Jan
20
2012

Plum Wine

In addition to brewing beer I’ve also made a feijoa wine and distilled some spirits last April and now I’ve just started a batch of plum wine. I made a small batch of feijoa wine as we have a feijoa tree that produces lots of fruit. It turned out fairly good, a bit like a white wine with distinct feijoa flavour, but to be honest I would prefer a good Chardonnay, although I have to say it went particularly well with Thai food. We drunk it after about 3-4 months and now that I’ve done some more reading up on wine making, I’m thinking it would probably have benefited from significantly more aging. Maybe I’ll try some more this year when the feijoas are ripe. Also in April last year I distilled some spirits. I got the loan of a small air still from a friend and fermented up a batch of sugar wash and distilled it out. This resulted in a neutral spirit with which I made into gin, rum and feijoa liquor and I’m also currently making some limoncello with the last of the alcohol from that batch. The rum was simply made by adding Still Spirits rum essence. It was OK but tasted a bit artificial to me. The gin was made by infusion of juniper berries and various other spices and was really good, better than standard commercial gin in my opinion. The feijoa liquor was really good too and I’m looking forward to seeing how the limoncello turns out.

Now on to the Plum wine. Our plum tree was loaded with plums this year and after asking myself what am I going to do with all these plums the obvious answer came quickly. After looking at some plum wine recipes online this is what I came up with: Continue Reading »

Jan
17
2012

Time for a Toucan

A toucan brew is simply one done with 2 cans of pre-hopped extract. The Coopers Stout that I brewed last year tasted nice but I felt it lacked head and body. It was a bit on the light side and I reckoned it could benefit from more concentration. So it seemed an ideal candidate for a toucan. I did the toucan with a can of Coopers Stout and a can of Coopers Dark Ale and 500g of brown sugar as it seems like a popular toucan recipe on the AussieHomeBrewer.com forum, and it’s very simple – no steeping grains, no boiling hops. I was a wee bit concerned about the amount of bitterness which I calculated to be around 70 IBUs using the Kit & Extract Beer Designer, but was reassured on the forum that it doesn’t taste overly bitter especially when aged for awhile.

A Cunning Plan To Prevent A Messy Blow-over Continue Reading »

Jan
14
2012

Getting All Fancy!

For some reason or other I’ve resisted putting labels on my home-brew beer bottles until now as frankly I thought it was just getting a bit silly. Instead I just marked each bottle with the batch number written on a piece of masking tape so that I could tell what’s in each bottle. But after 7 or 8 batches I started forgetting which beer matched each batch number, so finally I’ve come to see the usefulness of properly labeling the bottles. Last night I bottled batch no. 11, my second go at Slutty Red, and I added some fancy labels, well not overly fancy (and just black and white because my printer is out of colour cartridge), didn’t let myself get too carried away! Continue Reading »