Friday, 20 July 2007

The Rider for Cider!

On Wednesday 18th July Tony set off from his Glasgow home on a 222.3 mile journey for a drink of home made Turbo Cider, the host Craig gladly welcomed the thirst quenched traveller with open arms into his den of turbo heaven, Aberdeen.

WezBrew says hats off to Tony for travelling the tortuous route in the colds of Scotland's summer. Here is the plucky travellers diary, be proud, be Strong for TURBO CIDER is for real MEN, like TONY! TONY the god of Rider Cider!

Tony's diary...

Day 1. Tony set off at 11am on Wednesday 18th July from Glasgow city centre, a man with a thirst a man who needed to get to ciders-ville. Day 1 Tony travelled through Aberfoyle, Calandar, Strathyre and Killin before finally reaching his day one resting place Aberfeldy some 98.3 miles into the journey, an impressive 1st days cycling, being strong, Tony did not drink any Turbo Cider that night, instead he ingested commercial alcohol, for which he had spent many months training his body to accept.

Day 2. The Hills have eye's. With visibilty down to only 50ft Tony continued toward the cousin who is the "apple juice fermentor". Tony battled through the mist and fog over the Glenfihee mountains and down into Braemar some 58 miles completed on day 2. Again no Turbo for Tony who tells us that he had a quiet night that he "Cann-ne remember" at the local watering hole.

Day 3. Turbo Bound. With the Tony taste bud's tingling focus for the day was on the cider capital of Great Britain, Aberdeen! Tony's steed had served him well until disaster struck at Ballater when both of the disk brakes on his bike failed! Most men in this position would have thrown in the towel, turned away, crumpled, become boys or been emotionaly shattered. Tony, with thoughts of small crystal bubbles rising from the bottom of a glass of 'Turbo' searched for the answer and found it in the form of a gift of nature, a small twig saved the day, using the twig against a front brake caliper Tony got on the road again. Battling headwinds Tony finally made it on day 3 after a 58 mile day a total of 222.3 miles at the cider house!

God bless you Tony!

Here he is....

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Motorbike Show at Church End Brewery

This Saturday 21st July there is a motorbike show at Church End Brewery Hoping that the weather holds out so it's a good day but the weather forecast isn't great at the moment...

If the rain holds off and we get to go it should be a great day, I expect that they will have eight different CEB handpull ales on as well as their excellent array of bottled beers and ciders.

Fingers crossed for a dry day!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

A Cider Tonight

Tonight I'm drinking "Westons - Premium Organic Cider" 6.5% mainly because it was on offer at the Co-Op. The bottle says "Made from organically grown cider apples under the strict conditions imposed by the soil association, Organic Certification UK5. An easy to drink cider with a ripe apple aroma and a refreshing well balanced taste." I'm not a massive cider nut but I do enjoy a bottle occasionally, this is definately one of the better one's I've tried .

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Brewday Sat 14th July - "Not Tonight Dear"

I brewed a high gravity beer (1060 OG) yesterday all being well this will be a nice winter warmer type brew with an abv of around 6%.

The recipe comes courtesy of SteveD at Jims forum.

6350gm Pale Malt (MO) Grain 98.1%
125gm Crystal Malt Grain 1.9%

65gm Challenger [6.80%] (90 min) 40.0 IBU
50gm Styrian Goldings [3.00%] (at switch off)

Safeale s-04 'DaaBs Flying Starter'

24L Batch
Target OG 1060 (based on 75% efficiency)
EBU 40

90 minute 65 degree mash and 90 minute boil

The Brewday went well without any hitches, fermentation has been very lively as you'll see from the pictures below. I'm trying to keep the temperature under 20 degrees by standing the FV in a large plastic tub filled with cold water and freezer blocks.

Some Photo's from the day.

This is the first wort runnings from by mash tun which were returned to the tun to filter out the grain particles, I had to return around 4 litres before it ran 'clear'.

This is the first clear wort runnings into the boiler.


65 Grams of Challenger hops weighed out.

Monitoring the temperature of the wort as it is cooled.

Transferring the cooled wort into the fermentor.

Measuring the gravity - 1060.

This was taken about 8 hours after pitching the yeast.

This is how it looked this morning (around 21 hours after pitching) the krausen has overflowed the fermenting bin!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

2007 Tamworth Beer Festival

I've just found the dates for this years Tamworth Beer Festival Thu 6th, Fri 7th & Sat 8th September.

The write up: 100+ real ales from micro breweries near & far (inc. festival specials, one-offs and specials), cider, perry & foreign bottled beers. Featureing more dark beers & cider. Soft drinks available for drivers. Hot & cold food available all sessions. Live entertainment Fri (Treebeard c 8pm)+ Sat (local acoustic artisits c7pm). Thu eve quiet. Souvenir half pint glasses + T-shirts available. This year all cask beers cooled.

Members: Thu, Fri £1, Sat freeNon members: £2 except Fri eve, £3

Last year's festival was great, i'm going to do the Thu & Fri nights this year!

Turbo Cider Bubble Bubble...

As I'd hoped the 2 Gallons of Turbo Cider that I started last night are bubbling away frantically today loads of tiny bubbles fizzing to the surface. The last time I did a batch of TC it went down to a Final Gravity (FG) of about 0.998, if this one drops that low from the Original Gravity of 1054 (a drop of 56) it will be around 7.5% ABV. ABV is calculated (approximately) by dividing the drop points by 7.45, this is probably not a wholly accurate way of calculating it but all I'm after is a rough figure.

The plan is to bottle this into sturdy 500ml brown glass beer bottles with 1tsp each of sugar for priming, I'll also bottle one in a 500ml Coke PET bottle so that I can see that it's clearing and also be able to feel how much pressure is building up by squeezing the bottle.

Hopefully this will be ready to bottle in around 10 to 14 days.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

2 Gallons Of Turbo Cider

Tonight i've made up 2 1 gallon batches of Turbo Cider, this is quite easy to make, I have two cousins in Scotland who enjoy making it, even if they can't remember the nights that they drink it!

Ingredients (for 2 gallons or 9 Litres):

9x Cartons of ASDA 100% Pure Apple Juice
300g Granulated Sugar
1x 5g Packet Youngs Cider Yeast

First things first everything was cleaned and sterilised using ASDA Soda Crystals and a Videne Solution. This is a picture of the 2 demijohns with the videne in them after cleaning.To the right are the ingredients that i've used.

The first stage was to empty 4L of apple juice into each demijohn. I then weighed out 2 lots of 150g granulated white sugar and dissolved each 150g in 500ml apple juice in a saucepan.

The apple juice / sugar solution was then added to each demijohn, obviously I had to do two batches of the solution. This gave me an Original Gravity (OG) of 1054.

The packet of yeast was split into two and pitched into the demijohn's 30 minutes after pitching the airlocks were bubbling away. By tomorrow morning I expect both to be fizzing well. 2 Gallons of Turbo Cider.....Done!

Monday, 9 July 2007

Fledgling Brewery - Homebrew Equipment

Here are a few images of the equipment that I use to make my beer at home.

This is my Coolbox Mash Tun, the coolbox was kindly donated by my good friend Simon, I did feel guilty after not asking him if I could drill holes in it so I got him a Woodfordes Wherry kit as compensation. It does a very good insulating job and when it has it's lid on and is wrapped up it the 'beer quilt' it normally only looses about half a degree C over a 90 minute mash.

This is my homemade Copper Manifold which fits neatly into the bottom of the coolbox. It's purpose is to filter the wort at the end of the mash and hold back the particles that I don't want getting to my beer. The instructions for putting together a coolbox mash tun can be found HERE Thanks DaaB!

This is my 30 Litre Boiler which I purchased from Leyland Homebrew The one that they do 'off the shelf' only comes it one element fitted, I asked the guy there to add an extra element to reduce the time it takes to bring water/wort to the boil. With both elements on the boil is too vigorous so when I get a rolling boil one of them is unplugged. The copper pipe at the bottom is a Hop Strainer which as the name suggests post boil strains the hops.

This is my Immersion Chiller, it is put into the wort immediately after the boil to cool the wort rapidly to get a good 'cold break' it works by having cold water passed through it within the coiled copper micro-bore pipe, this water then comes out of the other end of it very hot after exchanging heat with the hot wort.

To be continued...

Busy, busy, busy....

There have been no blog updates for a while but that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy brewing! Since my last post I have brewed the following:

Legless Frog
Ronnie Wrigglers Honey Beer
TLC Twist

Legless Frog

This is a recipe known as 'Bramling Beauty' on Jims but I've called mine Legless Frog as on the day I brewed it I also mowed the lawn and accidentally mowed over a frog which unfortunately resulted in one of his legs becoming detached. I'm sure he was fine, he limped off and as a fitting tribute to him I've named my beer after him.

Brewlength 25 L
EBU 33
OG 1044
FG 1014
ABV 3.9%

Grain Bill
4200gm Pale Malt (Marris Otter) Grain 85.5 %
270gm Amber Malt Grain 5.5 %
220gm Barley, Flaked Grain 4.5 %
220gm Wheat, Torrified Grain 4.5 %

Hop Schedule
52gm Bramling Cross [7.00%] (15 min) 16.9 IBU
22gm Bramling Cross [7.00%] (90 min) 15.4 IBU
19gm Bramling Cross [7.00%] (1 min) 0.5 IBU

1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10 min)
11g Safale s-04 Starter

Ronnie Wrigglers Honey Beer

This has been brewed in honor of our impending arrival, the plan is to use this brew to wet the babys head! It's the first time I have used honey in a beer, I was advised that if you boil the honey the flavour will be stripped out so I added 550g at boiler switch off and also primed the keg with 100g. I'll report back how it tastes when it's tapped.

Brewlength 25 L
EBU 35
OG 1046
FG 1012
ABV 4.4%

Grain Bill
4000gm Pale Malt (Marris Otter) Grain 86.0%
100gm Crystal Malt Grain 2.2%
550gm Honey 11.8 % (Added at boiler switch-off)

Hop Schedule
25gm Northdown [6.50%] (90 min) 19.0 IBU
43gm Styrian Goldings [3.00%] (90 min) 13.6 IBU
25gm Styrian Goldings [3.00%] (10 min) 2.7 IBU

1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10 min)
11g Safale s-04 Starter

TLC Twist

I've brewed this one before, it's supposed to be a clone-ish of Timmy Taylors Landlord, it does taste a bit like it although not a clone as such, i've not changed the recipe from the last batch too much as it turned out just fine as it was.

Brewlength 25 L
EBU 37
OG 1047
FG *still fermenting*
ABV *unknown at the moment*

Grain Bill
5000gm Pale Malt (Marris Otter) 95.1%
160gm Wheat, Torrified 3.0%
100gm Crystal Malt 1.9%

Hop Schedule
57gm Styrian Goldings [3.00%] (90 min) 16.7 IBU
26gm Northdown [6.50%] (90 min) 16.5 IBU
25gm Styrian Goldings [3.00%] (15 min) 3.8 IBU
25gm Styrian Goldings [3.00%] (0 min)

1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10 min)
11g Safale s-04 Starter