Aidan Curran

Author's posts

Fining beer with gelatin

This is my process for using gelatin to help clear my beer: Beer should be chilled to between 0° and 5°C (so that if chill haze occurs the gelatin will help remove it) Clean and sanitise pyrex jug, temperature probe, long handle spoon Measure out 2/3 cup cold water (can be pre-boiled and cooled) in …

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Does full volume mash affect maltiness and body of the beer ?

I came across a very interesting discussion on the effect of full volume mash on the fermentablity of the wort and resulting maltiness and body of the beer in BIAB brewing on HomeBrewTalk. My approach is to mash with about 2/3 of the water with 1/3 reserved for sparging. I have considered doing a full …

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Plum Wine 2016

Some notes on my plum wine making for 2016 (learnings for next time) Fruit – picked approx 60kg of fruit – 4 times my harvest of 2012 (the last time I made plum wine). The tree was loaded this year. I picked the ripe plums between 5th and 12th Jan, that’s later than usual for …

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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 …

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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 …

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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:

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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 …

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How I started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!!

I found this fascinating story on a homebrewing forum. Venezuelan brewer, Daniel L√≥pez, 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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A bad batch, a good batch and a change of plan

My Amarillo Ale is not tasting good so far, it has a harsh astringent taste, not really drinkable, at least at the moment. I did get a bit of this type of taste from the Hope Ale that I brewed previously, but with a bit of time that taste disappeared and beer became quite good …

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Freedom Of Information Act Invoked For Obama’s Beer Recipe

Did you know that they brew their own beer at the White House? The beers include White House Honey Ale, White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Blonde Ale. All three use honey from Michelle Obama’s White House garden. A home brewer has formally requested recipes for the beers made by White House staff …

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First All Grain

I just finished my first attempt at an all-grain brew tonight. The process was similar to my partial mash process except no malt extract was used. Due to the restrictions of brewing on top of my stove and available pots, I went for a smaller batch volume of 13 litres. I think it all went …

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Plum Wine Bottled

I’ve just bottled the plum wine that I started making back in January. If you think the waiting in beer making is bad, try making wine! Five months until it’s even bottled, then a minimum recommended aging of at least six months. But as I do when bottling beer, I took the opportunity at bottling …

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Homebrew Competition

I entered my first homebrew competition on Sunday 20th May. The event, organisesd by SOBA Nelson and held at the Sprig & Fern in Nelson, was relaxed and informal. There were 30 different beers, entered by around 15 home brewers. The beers were judged by the entrants so we each had a chance to try …

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The pasta maker grain mill

Proper grain mills can be expensive, especially here in New Zealand so when I found out that some home brewers were having success with converting cheap pasta makers into grain mills it seemed like something worth trying and I picked up one on TradeMe for $22. The rollers on a pasta maker are smooth and …

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Getting ready to do All Grain on the cheap

I’ll admit it, I’m a frugal home brewer. One of the original attractions to home-brewing for me was the cost savings aspect. But I notice a lot of home brewers get carried away by the hobby and spend a small fortune on all sorts of fancy gear. The home brewing experience for these gear obsessed …

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Brewing Software Review – BrewMate

Hey there, this post is a collaboration post with some other home brewing bloggers to review all the different brewing software applications that we use. Links to the other reviews are at the bottom of this post. I came across BrewMate when I was looking for a free recipe calculator application. In the past I …

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Working my way through a 28kg bucket of malt extract!

I found a local guy in Nelson that sells home brewing ingredients, Bill Fennell (website – ThatBeerPlace.com). I had a look through is his lists of supplies and the bulk malt extract caught my attention because it cost a fraction of what I usually pay for malt. The only snag was that it came in …

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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 …

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