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  • Rakau Pale Ale

    First brew of 2015. Just going after a straightforward easy drinking Pale Ale here and using up ingredients that I have on hand. First time using Rakau hops.

  • November Pilsner

    Brewing Notes: Leaf hops caused a bit of trouble with transfer from kettle to fermenter, had to keep clearing blockage from ball valve. Didn’t account for the 90 min boil in water boil-off calculations so need to add 4 L top-up water. Add boiled cooled water after fermentation kicks off. Just used a single packet… Continue reading »

  • Fuggles Gem Dark Ale

    I had planned to use S-04 yeast in this one but didn’t manage to pick up any on time so just made it with US-05 (hydrated this time). I also did a small split batch using Coopers yeast as I had more wort than would fit in the carboy. No hydrometer this time either so… Continue reading »

  • Kettle trub in fermenter – could it actually be beneficial?

    I used to strain out the trub with a sieve when transferring the wort from the kettle to the fermenter but on one brew I got lazy and just dumped it all into the fermenter, every last bit of trub – hot break, cold break, hops debris and every single drop of liquid and solid… Continue reading »

  • October Pale Ale

    After a bit of a brewing absence (over 5 months since I last put down a brew) my stocks were running low so it was time to brew. I went for my favorite beer type, a good hoppy American style Pale Ale, but with all NZ hops so a New Zealand Pale Ale to be… Continue reading »

  • Etching volume markings on brew kettle

    I added permenant volume markings to the inside of my brew kettle using a simple electrolytic acid etching technique that I discovered on the Home Brew Talk forum. Here’s how I did it: 1. Mark 10 litre volume increments in the kettle using electrical tape. I measured the water volume accurately by weighing it (1L… Continue reading »

  • Brewing Checklist

    I find it very helpful to use a checklist to make sure I don’t miss out any key steps in the brewing process and to track the important brewing data. This is the checklist I use:

  • BIAB All Grain Brewing Process

    This is the process that I use for brewing all grain beer. I used to do this in the kitchen as a split boil in smaller pots before I got my new 50L brew kettle and a gutsy gas burner. But now that I have better equipment it is a much smoother process and it… Continue reading »

  • EZY Blonde

    Most of my recent beers have been rich, strong and hoppy beers. So I brewed this one to have a lighter easy drinking beer in my lineup of beers. The base is a blend of pilsner and pale ale malt with a little wheat and carapils for body/mouthfeel, head retention and a little biscuit to… Continue reading »

  • Brewing Malts And Grains Guide

    I’m making this page a spot for compiling in one place all the most usefull information that I find online about the various malts and grains used in brewing. Information sources are cited below. Base Malts Pilsner Malt (aka Lager Malt) Typical Colour: 2 Lovibond, 3-4 EBC Common Brands, Variations: Weyermann Pilsner, Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner,… Continue reading »

  • How I started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!!

    I found this fascinating story on a homebrewing forum. Venezuelan brewer, Daniel López, tells a great yarn about overcoming the challenges he faced making craft beer in his country. It was published in 6 parts which I’ve reproduced here. The English is not perfect but that just adds colour to the story, giving it the… Continue reading »

  • Midnight Stout

    This is more or less the Foreign Extra Stout recipe from Brewing Classic Styles with Fuggles hops instead of Kent Goldings. The wort tasted realy nice and chocolatey so I’m expecting good things. I used 3 sachets of Coopers kit yeast as I didn’t have any other yeast on hand. Pitched at 22C and targeted… Continue reading »

  • Homegrown Apple Cider

    We had a bumper crop of apples this year so I decided to make a 10L batch of cider to use them up. We extracted the juice using an electric juicer. The apples were a combination of 4 different varieties – Egremont Russet, Prescilla, Granny Smith and Initial. I added campden tablets and let it… Continue reading »

  • Marchfest Waimea Saison

    I brewed this at the Marchfest Nelson Beer Festival where I was one of twelve brewers brewing up a batch of beer in the Brew Zone brewing demonstration area. What a great day out that was! I really enjoyed chatting and sharing my knowledge with the people interested in home brewing. The Waimea hops were… Continue reading »

  • 2014 Hops Harvest Ale No. 2

    I should have called this brew Hops Stew!!!  1.75kg of fresh hops in this brew – pure hop madness! I had to work hard just shove all those hops into the kettle, stuffing them down into the thick hops/wort porridge either side of the imerssion cooler coils. No bag this time, there is no way… Continue reading »

  • Craft brewers to share secret to a good pint

    The following article appeared in the Nelson Mail newspaper on 4th March 2014. It’s about the upcoming Marchfest beer festival, where I’ll be one of 12 home brewers giving a home brewing demonstration. In what might be described as a beer lover’s heaven, 12 home brewers will make beers simultaneously at Nelson’s MarchFest. Organiser Mike… Continue reading »

  • 2014 Hops Harvest No. 1

    My mash temperature started off lower than anticipated. My strike water temperature was 71C but my mash ended up around 62-63C instead of the 65-66 I had expected based on the calculator. So I added 1.5L of boiling water after 15 mins which brought it up to 64.5C and another 1.5L after 60mins which again… Continue reading »

  • Restrained APA

    The last 2 beers were intense hoppy IPAs with quite dark malts so for this one I went for something lighter along the lines of the APA recipes in Brewing Classic Styles. I kept hops basic with NZ Cascade for flavour and aroma and Pacific Gem for bittering. I had to restrain myself to only… Continue reading »

  • Working Title IPA II

    My last batch turned out so good that I decided to make more of the same, but of course I had to make a few tweaks. Hop profile is modified a bit, I scaled back on the Citra a bit to allow some of the other hops to come through more. I also upped the… Continue reading »

  • Alas, no plum wine this year either!

    After having my crop of plums demolished by the birds (and my procrastination) last year I was determined to harvest enough plums this year to make another batch of plum wine. So as the plums were starting to ripen I had the idea of putting up some netting over part of the tree that I… Continue reading »

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