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  • FIRST POST
    Mads13
    Beer Making Kits-How Easy????
    • #1
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:02 PM
    Beer Making Kits-How Easy???? 24th Mar 05 at 2:02 PM
    Hi All

    My hubby likes the occasional beer/ale/stout etc. At present he drinks the cheapie beers from Asda/Tesco..about 1.00 for 4, but he finds them too fizzy and watery. He does like a good 5% beer/lager/ale/stout etc but the cheapie ones are only about 2% and a third of the price.

    Got me thinking about how cheap/easy it is to actually make homemade lager/beer/ale etc?

    Does anyone have any ideas :confused: ? How much outlay is there? Where do I get them from? Where should it be stored? Etc Etc???
    I dont know where to start...so am asking for peoples help and valued advice..which I know I will receive on here

    Thank you all so much.

    Mads13
    XXX
Page 1
  • mink35
    • #2
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:09 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:09 PM
    Wilkinsons sell the beer making kits Mads. If might have info on the box etc.

    Don't know any of the other answers!
    Mink
  • Galtizz
    • #3
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:34 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:34 PM
    Have a look in specialist shops first (have a look in the yellow pages), they sell a product called something like beer in a bag. That is really, really easy to make because you just add water and wait (it is almost drinkable too). See PICTURE, 5 GALLONS for 18.39 (you have to add a beer kit to the 14 kit) I'm not recomending this one, I got mine from a local brewing shop.

    If you do that and enjoy the idea of making your own then go out and invest in the bits to do it 'properly'. As Mink says Wilkos is always cheapest for this sort of thing. Never done 'proper' beer but have done wine and that is great fun (but a pain waiting for it to finish)

    There are some instructions on home brewing HERE, looks complicated to me.
    Last edited by Galtizz; 24-03-2005 at 2:44 PM. Reason: Cause I found a picture of what I'm waffling on about!
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt
  • We Laugh Indoors
    • #4
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:40 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Mar 05, 2:40 PM
    glad this came up i have been wanting to look into this for a while and how now been given a reminder.
  • miss_spends_alot
    • #5
    • 24th Mar 05, 5:16 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Mar 05, 5:16 PM
    I have been making my own beer from kits for over a year now and would highly recommend it. To get started you only need

    1x 5 gallon fermentation bin about 8 from wilkos or 1-2 from a car boot
    1x Beer kit about 6-8 from wilkos
    About 1Kg - 1.5Kg of sugar (ordinary sugar can be used but may require longer maturation brewing sugar is better)
    Sodium metabisulphate for sterilizing equipment about 1-2 a tub which should do a good few barrels

    Most kits are the same just open the tin pour it into the bin add sugar top up with water sprinkle the yeast on top and leave for a week somewhere where the temperatre will be between 18-24C a cupboard is good until fermentation has finished(when it stops bubbling).

    Once the beer is done there are two options you can bottle it if choosing this option I would recommend buying grolsch bottles with the resealable flip caps. These are expensive but you get the pleasure of emptying them before use and are easily reusable. The other way to bottle is to collect beer bottles, and buy a bag of caps for a couple of quid and get hand capper.

    The other way to keep your beer is to get a pressure barrel and a CO2 injector which costs about 30 this seems expensive at first but saves a lot of time and effort.

    Once your storage equipment is sorted you need to prime it which means mixing up a few spoons of sugar with a pint of water and pouring a little into every bottle or all of it into the barrel. This solution briefly reactivates the yeast when the beer is added this gives the beer its head.

    The next step is to leave the beer to mature the longer it matures the nicer it gets.

    Final step drink and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

    All this equipment seems expensive at first but if you factor the cost of the equipment into the first batch of beer made it still costs less than 1.50 a pint then the next batch of beer only needs the kit and sugar so will be about 0.22 a pint.

    If you want to know how strong your beer is you can get a hydrometer and test jar for about 6 from wilkos also there is loads of these on car boots for a couple of quid. Most of the beer I have made has been about 4.8%
  • Caz2
    • #6
    • 24th Mar 05, 6:31 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Mar 05, 6:31 PM
    Hi I had a go at this last year, it was a cheap kit from morrisons. I had all the gear as i make my own wine regularly. When i had fermented it i put it in lemonade bottles (had bought these for about 10p each). We got all exited, had loads of bottles, guess what........ awful, i tried to recycle it by putting it in the garden for the slugs and even they woundn't go near it. Even tried my daughters male friends who drink anything oh no even drunk they coundn't stomach it (as a money saver i was desperate to find a use). I have no idea what i did wrong, but not tried it since. However I would wean your old man on to lemonade because that's cheaper and make yourself some lovely wine which i do all the time. I make it regularly from a grape juice kit and it works out at about 1 a bottle, thats for reg use I also make ginger,tea, pear, strawberry and orange wine. Ginger wine is lovely, costs hardly anything and makes lovely Xmas pressies. The tea wine is made from tea leaves or bags and is even cheaper, but you do need the equipment which costs. Anyway i am rambling now so im off to sup me wine. Good luck
  • aeuerby
    • #7
    • 25th Mar 05, 7:23 AM
    • #7
    • 25th Mar 05, 7:23 AM
    We have made alot of our won beer over the years. Id fact we are trying to gert round to buying some more.

    You will need a fermenting bin though. We have started to use these people.
    http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/catalog.htm

    We did originally put the beer in a barrel with no co2 thingy but of course it is flat. What we did over christmas is collect empty pop bottles (about 13 2 litre ones) steralise them and them syphon the beer into these. Then add 1 teaspoon of sugar per bottle and give a quick shake to mix the sugar. Leave in a cool place for a few days to settle. Then drink and enjoy.

    The bottles don't explode and the beer is fizzy. My hubby loved it
    Angela.
  • ladygrey
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 06, 5:07 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 06, 5:07 PM
    i used to do this when a student,
    wanted to try it again,
    this is only thread about it I've come across so far,
    not sure wether to go for wine instead though?

    any thoughts
    • moggins
    • By moggins 5th Mar 06, 5:12 PM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 10,159 Thanks
    moggins
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 06, 5:12 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 06, 5:12 PM
    DH used one of those micro brewery things just before christmas, even I found the stuff drinkable and I hate beer and if he can do it anyone can
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at 250
  • ladygrey
    well I want to spend some time pricing up equipment today
    are there places online I can look at
  • Fleetwood Lad
    Beer kits vary quite a bit. Generally the more you pay the better the end product.

    Don't be tempted to add more sugar to make the beer stronger. It upsets the balance of the beer.If you want a bit more body, strength and flavour add a bit more malt extract and hops. If you barrel your beer you might like to consider dry hopping your beer. It adds a wonderful hoppy aroma to your pint. Consider using brewing sugar instead of bog standard granulated for a better taste.

    I generally use a cheap beer kit and add to it to produce what I consider the perfect pint.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 6th Mar 06, 8:51 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    Has anyone had experience of wine kits(to make grape wine)? Does it compare with a bottle of Californian Shiraz??
  • ladygrey
    my sister says that she thinks she has seen beer making kits in Wilkinsons
    has anyone else?
    there isn't one in my nearest town but would make the journey if they do them
    • pol
    • By pol 7th Mar 06, 11:29 AM
    • 644 Posts
    • 1,563 Thanks
    pol
    thriftlady,
    I've made loads of kit wines and they compare very favourably with bought wines, but they do need to mature. At least 3 months, preferably 12 months though. Years ago when I first started brewing, a lot of the kits, beer and wine, were time consuming, fiddly and the end results were quite often disappointing. Nowadays it's very difficult NOT to get a good result from a kit. They are easy and quick to do, apart from the maturing!

    ladygrey,
    Wilkinsons do sell kits, but if you can, go to a brew shop. They are few and far between these days but well worth the journey. They don't just sell the kits, they give advice, will lend you books and sometimes equipment, and give you that extra bit of confidence that you can make a good wine. A lot of them will deliver too. But buy the best you can afford, the cheaper kits can be dreadful, and are enough to put anyone off.

    Hope you both get some wine brewed, it will be ready in time for summer!

    pol
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 7th Mar 06, 11:34 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    thriftlady,
    I've made loads of kit wines and they compare very favourably with bought wines, but they do need to mature. At least 3 months, preferably 12 months though.
    by pol
    Thanks pol,I think I'll look into it,but 12 months!!! If I bought a bottle of wine today to drink on Friday it would be gone by bedtime tonight
    • pol
    • By pol 7th Mar 06, 12:04 PM
    • 644 Posts
    • 1,563 Thanks
    pol
    Don't know if anyone is interested in making a cider, but there is a recipe HERE using tesco value apple juice and it's ready in about 10 days. (HEY, my first link, hope it works)

    thriftlady
    If you can get the yeast, citric acid, nutrient etc, you can make a gallon from pure grape juice. Costs about 2.50 - 3.00 and ready to drink in a month. Not quite Shiraz, but ok while you wait for the kit.

    pol
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 7th Mar 06, 12:24 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    That cider from value apple juice looks intriguing.You are having much better luck with links than I am.

    I've never done any brewing before but I'm a dab hand at making fruit flavoured liqueurs.Great success last year with damson gin and quince vodka.I'm going to try rhubarb vodka next.There was a thread a few days ago on making a ginger beer plant too which looked fun.
    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 8th Mar 06, 2:53 PM
    • 9,156 Posts
    • 16,982 Thanks
    calleyw
    my sister says that she thinks she has seen beer making kits in Wilkinsons
    has anyone else?
    there isn't one in my nearest town but would make the journey if they do them
    by ladygrey
    Ladygrey,

    Not all do. I have two local ones and only one does.

    Try e-mailing customer services they are really nice and helpful.

    My local wilkinsons has the fermenting buckets at approx 7.50 and barrels approx 14. My husband brews stout and the kit is 8.99. He even treated himself to a bottle capper for 8.49 as he bottles some but keeps the rest in the barrel.

    They don't keep a lot of stock on the shelves. 1 maybe 2 barrels and buckets at a time. Same with the Kits. And the bottle cappers they only keep one on the shelves.

    Yours


    Calley
    • Austin Allegro
    • By Austin Allegro 8th Mar 06, 3:11 PM
    • 1,445 Posts
    • 4,072 Thanks
    Austin Allegro
    Don't know if anyone is interested in making a cider, but there is a recipe HERE using tesco value apple juice and it's ready in about 10 days. (HEY, my first link, hope it works)

    thriftlady
    If you can get the yeast, citric acid, nutrient etc, you can make a gallon from pure grape juice. Costs about 2.50 - 3.00 and ready to drink in a month. Not quite Shiraz, but ok while you wait for the kit.

    pol
    by pol
    This is 'buck' or 'prison wine' - the most basic form of home made wine. I've used variations of this recipe quite a lot, hoping to do ginger wine with herbal teabags next. Quality varies, but it's always acceptable as a mixer.
    • tonyhamm
    • By tonyhamm 7th Jun 06, 12:52 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    tonyhamm
    Wine or Beer?
    Used to brew beer ages ago, when boots used to sell kits and equipment, but it never quite tasted as good as cans - mainly because I couldn't wait for the dead yeast to clear. It takes a fair bit of patence. I dare say if your husband is a beer drinker then he will have a great deal of fun doing this though.

    I used to be able to do it for 10p a pint after all the buckets etc..had been bought for 15-20. I used coke bottles sterlised with hot water to store it all.

    I have now just bought a pile of wine homebrew stuff, and the kits now seem much easier - come with everything.
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