Geordie

Making the most of your Geordie

Following loosely the instructions I have made this kit carefully noting the results. I have first taken the instructions then added notes as the brew progressed showing both good and bad points during the process. Since taste is personal I can’t really comment on the taste but I can comment on the process when made in a real home.

Just in case

If you follow the instructions your brew should be trouble free. However, we would recommend that before starting you make a note of the numbers shown on the base of the can. (on my can was 3594 XB35197 3143 lid 105155 F1013 BBE JUNE 2015) (BBE Aug 2015 108192 H2913 lid 0282 xb35541 3196) What I am doing is following the stages, and writing a report on how it went for me. I am not following the instructions to the letter and I will detail where I have departed. Started 4th September 2013. Second started 5th November 2013 s.g. 0.048 estimate ABV 6%. Third started 13th November 2013.

How do I brew?

Brewing is a four stage process; first you make a wort, second you allow fermentation, third you bottle and finally let your beer mature. it is ESSENTIAL that all your equipment is CLEAN. Use a Sterilising solution. Useful extra equipment, besides the essential 5 gallon plastic container, plastic tube and bottles, is a hydrometer to tell you when fermentation has stopped and a siphon tube with a 'u' bend to help you avoid disturbing sediment.

Geordie

Geordie

The Wort

The wort is the mix of natural ingredients from which you brew. Empty the contents of the can into the plastic container, and add 1 kg of sugar (I used 2.5 kg of sugar). Stir in four pints of boiling water, until the mixture has dissolved (Used hot water from tap). Now add the rest of the water (36 pints for a 40 pint kit or 26 pints for a 30 pint kit) [I would guess I filled to approx 26 litres or 6 gallon mark], which should be cold this time so that you get a lukewarm solution (temperature 65º-75ºF., 18º-24ºC.). As a result of extra sugar and water the hydrometer start reading will be higher than normal. I have in the past noted that one day on the reading can go up rather than down likely because the sugar and wort had not been fully mixed with the water added to top. This means that the result could be stronger that calculated. Interestingly the instructions and the can label fail to give approximate ABV level although all sugar will turn into alcohol not all of the wort will so one can’t calculate an accurate level even if careful measurements are made. However a rough estimate for qualities I have used is 5.5% ABV and around 3.5% ABV had I used the recommended quantities of water and sugar. This will clearly alter taste as well. The hydrometer reading were taken with two hydrometers the glass on to left showing around 1.044 is clearly higher than plastic one to right showing around 1.030 which was taken second. The glass one needs to be rotated to show prospective alcohol level and this shows 5% ABV against the 4% ABV shown on the plastic version. It will be interesting to see final readings on both hydrometers however does point out you need to use same one for both start and finish readings and the results are only approximate.

Also the beer was hotter that it should have been to get an accurate reading at 28ºC rather than 15.5ºC (60ºF) that the hydrometer is calibrated for so we need to add approx 0.002 to the reading making it 0.046 however it is hard to read that accurate in the first place. Likely plastic will expend differently to glass, so the correction for glass will be different to that for plastic. This was tested using chilled water out of the fridge and warm water out of the tap. The glass hydrometer read lower in hot water than in cold but the plastic one was the reverse reading higher in cold than hot and also was found to have slight leak which accounts for lower reading than glass.

Fermentation

Sprinkle the contents of the yeast sachet on the brew, and stir in, (I put yeast into a cup with some water first and allowed it to hydrate in that first before adding to fermentor). Cover and allow to ferment at room temperature (65º-75ºF., 18º-24ºC.). It is important to take hydrometer readings every day (Since it will take at least 5 days and every time I remove the lid to use hydrometer I will only start taking readings after the first 5 days or when air lock stops bubbling rapidly.) (It took around 6 to 8 hours for the yeast to multiply, and the airlock to start to bubble around one bubble every 4 seconds. Starting at 28ºC over night it cooled to 24ºC which is 2ºC hotter than the beer which has come to the end of its fermenting process next to it.) and bottle once the specific gravity has been at or below 1.005 for two days. (Because of the problem with sediment in the bottom of the bottles when air lock reduces activity I will transfer to a second fermentor. It will stay in second fermentor for at least 3 days, I will still get some sediment but it will be very much reduced this removes the need to pour into jug first when serving.) Note: Fermentation time is about a week but will be longer in cold weather. 11th September 2013 the beer was transferred to second fermentor S.G. 1.016. Air lock was at approx one bubble every 15 seconds before transfer. After transfer it can take a day before the pressure builds up enough to restart bubbling which is why I question the idea of measuring the specific gravity every day. In fact it restarted 2 hours latter again sealing the bung is very important if used bubbles as indication. I will check again in 3 days time when it should be ready to bottle. If still going down then another 3 days. Hyd near finish Hyd finish The temperature is now dropping down to 18ºC so likely this batch will take longer. 16th September bubbles now one every 30 seconds considered likely near time for bottling so tested specific gravity which reads 0.010 although within the parameters of the instructions this seems high to me considering the extra sugar added so it will wait a little longer before bottling. Looking at the fermentor this morning 17th September 8:30am bubbles down to one a second but also temperature down to 16ºC this will both show down fermentation and change the hydrometer reading and at this stage the change will be slight anyway so hard to judge if finished or not. As an experiment the fermentor has been placed on a under floor heating sample tile which draws 16W the activity will be monitored to see if it is heat which has caused the drop in activity or coming to end of fermentation. The heat caused the bubble every 20 seconds rather than 60 seconds so clearly cold was the problem. Due to a three day holiday the brew could only be covered leaving on the 16W heater with no monitoring was not an option, but the temperature rose by 2 degrees to 18ºC and on return one bubble per 40 seconds showed still active. On return switching on the tile the temperature rose to 22ºC and the now one bubble every 20 seconds clearly still very active. s.g. 0.006. The temperature continued to rise and the tile was switched off. This is now 16 days rather than the “about a week” in the instructions. 22nd September brew at 20ºC and hydrometer reading (right) at 0.010 s.g. as seen left and airlock one bubble every 30 seconds yet on 16th September brew at 16ºC the hydrometer reading seen left was 0.006 s.g. I would not think the s.g. has really risen it’s more down to temperature or bubbles in the sample. 13th November 2013 transfered Geordie Yorkshire Bitter into clean fermentor and started Geordie Scottish Export s.g. 1.038. 19th November 2013 bottled Geordie Yorkshire Bitter and moved Geordie Scottish Export into clean fermentor. new Geordie Bitter started 13th and on 14th added extra sugar so now s.g. 1.048 expected ABV 5.5%. Geordie Bitter transfered into clean fermentor 29th November 2013.

The s.g. seemed low considering amount of sugar added approx 2.5 kg so re-measured after another stir 1.046 after that clearly some of the contents had not mixed fully. Hydrometer now shows final ABV of 5.2%. The fully mixing of the sugar and syrup will affect the hydrometer reading but not the final ABV as over the week it will naturally mix. Some of the concentrate syrup will be turned into alcohol this will vary make to make so only a rough estimation can be made however dividing the weight of concentrate by 2.5 and adding to weight of sugar when calculating alcohol level will give approximate ABV which I think gives me around 5.5% ABV.

Bottling

Put ½ a level teaspoon of sugar per pint into each bottle. Without disturbing sediment, siphon off beer into bottles, leaving 1½” of space at the neck. Screw or press caps on tightly and shake to dissolve sugar. Remember non-returnable bottles are not suitable. If using a five gallon pressure barrel, put 2½ oz of sugar for a 40 pint kit, dissolved in about a pint of your beer, then siphon in the remainder (for 30 pint kits only use 2 oz of sugar). Bottled on 22nd September mainly in plastic pop bottles and labelled around 16 bottles. 27th September 2013 found high pressure in the bottles so pressure released 5 more days before being taken into shed. Geordie Yorkshire Bitter bottled 19th November 2013. Geordie Scottish Export bottled 29th November wrong date on label shows 28th.

Maturing

Store at room temperature for four days, then put in a cool place for at least 10 days, to mature and clear (3-4 weeks for barrels). The beer will continue to improve for some time after this vital 10 days, so further patience will be rewarded. Bottled 4th November 2013.

Serving

The secondary fermentation in the bottle causes a small deposit to form, so remove the caps quickly and smoothly, then pour carefully into a large jug, leaving the sediment undisturbed in the bottle. In hot weather this is more easily accomplished if you've chilled your beer for up to two hours before serving. After this, all you need do is sit back and enjoy the natural taste of traditional beer - Cheers!
We believe you will continue to be pleased with the quality of your Geordie beer.