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Home Brew News No. 2
10th November 2008
Our original intention was to publish this newsletter quarterly but there has been so much happening lately, that we thought we should keep everyone up to date.
Thanks to everyone who gave us the big “thumbs up” for the first newsletter. The feedback was extremely positive.
Coopers and Australian Home Brewing
Aussie Brewmakers is proud to announce we are now a stockist for Coopers Home Brew products.
We have also recently become a full-line distributor for Australian Home Brewing. This company is the wholesale arm of Brewcraft and includes the full range of Still Spirits and Brewcraft products.
Our “Classic” beer recipes is now available as a hard copy Recipe Sheet and has been mailed to everyone on our mailing list with this newsletter. This should help all those unable to view them on-line.
Z Filter Upgrade
Still Spirits has just released a replacement for the cumbersome Z Filter. It’s called the EZ Filter System and has an In-line filter body with a disposable carbon cartridge.
Bundy Rum Test
On our recent trip to Queensland we took some time out to visit the famous Bundaberg Rum Distillery. We did the factory tour and observed that the distillation process was very similar to making spirits at home but on a much larger scale.
However, instead of using cane sugar or dextrose for the initial fermentation, they use molasses which produces the same alcohol you can make at home. The alcohol is then watered down, filtered and then stored for 2 years in wooden vats lined with American White Oak.
After aging for 2 years, the product is still clear so they add caramel to give it some colour before bottling.
Like most home brewers, we can’t wait this long and can’t afford the barrels anyway. So, we decided to test 5 different Queensland Rum essences against the real Bundy. Thanks to Andy and Sue for helping out.
Samuel Willard’s Premium Queensland Rum was the closest tasting rum to the famous icon.
Second place went to Top Shelf Aussie Gold Rum but was a long way behind Sam’s. The other essences were all very ordinary.
Morgans “Tea Bag”
This was our biggest selling product last month. The Morgans “Tea Bag” style finishing hops are simply soaked in hot water then added to the wort prior to adding the yeast.
They add a distinctive flavour and aroma to any beer, and are available in 11 varieties including:
Last month we tested this product in a wash made from 7Kg dextrose and Still Spirits Triple Distilled Yeast. After adding the Turbo Carbon to the fermenter (prior to adding the yeast) it turned our wash black. Then, after 14 days in the fermenter it was almost back to normal. We then added Turbo Clear, waited 24 hours and the result was the clearest wash we have ever achieved. This resulted in a fantastic end product and can highly recommend it.
Turbo Carbon is specifically designed for use during fermentation. The unique activated internal pore structure removes impurities not taken out by post distillation filtration. It is essential for use with Triple Distilled Turbo Yeast and will significantly improve all other Turbo Yeasts if used with dextrose. We also tested this product in a wash made with cane sugar and recorded no real improvement.
Oztops – Brewing in the Berri Juice Bottle
We now stock this complete kit which turns ordinary fruit juice into ciders or sparkling wines within days at an alcohol content of 1-15%. The kit contains 8 reusable bottle tops and enough yeast for 50-70 litres of juice.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – Buy 2 litres of fruit juice (no preservatives) at the supermarket. Start with apple juice or dark grape juice for delicious cider or a sparkling Lambrusco style wine.
Step 2 – Remove 1 cup of juice, add 1 cup sugar then add the yeast and seal with an Oztop.
Step 3 – Place the bottle in a suitable place and leave to ferment at room temperature.
Minimum fermentation is 2 days but the longer you ferment the higher the alcohol content.
Step 4 – After 2-8 days refrigerate and enjoy.
Thanks to Rob and Alistair for putting us on to this one.
Johnnie Walker Test
This month we will be testing all our essences to come up with the closest to Johnnie Walker Red Label whisky. The results will be published in our next newsletter.
We now stock a full range of Cellar Craft “Prestige” wine kits. These include all the red and white varieties as well as a port.
The kits are top of the range and are made in Canada where the kit market is worth $350 million dollars/year. Each kit contains 12 litres of juice, a bag of crushed grapes and all the other necessary ingredients. They make 30 x 750ml bottles in 5 weeks and can be aged for several weeks but 3-6 months is recommended. The finished cost is about $4.00/bottle.
We have just started making our first Cabernet Sauvignon so we’ll keep you posted.
Web Site Update
Most of the detail on our new products has been completed. We are currently photographing these products and they should be posted in several weeks. Please visit our free site and only register before making a purchase.
If you have any good recipes or wish to share any information on home brewing, please contact us and we will publish it on our website and in this newsletter.
Happy Home Brewing
Regards Aussie Brewmakers