2008 / 2009
2008 / 2009
ISSUE No. 1
ISSUE No. 1 Price: FREE
ISSUE 1 Winter 2008 / 09
Welcome to the first issue of the YoBrew magazine.
By Stephan_B et al
All text in this magazine is purely our personal views and should not be taken as fact.
No responsibility is assumed or implied for anything that happens as a result of reading these views.
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I hope you enjoy the magazine and want to thank everyone for helping getting our first humble mag out.
Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK. is a world centre of excellence for Sparking wine
Yes its official! The coverted "Effervescents du Monde awards" voted this in the top 10 sparkling wine in the world and placed it above prestigouus and more expensive champagnes. Jilly Goolden and Delia Smith both rate this very highly. OK so how has a local UK resident archived such excellence. The clue to her success is in the blending. Islay Kennedy studied wine 25 years ago and after a good gap decided to give sparkling rose a go on a commercial scale. 50,000 cases have now been produced. Islay travels to Australia and gets top wine from the top producers. Well any one can do this so what make her wine special? She personally pays meticulous attention to the blending of the wines to get that exact taste that is "Griffith Park" In fact her wine has been so successful that people have panic bought all of her stoke the very last bottle on the shelf was being pursued buy several customers. This world beater sells at around £6.99 a bottle. NOT BAD Griffith Park is produced as a family business.
A New and very nice looking web site has just been launched. www.petespintpot.co.uk
Peter Laycock (Pete), the author of "petespintpot" has been home brewing for quite some time and has written several of the articles / recipes in this site. Pete's web site looks very polished, which is not bad considering how new it is. When I looked at his site, the visitor counter showed that I was visitor number 3 (18 October 2008 ). I think you would have to be quite swift to become visitor number 4 but there should be good scope to be within the first one hundred. (Oh see below)
YoBrew wishes all the very best to Petespintpot
Visitor number 1000 just visited the site on 21 NOV 2008
Jam makers needed to help check out the latest addition to Peter's spreadsheet calculator. Peter is in the process of adding jam making to the spread sheet and we are looking for some early users of this spreadsheet to try it out and provide us feed back.
The role of the beta users is completely voluntary and informal.
If you are interested in becoming a beta user please
Having tried out a selections kit I am very interested to find out what other home brewers think of them. I was so keen to get my great big kit home. Must be top of the range as it cost enough. But thus far I feel a bit let down. Is it my brewing technique?
I got to doing some basic calculations.
At Nettos a very cheap bottle of red at 2.08
The Selections worked out at 1.80
The latter is as a result of buying in bulk. Supplying your own bottle and cork and making it your self and ageing it your self. So I would expect to make it worth it you need to be competing against at bottle at least 5.00. Now this would have aged for at lease 2 years. So to go for a top end home brew kit and drink it in 6 months you cannot match the professionals. To do this you need a wine quality cellar and you need to lay it down for a few years.
Yet lots of people swear by selections and just about all the shops seem to push the selections kits. So while my simple math shows that this is not right the home brewers seem to be happy. If you have brewed a selections kit I would be very interested in your views.
People are looking at ways to cut their bills and are preparing for harder times. My country wine costs next to nothing. Hard to crunch zero. Not every one has the time to wait for country wine to mature and trust me you do not want to drink country wine too early. In that case the instant wines on this site may be a better bet. Have a look at the recipes on the YoBrew Other Brews page.
Or you can buck the credit crunch by taking your homebrewing more seriously.
I just stumbled on a neat fermentation lock. If you have an unused PC mouse with one of those rubber coated balls then do not throw it out the ball makes an excellent water free fermentation lock. I took the rubberised ball and placed it on top of a 2 litre ex-plastic lemonade bottle. The ball was large enough not to fall in and since the ball is coated in rubber and is heavy the seal is very good. When fermentation produces CO2 the CO2 builds up a small pressure and in little bursts the CO2 escapes without the air getting in. Normal fermentation locks can let some air in if the fermentation has stopped and the temperature drops. In this situation gas inside contracts and effective sucks new air in. The ball acts as a very good one way valve. It only allows gas to escape and does not allow air to get in. So you could do the whole brew in an ex-plastic lemonade bottle and just put a mouse ball on top of the bottle neck. I will experiment a bit more with this and report back on how it works out.
Ever think that you could go commercial with your home brew? Well Chris Richards and his father Dean have done just that. They have turned their garage in West Hallam (UK) into a small brewery “The Nutbrook brewery”. They put their success down to custom-made ales. Their customers can use their software to design custom ales. Quite a unique offering and this custom approach has allowed places like “Seven Oaks Restaurant and Inn”, (Nottingham) to have their own ale “Oaks Ale”. The Nutbrook brewery produces around eight barrels of real ale each week. Each barrel makes them about £40 profit. As well as their custom ales they have a main ale “Banter”. Campaign for Real Ale buys their ales for festivals and as such they are a significant customer. Chris and Dean hope to continue working from the garage as long as they get the right permission.
It is a bit of a boom time for small ale produces. Nationwide over the last two years there has been around 150 such ventures. The big breweries have moved away from real ales and as such the gap in the market is rapidly being filled by home brewers that take their hobby to the next level.
As an avid home brewer, buying wine in a shop is not what I aim to do but I do from time to time. Its quite pleasing to see such a wide variety of types and wineries about. It really is something special. Wine seems to have avoided the mono-culture set by a few dominant players. As such I try not to settle on one wine I know will be OK and I keep on trying new types. I logged onto Majestic Wines site and bought 19 bottles. (12 In a red wine variety box and the other 7 reds were the 7 cheapest wines) Its fun pulling the cork and comparing taste against price. One thing for sure is there is no off flavours. These days all wineries are pretty good at their job. The other thing is that the same wine from the same bottle taste different from day to day. Its not just that it has meet the air its more about your own taste buds varying from day to day. The First bottle I opened was the most expensive one of the selection 5.99 a bottle and it really tasted great. The next day it was not quite so good and the third day is was great again. I guess in the day I have different amounts of coffee and different levels of stress and this must affect my taste buds. I have noticed that the most expensive wines can fill you with interest and are wonderful but your pallet needs to be in the mood for them. The cheaper ones never quire get to that point but if your pallet is not ready for a great drop of wine then the cheaper ones will be just as good.
I am interested in home brew but do not want
do spent out on loads of equipment and stuff.
Great! The best way to start is a kit. For wine choose a kit for a wine you like.
I chose a barolo kit and was very pleased. It was easy and the quality was excellent.
More details click -> wine.php#BaroloEven better try the student brew. You go into your super market with a fiver and come out with change, all the ingredients and the equipment to brew 5 liters of extra strength alco pops.
More details click [students_brew.php]
I'm thinking of buying a pressure barrel for my beer which do you recommend.
None! I have turned my back on pressure barrels for a much better solution. Go down to Tesco and get a load of fizzy lemonade or sparkling water. Its the two liter plastic bottles you want. These plastic bottles (PET) hold pressure better than all the barrels I know of. Never any loss of pressure even over a prolonged time. Handy size fits into the fridge and easy to take to friends, family and parties. If you forget to bring the bottle back well no worries they do not cost much. I got 10 two liter bottles to hold my 20 liters of beer. cost
10 X 15p = £1.50
PET bottles are better, cheaper and more convenient.
Just my view.
For more about this see The beer brewing page
Back to Yobrew
Inspired by many positive health reports on red wine, red
fruits, apples and nettles and country wines, I am developing a wine that
combines the best of them all yet still tastes great. I am collating all the
heath reports I can get my hands and making a list of fruits to include in
the super wine. Currently the recipe is looking like
50% Red grapes
20% Blueberry or bilberries or a mix of the two (not sure yet)
10 to 20 young nettle leave per gallon of wine
When I get the final proportions right I will publish it. Drop me an email if you want me to send you the final recipe when I am done. The main goal has to be taste and a reasonable scientific basis for the brew. Sure this is not a medical site and whilst I have a scientific background I will not be doing any double blind medical trials. I do plan to have a list of ingredients and next to them what current research show is the active benefit such as anti-oxidants and how this helps such as delaying the ageing process or assisting in natural cell repair process.
What a funny summer this has been. Wet, Wet and then wet and cold and then full on sunshine. My grape vine has gone beserk. The damson, blackberry and other fruit crops looks particularly good. Yet the apples seem to be ready too soon. Somehow there is a great joy in making things from the produce you can grow in your garden or have access to in the wild. Peter Laycock has added a super guide to growing your own home brew ingredients. I have just planted a couple of his hops plants in a sunny spot in my back garden. I really look forwards to making ale using hops grown in my own back garden.
Saturday night its Camra2006. I was not expecting too much from this beer festivile. Thought it would be a beer tent with a load of kegs and a bunch of men getting legless. I was in for a few nice surprises, no tent it was held in the St. Albans arena. About a quarter there were women and overall it was pretty civilised. First pint, "waggle dance", was excellent and said to be a honey beer (don't know if this is true). Second was "Bogin in the ell" not to my taste but drank it anyhow. Third was Ok but forgot what it was. Followed by a Youngs Porter which was top if you like porter (I do). Just as we were getting into the swing of drinking a band cranked up the music and played. Now when I say a band I do not mean just any old band. Oh no! It was the Dr Feelgood band! and they were simply awesome. Its no wonder their latest album gets such rave reviews. Yes they did their classic milk & alcohol one but they had loads of great material. I have got to say the Camra guys organised a great event and for sure I will be back next year. Never know I might join one day. 8,000 people over four days downed 30,000 pints. That's only four pints each (light weights). In short the event can be described as real ale, real people, real music and fake food.
quality & Click to play
If you like the clip and if you want more free clips of their music then visit ( Dr Feelgood at Amazon ) Amazon have their latest album which gets 5 star reviews from Amazon visitors. Sure my video does not do them justice, but give me a break, it was done on my tiny pocket camera and then just for the web I compressed the clip right down from its original 70MB. I still like it and I hope the doctor and his merry band do not mind me doing this. Did not see any "do not film and then put it on the web" signs so must be OK.
Saturday night, our kids are asleep, what a week work, rain, even more rain and my car got rear ended. Just done a heap load of shopping so we should be ready for our guests tomorrow. I declare its time for a glass of my 1997 elderberry wine. If it tastes great then it will be offered to our guests tomorrow. But alas no, while it is drinkable some of the fuller flavours may not be appreciated by the uninitiated.
What a fantastic day its been, weather has been great and the company of friends is even better. Our three year old gets on so well with their three year old. Our zero year old grins mutually at their zero year old. After we all mucked in to plant the Sunflower that Sophia grew at school we all settled down to a full roast. I offered our guests a good Australian red. Today has been truly special, real friends and real food. Now that they have gone and our kids are asleep I take the opportunity to nibble on what is left of the roast and pour out a glass from the Elderberry wine I opened yesterday. The wine has now had time to breathe and it tastes just great. (homebrew bliss)
I'm kind of watching TV it's the Beckam's celebrity party and kind of reflecting on a great day. Its hard to beat a full roast with good friends and share a drink that you have a personal connection with. Tonight I would not swap my place here at home for a seat at the Beckam's party. No offence to them and I recon of all people they would probably understand. As I reflect some more on the day I also reflect on 1997 when I brewed this wine. It is so long ago that it is as if I have inherited this bottle from a former version of my self. As I get ever nearer to the end of the bottle the more it occurs to me that it is about wanting what you need and appreciating everything else that is good. Remembering that like my 1997 elderberry good things may not seem that good at first
All text on this site is purely the contributing author's personal views and should not
be taken as fact.
No responsibility is assumed or implied for anything that happens as a result of reading these views.
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