Coopers Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer Troubles!

A few weeks ago I brewed a Coopers Ginger beer in hope that it would be ready for summer. During the brewing process I think I forgot to wash out the steriliser from the fermentation bucket, I was daydreaming as I’ve done this process so many times now!

So I let the ginger beer sit in the living room for a few weeks and it has been fermenting. Judging by the bottom of the fermentation bucket it looks like the yeast has been busy. It was time to start the secondary fermentation.

To save a few hours of sterilising bottles and equipment I transferred the ginger beer in to a keg, not something I like to do as it becomes far too easy to access the beer! I keep my beer in the shed which keeps it out of sign, out of mind!

I did some research online and  I found that if you don’t wash out the steriliser with cold water it may kill the yeast. It seems to depend on which steriliser you use though. I was using Richies steriliser bought from Wilkinsons. So far my batch of ginger beer looks ok, I may have even washed out it and it will be fine, who knows.

If anyone has had a similar experience with forgetting to wash off the steriliser from buckets and equipment please post a comment.


Lakeland Home Brew

Lakeland Home Brew

Following on from my last post about home brew becoming mainstream, I’ve now spotted it in Lakeland! Being dragged around the shops in Milton Keynes one Saturday afternoon, the newly open Lakeland shop was spotted by my OH, so we went in for a quick look and to my surprise there was a small but decent selection of home brew.

There was a mixture of beer and wine kits available included own branded Lakeland home brew essentials and Muntons and Milestone kits. Further investigation online shows a very good range of home brew kits and equipment and delivery isn’t too bad either:

  • Click & Collect: FREE
  • Standard delivery: orders of £30 and over FREE
  • Standard delivery: orders up to £30 – £2.99
  • Express delivery: standard delivery plus £5.00

I’m not sure what my local home brew shop owner will make of this!

Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kits

Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kits

Home brew is certainly getting mainstream, I’m seeing home brew kits and equipment popup all over the place at the moment, one of the latest is the Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kits I spotted at Firebox. You can get 3 types to brew at the moment:

  • Chestnut Brown Ale
  • Chocolate Maple Porter
  • Everyday IPA

Each kit contains: Gallon Glass Fermenter, Airlock, Tubing, Thermometer, Tubing Clamp, Packet of Sanitizer, Stopper, Blowoff Attachment, Instructions, and Bottle Labels.

It will only make about 10 beers so it won’t take you long to get through a batch and the refills seem quite expensive.

I remember talking about home brewing popping up in places like this and Tescos with an owner of an home brew shop and he was quite positive about it as he hoped it would get more people into home brew which then would lead to them coming to his shop. These kind of kits will certainly encourage people into home brew.

Festival Beer Kit

Father Hooks Bitter Festival Beer Kit

I few weeks back I did a Father Hooks Bitter Festival Beer Kit, its taken me time to write it up but finally have some spare time! I’ve not adapted the kit in any way as its the first time I’ve done one of these kits and you get to add hop pellets into the beer unlike most kits. I’ve never added hop pellets into a brew before.

The instructions are very clear and you get everything you need, even the priming sugar and a net to capture the hop pellets to prevent them from going into your keg or bottles. The instructions recommend taking the beer from the fermentation vessel to another bucket with the priming sugar in, this does make it a touch easier rather than adding sugar to the bottles. Can’t believe I hadn’t though of this before!!

The beer has been left a few weeks now and it is a good bitter to drink, I’m sure it will get better over the next few months too. Not sure what the hop pellets have the beer but it’s good. When you pour a glass there are some pellets that have come across where I could have been better at stopping them going into the bottles but they won’t harm you, but other people drinking your home brew might think its odd! I’ll add a photo later when I have a beer tonight!

I’d certainly do another Festival Beer Kit in the future (porter or strong ale) but at the moment they are a bit expensive at around £24 for me to mess up with some random experiment! I’m still trying to get through my cinnamon stout I made a couple of years ago! Can’t bear to throw beer away!

[schema type=”recipe” name=”Father Hooks Bitter” author=”Festival” image=”×435.jpg” description=”Big malty body with wonderful orange marmalade character, the malts are perfectly balanced with hop bitterness Hops:- Bramling Cross, Apollo” ingrt_1=”Premium Liquid Malt Extract” ingrt_2=”Genuine Brewer’s Yeast Strains” ingrt_3=”Hop Pellets Addition” ingrt_4=”Priming Sugar” instructions=”Kit weight :-3kg Makes:- 40 pints / 5 gallons ABV Approx:- 4.6% Finishing Gravity Approx:- 1.009 Fermentation time:-7 days approx Conditioning time:-4 weeks Fermentables required:- None Required Priming Sugar: Included ” ]


festival beer kit instructions blurred


festival beer kit instructions


Brewferm Orange Bock

Brewferm Orange Bock and Grand Cru

A couple of weeks ago I bottled a Brewferm Orange Bock (12 litres) and Grand Cru (9 litres) bought from BrewUK, who I would buy from again in the future. I’ve not done the  Orange Bock before so I’ve stuck to the instructions with this one. I haven’t adapted the Grand Cru despite having done it before.

Making the Grand Cru went ok but I misread the instructions on the Orange Bock and added more water than the Brewferm instructions state, about 4 litres extra. I think some complacency set in after doing several of the Brewferm kits.  Hopefully,  it should just mean that the beer made is weaker. I’ve added more sugar when bottling the beers to make up for the extra water. Hopefully they’ll be ready by the end of the summer.



Half Price Home Brew at Wilkinson’s

Just popped into Wilkinson’s for some steriliser and found that all of their home brew stock is half price. The offer is online and in all stores. There seems to be no end date just a maximum of 6 of the same product person. So I’m not sure they’re just pushing the home brew or have decided to stop selling it and get rid of it. There wasn’t many beer kits left but a lot of wine kits in the Wilkinson’s I went to in Canely, Coventry.

So I came home with:

More than I expected to pay but still great value!


Wilkinsons half price home brew

Tescos In Store Home Brew Range

Tescos Home Brew RangeI was in a big Tescos store at the weekend and was surprised to see the same range of home brewing stuff as you find on their online shop. The range is mainly Cooper’s but there were other brands such as Youngs.

This is worth remembering if you’re after some home brew kits or accessories and can’t get to your local home brew shop. Its much better to support the independent shop that the giant that is Tescos.

I use Tescos online shop and get it delivered free to my local Tescos, which is quite small, to pick up. This is ok if I can’t get to Birmingham and my local home brew shop, but you need to remember to order early as it takes a few days for them to deliver the brewing stuff to your local Tescos.

Wilkinson’s Sweet Newkie Brown Recipe

Wilkinson’s Sweet Newkie Brown beer kitThanks to Baz who commented on my blog over the weekend for his reciepe with the Wilkinson’s Sweet Newkie Brown beer kit. Its hidden on the comments on my Newkie Brown post so I thought I’d make it more prominent on the site by turning it into a post on its own as it sounds like a great beer.


Brew for 7 days at 20c

2 oz brew sugar in barrel warm for 2 days

Stand 7 days for 5.2abv


In Summary:

[schema type=”recipe” name=”Wilkinson’s Sweet Newkie Brown Recipe” author=”Baz” pubdate=”2013-01-13″ ingrt_1=”Wilkinson’s Sweet Newkie Brown beer kit” ingrt_2=”1kg brew sugar” ingrt_3=”500 grams dark spraymalt” ingrt_4=”Extra half teaspoon brewers yeast from Wilkinson’s” ingrt_5=”2 oz brew sugar in barrel ” instructions=”Brew for 7 days at 20c 2 oz brew sugar in barrel warm for 2 days Stand 7 days for 5.2abv” ]




Festival Beer Kits

festival beer kitsI received one of the new Festival Beer Kits for Christmas made by Ritchie Products. Really looking forward to starting the kit as each kit contains 3kgs of Malt Extract, brewers yeast that matches the beer and a sachet of hop pellets. This will be the first time I’ve used hop pellets so should be fun.

There are 6 types of Festival Beer Kits and are priced around £24 depending on where you shop.

  • Festival Premium Father Hooks
  • Festival Premium Golden Stag
  • Festival Premium Landlords Finest
  • Festival Premium Old Suffolk Strong Ale
  • Festival Premium Pilgrims Hope
  • Festival Premium Pride of London Porter

There’s not much on the official Richies website but an image about the kits.


[schema type=”product” name=”Festival Premium Father Hooks” brand=”Festival” manfu=”Richies” price=”$24.00″ condition=”New” ]