Brewery Upgrade – Brutus 20 – 2 Vessel Countertop Electric Brewery

I recently upgraded my brewery. Previously I was ghetto to the max with just a pot and a bag. Now I’ve got myself a version of the Brutus 20, a counter top, 2 vessel electric system. I based my build on this one. I’m really only posting my build here in order to document it, Jeff Karpinski’s plans and equipment list were really good. I’ll not go far beyond that except to include some of the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned. I’m not a “handy guy” by any means so this might really only be useful for folks who have some solid man skills, but are still figuring out how to convert metric to imperial. Firstly some photos and what it is: Tools you will need Variable speed drill, don’t use a battery operated one A file suitable for round edges A hack saw (for trimming your bits down ie. nipples and what not). Cable cutters Pliers 2 x Adjustable wrenches, really big ones (to tighten everything up). Parts list – You can find a comprehensive parts

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10 Tips For New Home Brewers

A friend recently asked me to write up 10 or so rules for new home brewers. Things that I’ve learnt along the way that you could learn from. So, to borrow a joke from my wife: Things That I’ve Learnt Along The Way That You Could Learn From Start Brewing: Don’t over think it. I read books, listened to countless podcasts, trawled internet forums all before I’d made 2 beers. You learn by doing and the best way to scare yourself out of the hobby is to overwhelm yourself with the bazillion ideas out there. There will come a time for that but the beginning of your brewing journey is not it. Brewing is incredibly complex but the actual process can be very easy. Get some sugar, add it to water, boil it, spice it with hops, add some yeast and you’ll end up with beer. Simple. Start Drinking Really Good Beer: If you don’t already drink craft beer, then you should start now. If you’re on the mass market lagers then you’ve set the bar incredibly low. If you’re

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Tiny The Elder – Low Gravity IPA Homebrew Recipe

***UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST*** Sometimes you just don’t want to be drunk. I know, right? Who would say such a thing? I like to have a cold beer most days of the week but I recognise that this kind of habit could end up having a significant impact on my health and or ping pong skills. Rather than do something stupid like, I don’t know, not have any beer, I decided to brew something with very low alcohol with a tonne of flavour and aroma. Enter Tiny The Elder, a big hop driven cross pollination of an American IPA and  British IPA. Maybe I should have called it Civil War or something. Now there are some significant challenges when brewing a beer like this. The biggest issue is getting enough body in the beer and then balancing that with the hops. Much harder than you would expect. Murrays do a great example of a low alcohol IPA called The Retro Rocket. I couldn’t find any clones on the internet so I asked Shawn Sherlock, Head Brewer at Murray’s, for some tips. And I quote:

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Christmas Ginger Ale AND Problems In The Brew House

UPDATE OK, this is going to seem really stupid of me, but I’ve just realised that the problems I’ve been having (see below) are most probably caused by the amount of sunlight I allow near the fermenter. I know, obvious, right? I guess I thought the fermenters I use were opaque enough and I definitely underestimated how serious a problem direct light can be. Believe it or not, none of the texts I have made serious mention of sunlight that I could find (How to Brew [Palmer], Designing Great Beers [Daniels], Extreme Brewing [Calagione], Brewing Classic Styles [Zainasheff, Palmer]). Solution? I wrapped my latest batch (made using a fresh wort kit from St Peters brewery) in a giant plastic bag. It’s still very young but Steph and I tasted it the other night and it seemed to be rid of familiar taste my brews started to get. Still not perfect and I put that down to controlling fermentation, but much better than before. Christmas Ginger Ale So just quickly, I made a Ginger Ale for Christmas. It was meant to impress the hell out of the inlaws and

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Event Horizon Black IPA

This one is for a Christmas Party with my music manager friends. I took a standard Black IPA recipe at about 6%ABV and upped the base malt to get it up to about 7.5%ABV. Hops are fruity! NZ Nelson Sauvin and NZ Pacific Jade I didn’t hit my numbers exactly and that was because I’m doing Brew In A Bag and am still figuring out my volumes and how they effect my gravity. I kind of do a hybrid and pull the first runnings off the grist and do a mini sparge by pouring hot water over the grain bag while it is draining in to a bucket. This effects my OG obviously and I’m stil experimenting with how much sparging I need to do in order to hit my numbers. Tastes amazing! I think it’s one of my best beers yet. It’s so roasty it feels like a party in a fire place, but somehow the Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade hops balance it out. It feels like it’s on the thinner side of a Black IPA, which i prefer because

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Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Clone

UPDATE: So I cracked one the other night and it actually turned out pretty good! Three weeks bottle conditioning and it’s come good. The flavour and aroma were much for subtle than I would expect from a Dogfish Head recipe and this might have something to do with my recipe scaling. the caramel from the Muscovado sugar didn’t really come through and I think it might have actually been fermented all up, which would explain why the body is slightly thinner than I would expect from a Brown/Scotch Ale. The malt bil;l could be more intense on the speciality side as well. However this all seemed to work with the way the hop profile turned out, which also wasn’t as intense as I would expect from and IPA/DFH recipe. I decided to brew this one to enter in to the Darlo Local Taphouse Brewshare night in mid November. The theme is “Weird Styles” and I wanted to bring something more normal than I usually do but at the same time different enough that anyone at the Brew Share wouldn’t have had anything

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First BIAB: Alternate Future Strawberry Kolsch

A few weeks ago I tried my hand at a form of All Grain Brewing. It’s a method called Brew In A Bag and it differs from regular All Grain brewing in that You don’t require as much equipment and therfore as much space It’s like a “no sparge” method, however I do I mirco sprarge just to help attenuation You use a giant bag that holds all your grains in the pot. When mashing is complete you simply remove the grain bag (after doing the mini sparge I mentioned above. There are many other advantages and a few traditional all grain brewers would list some disadvantages. The main reason I’m using the BIAB method is to save space. We have a one bedroom apartment and I wish to keep my marriage happy. As well as being my first AG BIAB attempt, the was also my first attempt at recipe creation. In a nut shell I wanted to take a fairly clean beer, ferment it with something weird and split the batch in to two fermenters: one with strawberries, one without. The advantage of

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Home Made Immersion Wort Chiller

Not long ago Steph and I did a road trip across the USA. We drove all the way from New York City down to South Carolina, then west all the way to LA and then up to San Fran. It was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life. One of the big take homes was a new appreciation and love of craft beer. The yanks have craft breweries in just about every town and in true American Style the beers are bold, innovative and a little bit in your face. Since returning back home I’ve began brewing my own beer and as I get further in to it I am slowly building up my gear list. One piece of equipment I’ve badly needed is a wort chiller. For those uninitiated, after you boil up all the ingredients (much like a soup) you need to cool the new beer (wort) really quickly so as to reduce the chances of bacteria from growing before you pitch the yeast. Yeast needs a certain temperature to live – too hot

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Head of Community at Blackbird Ventures. Festival Director of Sydney Craft Beer Week. Homebrewer. Family man. Former Artist Manager / Founder at (The Rubens, Cloud Control, Urthboy, Winterbourne and more).

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