Aidan Curran

Author's posts

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Time to ramp up production!

I slacked off on the brewing during the winter, it seemed like I had an endless supply built up, but that ‘endless supply’ dwindled and was gone and I was spurred back into brewing action in October, brewing Batch #8. Then I brewed up Batch #9 last weekend, my first partial mash. But the thirsty …

Continue reading

My Partial Mash Brewing Process

The next step in home brewing that I’m going to take is to do a partial mash. I’ve discovered a partial mash is actually quite similar to doing an extract brew with steeping grains. It just involves more grains soaked for longer time with a bit more attention to temperature and ratio of water to …

Continue reading

A review of my first 7 brews

I’ve documented the process of making my beers here but haven’t yet reported on how they all turned out so it’s high time for a bit of a review. Batch 1 – Kit Brew – Mangrove Jacks Munich Lager A special one because it was my first, but actually I think it was one of …

Continue reading

Batch No. 8 – Cascade & Amarillo American Pale Ale

Despite being over 6 months since I brewed an extract batch, brew night went more smoothly and efficiently than any of the previous extract brews that I’ve done (I must be getting the hang of this home brewing thing!). This time I used the blender to grind up my steeping grain (Crystal 60) – not …

Continue reading

No The Homebrew Didn’t Kill Me!

It’s been a while since I posted here and a logical thinker may surmise that I might have succumbed to the effects of drinking my home brew. I’m happy to report that is not the case. I’ve had a bit of a break from the homebrewing over the winter. But now I’m just about to …

Continue reading

Batch No. 6 – Aidan’s Slutty Red

Aidan's Slutty Red

One of my¬†favorite¬†commercial beers here in New Zealand is Mac’s Sassy Red so I decided to have a go at making something similar. I found a recipe for an approximation called ‘Slutty Red‘ and I converted it for extract brewing and made a few mods based on ingredients available and getting some good advice on …

Continue reading

Batch No. 5 – Nelson Amber Ale

I’m calling this one ‘Nelson Amber Ale‘ because it features Nelson Sauvin hops and I’m brewing it in Nelson. I used the handy Kit & Extract Beer Designer spreadsheet to work out the recipe quantities. It’s basically in the style of an American Pale Ale or an American Amber Ale, but more towards amber than …

Continue reading

Updated Extract Brewing Process

The second extract batch went smoother and quicker than my first one and the brewing process was much more relaxed and enjoyable. The biggest improvement in the process was changing my sanitiser from sodium metabisulphite to iodophor. The sodium metabisulphite requires 1 hour of air drying to work, iodophor just requires 1-2 minutes of contact …

Continue reading

Thar She Blows!

The Coopers Stout kicks out one hell of a big foamy krausen: To deal with this mess, I pulled out the airlock cleaned and sanitised it, cleaned off the mess off the lid and stuck the airlock back in. It’s still foaming out of the airlock a little bit but under control.

Continue reading

Third Batch Fermenting – first foray into hops and grains

This one is going to be interesting, I’ve got my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. That’s because when I tasted the wort, it was a bit, well, scary. I totally realise this may not mean anything but the wort from my previous two batches actually tasted good but this time I tossed out …

Continue reading

Extract Brewing Process

To make sure that I don’t miss anything important for my first extract batch and end up running around like a chicken with it’s head chopped off, I have written up my process in advance. This process is my version of the extract brewing process based on best practices that I gathered from various sources …

Continue reading

Froze my beer in the fermentor!

I had read about it happening to others (John Palmer relays his experience freezing his lager in How To Brew), so I didn’t cry when I discovered my frozen ale as I was about to bottle it this evening. But I surely did have to abandon hope of bottling it tonight. I had all my …

Continue reading

My very first bottle of my own beer!

This evening I cracked open my first bottle from my first batch (Mangrove Jacks Munich Lager). All I can say is WOW, I’m impressed. This hobby is going to be with me for a long time. I’ve had some previews of what it might taste like – all those SG samples, and my mate Andy’s …

Continue reading

Recipe for first extract brew, a lot learned

As I wrote in my previous post, I have decided on brewing an American Pale Ale and had picked out my ingredients but I hadn’t a recipe to follow. So I turned to the forums to get help coming up with the recipe. After a lot of discussions back and forth on the forums (especially …

Continue reading

Planning my first extract batch

I am now planning my 3rd batch with batch 1 bottled and batch 2 still in the fermentor. I have yet to taste any finished beer but it is time to get prepared to brew my next batch. (As I mentioned in the previous post, brewing beer is a bit like growing a garden). And …

Continue reading

A new batch brewing

Brewing beer is a bit like growing a garden – it takes time, so you need to plan ahead and then wait patiently for the fruits of your labour. So even though I’ve just bottled 20 litres of beer, it will be weeks before it’s ready for drinking and months before it reaches it’s prime, …

Continue reading

First batch of home brewed beer – from can to bottles

I just bottled my first batch of home brew the other night, a lager made from a kit – Mangroves Jacks Munich Lager. Actually technically it is probably an ale as it was brewed with ale yeast but as long as it tastes good who cares what it’s called. And I have tasted it, and …

Continue reading

Home Brewing – start of the adventure

I’ve just got started on a new hobby that I’m very excited about – making beer! There is some kind of revelation that happens when a man discovers how to make his own beer – it’s almost up there with discovering how to print your own money. And the cool thing is that it’s even …

Continue reading