Let it age for at least a month with a good shake once or twice a day.
    You will see how the color changes over time.
    If you want a really good one leave it for a longer time.
    You try the taste by taking a sample before shaking, if you are satisfied filter through a coffee filter and a 5 micron filter.

    Other options include to use brown sugar or molasses to partly or completely replace the white sugar.
    The first 50ml coming out of your still should be discarded as it will contain some methanol.
    You can check for the presence with an old trick:
    Fill some of your heads (the early run from the still) into an egg cup a place one eye over it (make sure the product is not hot!!) - if it stings like hell you still have methanol in it, if you just get the same sensation like from your good spirit it is fine.
    It is not fool proof or 100% accurate, so if in doubt waste a few more ml to be sure.
    The resulting product will have a destinct malt flavour and taste, like rum as it basically is rum, you only need to age it in a proper barrel

    Especially when you want to make something based from molasses or brown sugar you want to make sure you keep the taste.
    One problem with most available spirit yeasts is that they are designed for white sugar and that the cultures used don't produce any smelly or taste irritating byproducts.
    This means a good yeast for vodka can return a very low level rum when used with other sources of sugar.
    I tried very hard and very long to find a suitable yeast for this and found one with an experiment.
    IMHO a good yeast for rum can be produced from simple bread yeast, the dry stuff that you get in any supermarket.
    Only problem is they don't have a high tolerance to alcohol and if not filtered correctly they will wuin the taste during the still process.
    So you have to make your own alcohol tolerant bread yeast
    Again: hygine and sterilisation is paramount as you don't want any unwanted yeast cultures or even bakteria in your final yeast.
    Start with some warm water to get the yeast activated.
    Add a little bit of sugar and DME to get them going.
    Once you see they are getting really active fill them into a 2L jar or canister and let them do their thing for a day.
    Now add more sugar so the yeast will keep producing alcohol.
    The wash should not smell bad!
    A bad smell is a sign of infection and the batch should go in the sink.
    You can check for the sugar content by simply tasting it - please use a clean spoon and only use the spoon once, after that it needs to be cleaned to avoid contamination of your batch.
    You want the taste to be a bit sweet but not like a sugar drink.
    If you use an airlock you will see after a few days that the CO2 production reduces - at this stage it is vital to check the sugar levels more often.
    Once the bubbling is really slow you cool the wash down to make the yeast settle.
    Get your good yeast the same way as explained in the above posting and repeat the process.
    With every run you will get more yeast that has a better tolerance to alcohol as the weak buddies already died earlier in the process from alcohol in the system
    You want get to alcohol levels that you get from high strenght yeasts but you will be able to produce a wash with at least 12-14% of alcohol in it, which is not bad at all.

    Of course you can produce your spirit from fruit sources as well!
    Anything that has a high level of starch or sugar can used, bananas, apples, strawberries - you name it.
    If you want to enhance the flavour of your wash you will use wine yeast, especially port wine for this process.
    The still process is similar to what you already did only that you have to pay more attention to your heads and tails.
    The reason for that is that you not only produced ethanol but also a lot of other alcohols and taste affecting products in your wash.
    You can even use the wash without filtering as some say it will give a better flavour - I prefer a good filtration as it keeps the still cleaner and does not produce as much unwanted stuff that you need to discard.
    Removing the heads and tails is essential for the process!
    You will discard the first 50-80ml as paint thinner and after that do the eye check, once good taste it in single drops that leave on your tongue.
    If you don't like the initial or after taste discard and collect for the final run.
    The mid section will contain all the flavour you want, so check it on a regular base until you thing the taste is not as good anymore.
    Keep collecting the tails until you get to about 40% in strenght.
    Mix all your mid collection into one container and taste it again - this will be your base!
    Now mix your collected heads with twice the amount of filtered water and run them through the still again.
    You will collect much more methanol this time and the smell will be different too.
    Discard the paint thinner until you get something that does not sting your eye and has a taste that is still acceptable.
    Again stop once getting to the 40% mark.
    Same procedure for the tails, only that don't have to discard anything of what comes out at the start - all the methanol is only in the heads!
    Keep collecting until you get down to 40%.
    Now comes the tricky part:
    You can either keep you mid collection which is prefered for apple as an example or you can add various amounts of your now clean head and tail collections.
    This will give the product it's final character as the head and tail sections contain massive amounts of different alcohols and taste affecting by products.
    I prefer to use a dropper (1 drop is one ml) to mix some samples.
    If I get something that is to my liking I will use for the full batch, otherwise I just keep the mid section.
    The heads and tails you still have left over now can be stored and reused for your next batch, simply add them to your finnished wash.
    This is especially nice if the next batch has a weaker intitial taste.
    Just taste the wash and add your own mix of heads and tails until the taste is just right - bit like mixing your own fruit wine
    Don't just add all you have as the result might be too strong in unwanted taste variations - after a few runs you will get the feeling for the right mix!
    As for aging and filtration of the finnished product....
    A good spirit gets better when older, so it leaves us with the filtration problem again.
    You might want to use activated charcoal to remove some smells and taste that you don't want.
    The problem is it will also remove a lot of the flavour you want to keep.
    There is no prediction possible if actiated charcoal filtering will improve or ruin your product.
    Best way is to test a small quantitiy.
    A bit of activated charcoal in a Tyvek bag or similar fine stuff in a glass and fill up with your spirit.
    Let it sit for a few hours and have a small sample without the charcoal next to it - you want to check how much the smell and taste changes just be etting your product breathe.
    Sometime this breathing is all it needs
    Taste your charcoal product and compare with the sample that was just breathing.
    If you like the filtered version best you filter otherwise you leave it as it is.

    Once i get the mood I will write part two: making you own wine
    Last edited by Downunder35m; 13-12-13, 11:07 AM.
    '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
    Password for all my files: downunder

  • #2
    Making wine....

    I merged the postings, so part 2 for making wine has a place on the top, so frgive me the long first posting

    Making wine in our hot climate can be tricky during the summer months, but most of the nice fruits and berries can be obtained to the end of sommer to make it easier.
    Why is the temperature important?
    If you already made some beer or spirit you will know that working yeast causes not only the production of CO2 and alcohol but also heat as any wokring body would produce.
    The interesting thing about yeast is that it only works good if the conditions are close to perfect.
    Every yeast culture has specific needs for the acidity, max levels of sugar in the wash and the temperatur.
    If the temp is too low the yeast will work much much slower or even stall (causing a failed fermentation if you can't get it going again), if the temp is too high the same happens but the yeast can also die completely.
    Often the perfect temperature is set in very limited range of only 2-5 degrees celsius, for private makers the effort of keeping these temps in their limits is often too much.
    The result only is that your wine takes a little bit longer to finnish unless your temps are going totally out of whack...

    What you need to start with....
    Of course a good source of fruits - anything not too acidic and free of damages will do just fine.
    For sweet wine or wine with high alcohol levels, like Port a sweet source is prefered - like ripe Plum, Peach, Lomquat, Banana, you get the pic
    Wine ballons or similar vessels made from glass, stainless steel is possible too but makes the visual checks almost impossible.
    Plastic can't really be recommended as the fruit acids and the alcohol will have negative effects on the plastic - we are often talking about weeks before a wine is finnished!
    So you don't want any harmful stuff from the plastic in your wine and you don't want the wine to stain the plastic either as you won't see what's happening inside.
    Why do I stress about it so much you might wonder?
    Well, when you make wine you need to be able to see what is happening and you also need inert containers to make sure you can clean them for a perferc sterilisation.
    You also want to make sure there is as less emtpy room over your wine as possible - a wine ballon is perfectly designed for that.
    Of course you also need the rubber cap and airlock, but usually they come together as a pack.
    Long bottle brushes that you can bed into the right shape are also essential for the cleaning part.
    A good yeast!
    They don't come really cheap, but above you can read up how to make your own yeast cultures.
    I prefer a good Port yeast as I like my wine sweet and strong in taste and alcohol.
    You also might need some starter packs depending on the yeast you choose, please ask your supplier if they can used directly or if a starter is prefered.
    If you don't have a nutrient pack with your yeast, don't stress as usually there is more enough in your wash

    To get started....
    Did I mention hygine already?
    Again, I can't stress this too much!
    It starts by preparing your tools, balloons and everything else that comes into contact with your fruits or wash during the process!
    Wine takes time to make and any unwanted yeast cultures or bakteria will most likely cause a total disaster.
    This is due to the fact that the wash is sweet and that it takes a long time for the alcohol levels to build up enough so other harmful critters have no chance to survive.
    Once a wash is contaminated the result is that these unwanted bakteria or yeast cultures multiply faster than your designed yeast can handle.
    You can smell that directly when you check on the airlock or often just by walking into the room where you make your wine.
    Ok, all is clean and you are ready to go?!?
    Wash all your fruits carefully and during the process remove any unwanted plant material or damaged fruits that you might find.
    By damaged I mean depending on the fruit itself - a dint on an apple is no problem at all, a brown spot on a strawberry is!
    You want the best from what you collected, the rest is still good for a fruit salat or some jam.
    Next step is to dry and remove anything that should not be in your wash, like the centre of the apple, stones, seeds or the remains of the flower.
    Now some people prefer to use the fruits cold and to mash them up cold, for some recipes even with bigger fruits chunks - I prefer to cook them and to press the result through a medium corse siev or old kitchen towel. Another reason to cook is to kill bakteria and to break down some of the starch into useful sugars.
    Next might be overkill but I got the results this way...
    The remaining fruit mud I run through a little centrifuge to get more juice out.
    The now semi dry mood cake goes into my mortar to fix up the remaining bigger and hard parts.
    Everything is mixed back together and goes into the ballon.
    If you want make sure all bad stuff is dead and nothing new has entered you can give it another quick boil before filling into the balloon (please let cool down again first!).
    Add your yeast about half way through filling so it is well mixed up - please refer to the instructions for your yeast for the right preperation.
    Add the air lock and cap and you are good to go.
    It is vital for the first 2 weeks or so to monitor the progress and temperature.
    A good idea is to have the ballon in a tray as sometimes your wash can "boil over", meaning that in the beginning the bubbles formed can built up and escape through the airlock.
    As the stuff usually has some color and is pretty sticky you don't want that on your carpet
    Once everything is going good and bubbles well you can relax and wait, just check daily, later once or twice a week if all is good and that the smell from the airlock is fine.
    Please change the water in the airlock once you see it is getting milky or otherwise once a month - take care to clean it properly before putting back in.
    Again, this step is to make sure nothing unwanted can grow into your wine - bad stuff from your airlock for example.
    A good prevention is to use some citric acid with the water for your airlock, but use the crystals, not the juice!
    The acid will fight off most harmfull stuff that can start to grow in your airlock, but if cloudy or milky still replace it.
    It is also a good idea to wrap the ballon with some old (but clean) towels all the way up to the airlock. This will not only keep light out but also dust and other stuff away from your wine.
    Keeping light out is essential to make sure in the beginning of the fermentation you won't get any degradation or grow stuff you don't want

    Once the bubbling has stopped or slowed down to a crawl the easiest way to start the last step is to cool down your ballon so the yeast will go dormant and settle down to the ground.
    You can also use a clearing agent but time is better.
    Use a small hose to get wine out of the ballon into a fresh one without disturbing the sediments - if you can't control the flow properly to the end it is best to leave the rest of the wine with the sediment instead of contaminating the fresh fill.
    You can pump the reaming wine into a seperate container so you can filter the slurry out before adding to the collection.
    Put a closed rubber cap on the ballon and let it sit for a few weeks in darkness, this will cause the remaining fine particles to set and should have a clear wine to fill into your bottles for aging (or drinking...).

    You have to collect the right yeast for the kind of wine you want produce and you have to use suitable ingredients.
    Some fruits require to add some sugar as they don't contain enough themself and some require special attention like Banana's - they love to go off before you get a proper alcohol level.
    If, after two days you still see no bubbling at all in your airlock you might have shocked the yeast or the acidity of your wash was too high, if you can't quickstart the fermentation you will loose a batch.
    Preparing the yeast is vital for a good start, this means the temp of the yeast and the wash should match and the yeast should be activated according to the supplied instructions.
    Somtimes it seems to be impossible to get a really clear wine, especially with mixed fruits. People stress about it and you can even find special clearing agents that claim to produce a crystal clear result. I don't use them as time is always on my side, sooner or later almost all parts will settle to the ground of the balloon and if not it won't affect the taste of a wine
    If you want to go hardcore and can't wait a 1 micron filter will do the job just fine...

    Storing your wine once bottled can be tricky too as we only have the choice to use screw caps.
    I noticed that reusing these caps can bring a lot of problems!
    The metal ones can corrode and if that happens under or around the seal it can ruing your wine.
    Similar with the plastic ones that have this inner seal in the top, one ruptured it is impossible to get it cleaned.
    The only ones I found to be good to reuse are the ones designed like the soft drink bottle caps - the grab around the glass inside and out and from a seal by pressure.
    Before bottling, my grandfather always added a few drops of 80% Rum into each cap and let it sit for a while - he claimed it not only kills everything that creeped up during filling but also adds a special note to the wine.
    Last edited by Downunder35m; 13-12-13, 12:39 PM. Reason: Merged with the first posting to add some notes about wine making
    '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
    Password for all my files: downunder


    • #3
      Homemade Baileys

      add to a large jug,
      1 can condensed milk ( 395 gms )
      1 can evaporated milk ( carnation, slightly bigger can, sorry dont have can here )
      1 tpsn glycerine or glucose syrup
      1 tpsn vanilla essence
      1/2 tspn coconut essence
      1 tblspn instant coffee
      dissolve in 2 tblspn of hot water, add 1 1/2 cups of whiskey,stir and bottle,then drink.
      I drink neat with some crushed ice,but you can add milk to taste. Top your Ice cream.
      750mls of whiskey makes 2 1/2 bottles.

      whitehillbillies ( 25 years of homebrewing )


      • #4
        Wish I could replicate KIRIN beer if I could I would once again get excited about home brew


        • #5
          A few guys at work are into homebrew beers. I have bought a setvup off one of them and have a coopers pale ale ready to bottle this weekend.
          Looking forward to trying one once I have let it sit for a couple of weeks.

          2008 NS Diesel Auto - stock as a rock. Planning Tow bar, dual battery system, cargo barrier, bullbar, winch, lights, roof rack and suspension.
          Jayco Starcraft 17.58-3.


          • #6
            Best thing I ever did was go to kegs instead of bottles ...... now the wife brews all my beer since its so easy only washing one keg instead of 30 large bottles...


            • #7
              I merded the initial postings to keep the wine stuff close by, I hope you enjoy the reading and that we all come together one day to test our creations - may the liver survive the night
              '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
              Password for all my files: downunder


              • #8
                Was asked by someone up in the deep NT how get a good fermentation if there is no access to any homebrew shop or the internet.
                Currently the poor guy has to call friends or family to order what he needs, they send it over to him, which can take over a week and is too costly in the long run.
                Since the turbo yeasts he uses are no good for reuse anyway I suggested to go the old and cheap way, which I try to explain:
                Before special and powerful "ready-to-go" yeasts were available our ancestors already made mead, wine and beer, not to menton spirits from the formerly.
                And most of them did not even use any yeast at all - they trusted on the wild fermtation and their knowledge about the right ingredients.
                If a high alcohol concentration in your finnished wash is not overly important (which for a sugar wash should be the case anyway as it is dirt cheap to make) you can simply use normal bread yeast.
                For vodka you might have a slight taste if you don't use a good reflux still but everything else comes out just fine, especially when you make your wash with molasses and raw sugar.
                Turbo yeast won't get that round aroma you get from fermenting molasses or similar with bread yeast.
                But as you also moight already know getting a wash started with bread yeast is time consuming and often won't work at all - that is why most homebrew forums rate against it.
                The right know how is the trick here
                With just the yeast you will see a few bubbles every now and then in your airlock and a complete run can take up to four weeks.
                So what makes the TURBO in turbo yeast and why is the bread yeast so painfully slow?
                1. Just the yeast alone will not find enough nutrients and minerals in a sugar wash, if there is a lot molasses it is a bit better.
                2. Bread yeast needs to be activated properly, simlar to let your bread rise before baking it.
                3. The normal yeast is just slower and only produces alcohol levels up to about 8% - 12-14% if you have cultivated your own good yeast cultures from previous runs.

                To properly activate you yeast use luke warm water in a cup with half a teespoon of sugar.
                Add your yeast and stir until there are no clumps left.
                Since we won't make bread take your time and let the stuff rest with a good stir every 30 minutes to get air in - a fork works great.
                If you used too much water at the start you will notice now what to do different next time
                Now come the most important step: giving your starter culture the right nutrients!
                If acces is limited to can fall back on old recipies containing oats, weat, ammonium sulfide, diammoinum sulphide and some molasses - but do you really want to go through those troubles if we have the mother of all yeast nutrients in every supermarket around Oz?
                I see, you have no idea what I'm talking about...
                What gives you energy, nutrients, all good vitamins plus folate and other good things? Almost every kid loves it...
                Still no clue?
                It is a concentrated yeast extract enriched with all the things a kid needs - and it is the right stuff for your yeast!
                For a standard 25L wash you add your prepared bread yeast and a heaped teespoon of your favourite spread dissolved in warm water.
                You can check the sugar levels in your wash and ifstill good add another half of a teespoon worth every second day.
                Don't add anything more after a week!

                If you want to quickly check the difference between just yeast and added vegemite:
                Prepare two standard soft drink bottles with an airlock and fill 2/3 with water.
                Add a tablespoon of sugar in each bottle.
                Prepare a cup full of yeast by only using a single teespoon of dry yeast and warm water.
                Once the yeast is ready add half of it to one bottle and to the other half add a quarter of a teespoon worth in Vegemite before adding to the second bottle.
                Put the airlocks on compare the bubble rate over the next few days...
                '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
                Password for all my files: downunder


                • #9
                  I have my new cooling tower ready and it will get a cleaning run on the weekend.
                  80mm copper pipe, 1.5m high with 3.5m of cooling coil inside
                  If that does not provide pure H2O than there is something wrong LOL
                  Will upload some pics once I'm safisfied with the quality that comes out.
                  Still have a few meters of pipe left and was thinking of making another reflux tower for someone that needs one...
                  '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
                  Password for all my files: downunder


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hoyt Shooter View Post
                    Best thing I ever did was go to kegs instead of bottles ...... now the wife brews all my beer since its so easy only washing one keg instead of 30 large bottles...
                    Couldn't agree more. Once you go kegs, you could never go back.
                    Nothing better than walking upto your bar fridge and pouring your own homebrew into a cold glass straight from a tap.
                    And the cleaning is soooo much easier.
                    NT X DiD - Safari Snorkel, Deluxe Bar, LRA Aux Tank, Bilstein/Lovells, Duel Batt, Bushskinz bash plates, Rhino platform, Pioneer avic-f60dab alpine speakers in each corner and focal amp, dynamatting... Want - Move/replace intercooler, full exhaust, Diesel Tune...


                    • #11
                      Even better when you can pour a homebrew when camping


                      • #12
                        Who gave you the right to pinch my trailer???
                        That is a damn great thing! I want one, I want one!!!
                        '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
                        Password for all my files: downunder


                        • #13

                          Not bad, but where's the pool????


                          • #14
                            Simply Brilliant. How do you keep the kegs cool? just fill with ice?
                            NT X DiD - Safari Snorkel, Deluxe Bar, LRA Aux Tank, Bilstein/Lovells, Duel Batt, Bushskinz bash plates, Rhino platform, Pioneer avic-f60dab alpine speakers in each corner and focal amp, dynamatting... Want - Move/replace intercooler, full exhaust, Diesel Tune...


                            • #15
                              I don't know if you guys know it but there are people out there that convert an old aircon out of a small car to a freezer for camping.
                              Compressor is driven by a small lawn mover motor or similar and instead of the small radiator inside the cabin they use thin copper tubing brazed onto a stainless steel plate.
                              Some freaks even use the copper coil to "wrap" the keg and insulate the outside with rock wool and put all in a small drum.
                              Good for those long camping trips with no powered camp sites, setup is tiny and if your get a generator going anyway you can switch to an electric motor to run the compressor - permantly if use a camper that is powered from your car battery anyway.
                              '94 2.8TD, 2" lift, low mount winch, bullbar, roofrack, UHF, custom drawers, HID spotties, cam, GPS....
                              Password for all my files: downunder


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