Thursday, 12 March 2015


A romp of Otterbraus. Or possibly a lodge of Otterbraus, I'm not sure.

Otterbrau is New Zealand IPA, loosely based on this excellent Digital IPA recipe by the Yeastie Boys.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

No 1 Queen Street Home-brew Club

I recently joined an Auckland based home-brew club, the No 1 Queen Street Home-brew Club.  It's a based at the No 1 Queen Street bar and cafe, just outside the Britomart transport center.

We meet once a month to taste, discuss, and swap home-brew.  I've found it's a really great way to learn about brewing, to get feedback on my beer, and to give (non-judgmental) feedback on other brewer's beer.

The best part is that in the bar there is an exchange fridge, and at any time during the month I can swap one of my beers for someone else's. (Although you can't drink it on site, due to licensing restrictions.)

If you're in the Auckland area, and are interested in learning more about brewing, I would highly recommend coming along to the monthly meetups.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Introduction to Kegging

About three months ago, I bought a second hand kegging system from Hauraki Homebrew.   (Basically it's two corny kegs inside a fridge.)

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I purchased it, but I found the following Youtube videos extremely helpful when trying to get it all going.  For someone with zero experience in the realm of kegging, these videos were indispensable.

I also found this kegging carbonation calculator useful:

Here's a picture of my kegging system, once I got everything set up:

The first two beers I made for kegging were ultra-budget extract brews. (I didn't want to waste any money if I stuffed up.)  The one on the right was pretty bland, but the brown porter on the left actually turned out somewhat awesome.  The fact it cost me around $25 made it taste all the sweeter.

Here is the recipe for a 19L batch:

  • 1.7kg can Coopers dark ale hopped malt-extract
  • 550g can Maltexo liquid malt extract
  • 700g brown sugar 
  • 250g chocolate malt (steeped)
  • 8g black patent malt (steeped)
  • 200g caramunich T1 (steeped)
  • 1 packet SafAle US-05
It came out around 4.6%ABV.  Yes, it's cheap and cheerful, but it tasted delicious.  

I call it Squirrelbrau. 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

New Zealand Ordinary Bitter

I'm looking at brewing a 'New Zealand Ordinary Bitter' soon.  That's a style I just made up - an ordinary bitter, but with New Zealand hops. (Basically an Emerson's Bookbinder clone.) According to the style guides, ordinary bitter should be a flavourful, low alcohol, pale ale made using herbal/floral English hops.  I'm looking to make something similar maltwise, but using citrus/floral New Zealand hops.

These are the references I've been looking at to design my recipe:
If it turns out tasty, I'll post the recipe.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Adding Fresh Yeast for Bottling Conditioning

Apparently I need to add yeast to my Belgian Golden Strong before bottling, as it's 9% ABV and has had an extended secondary fermentation period. Basically the yeast is almost dead, and not up to the task of carbonating the beer to the required level.

So I need to add fresh yeast before bottling.  I have no idea how to do this.  I had a poke around the internet, and this was all I could find:

I also found these resources, but they were more about bottling and ageing in general.

Saturday, 2 August 2014


This is the new label for my recent batch of Honeybrau, a blonde-ale made with honey.

This is the second time I have made this, and both times I've been really happy with it.  The honey really shines through. It has quite low bitterness, and it often appeals to people who don't usually drink beer.

Next time I might consider dropping the late addition hops, as I'm not sure it needs them.

Here is the recipe:

Style:  Honey and wheat blonde ale? Golden ale? I'm not sure.
Batch Size:  20L
Type:  Partial Mash

  • 1.5kg liquid malt extract
  • 2kg New Zealand 2-row ale malt
  • 1kg New Zealand wheat malt
  • 500g Manuka-blend honey (or full Manuka honey if you can afford it)
  • 15g Pacific Jade hops (14% AA) boiled 60 minutes
  • 10g Pacifica hops (5.6% AA) boiled 30 minutes
  • 5g Nelson Sauvin hops (12.8% AA) boiled 10 minutes
  • 5g Pacifica hops (5.6% AA) boiled 10 minutes
  • Safale US-05 dry yeast
Note: I have poor mash efficiency (about 55%) so you may not need quite so much base malt.

Mash at 67c for 60 minutes.
Add the honey and liquid extract at flame-out to avoid scorching.

Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.010
Alcohol by Volume: 6%
Biterness: 20.45 IBUs
Colour: 5 SRM