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Home Brew News No.8
15th June 2009
Welcome to Newsletter No.8
In the past month we increased the number of registered users on our website by a staggering 30 per cent. Thanks everyone for passing on the word and welcome aboard all new registered users.
Registration on our website automatically puts you on our mailing list for monthly specials, special offers and newsletters. Only registered users can place on-line orders.
Also in the past month, it was the first time we have shipped orders to every state and territory in Australia, including some places we had to Google to find out where they were.
Thanks everyone for your fantastic support!
Brewing in Cold Conditions
Home brewing in winter is always difficult as the fermenter needs to be kept warm and at a fairly constant temperature. It is best done inside the house and not out in the shed as there is too much variation in temperature.
Most home brewers don’t have a temperature controlled room at home as it is too expensive to run. Instead they use a variety of devices including heat pads/belts, immersion heaters, electric blankets, light bulb in the box, water bed heaters, hot water bottles, parking it next to the hot water service etc. So which is the best?
We have tried most devices with limited success. Our best solution to this problem is to use a fitted heavy material jacket over the fermenter (or blanket wrapped around it) and a heat pad and immersion heater.
We normally run the heat pad all the time and just switch the immersion heater to raise the temperature if required.
The heat pad is only 30 watts, so is very cheap to run and very safe to use for prolonged periods. However, it has no thermostat so the fermenter temperature will have to be checked regularly.
Most Immersion Heaters are 100 watts so are also cheap to run and very safe to use over a long period. They do have thermostats and we usually set them 3 degrees higher during winter, but they also need to be checked regularly.
Other Winter Brewing Tips
Avoid brewing during extremely cold periods, ie; when snow, ice or frost is forecast.
When making beer try to start fermentation at the temperature recommended on the Beer Kit instructions. Most are 22-30C, (ideally 25C) but we recommend a starting temperature of 26C in winter and a constant temperature of 23C during fermentation.
If it is too cold and fermentation stops, consider warming it up or moving it to a warmer area and stirring it for a minute.
Also, consider making Lagers in winter as they are best brewed at 12-15C.
Home Brewing in Mansfield
Mansfield Community Men’s Shed recently announced it had received a grant of $4900.00 for the establishment of a Home Brewing facility. This will include the installation of a temperature controlled room and an upgrade to its existing kitchen facilities.
New Improved Edwards Essence
We have recently been advised by Edwards Essences that as from 1 June 09 their popular Southern Indulgence essence has been improved. This will be available shortly.
Wine Kit Update
We have just sampled a Chardonnay made from a Prestige Wine Kit and are happy to report it is fantastic. This is the fourth different variety we have made and can thoroughly recommend these kits.
All the popular varieties are supplied with all the necessary ingredients including a 12 litre juice bag and are available ex-stock. We also have limited access to 15 and 18 litre juice bags. All make 23 litres or 30 bottles. For more details please contact us.
Taste Test – Chocolate Rum Liqueur
Last month we compared Samuel Willards Chocolate Rum Liqueur with Edwards Rum Royale Liqueur and the original Bundaberg Rum Royale Liqueur.
Samuel Willards and Edwards are both excellent liqueurs. They are very similar in taste and very difficult to pick the difference. However, they are completely different to the Bundaberg product as it contains a mixture of Coffee and Chocolate flavours whereas the 2 essences only contain a Chocolate flavour.
Our personal preference is the 2 essences over the Bundaberg product.
Happy Home Brewing
Regards Aussie Brewmakers