Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

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I've made home brew a few times already just using the standard brew kits from the supermarket, this time I thought that I'll do something different by flavouring the beer. I went with cloves to see what I can achieve.

and the result...
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It's quite crisp and refreshing and the beer itself is quite clear, but what about the taste?


I think that I used too many cloves! I've ended up putting 1 per bottle, which is way too much. It's a little bit hit and miss though, with some bottles tasting really strongly of clove whereas others are only just hinting at the taste (which is what I wanted).

The strength of the beer came out at about 3.5% with the original gravity at 32 and final gravity at 10, not too bad.

I used the Coopers Canadian Blonde and Brew Enhancer 1 for this batch as recommended. I've used Brew Enhancer 2 previously with not so great results like poor head retention, number 1 seems to fix that for me.
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I stated with boiling some water and heating up the can in the sink, then adding more hot tap water, I left it for about 10 minutes to warm up, this way it makes it easier to pour out later.

While the can was warming up, I finished cleaning the equipment (which was sterilised earlier).
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The first part of mixing: the sugar! I mix this up in about 2L of boiled water, making sure all the sugar is dissolved and there are no clumps.
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Then I added the contents of the can and mixed that thoroughly too.
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Finally it's topped up with cold tap water to get the temperature to about 26-30C, this batch came up a little on the hot side at 30C, cooling it down was difficult since the ambient room temperature was quite high.
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The yeast went in next and everything got sealed up with some cling wrap.
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Once it was all sealed and all the mess cleaned up, I took the first measure of the specific gravity.
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Now for the wait...

Three days later the Krausen collar can be removed...for the obvious reasons, yuck.
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More waiting...

About a week later the specific gravity stabilised at 10 for me, so it was time to bottle it.
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Bottling took a while, but in the end I had 32 bottles. The last two are probably going to be pretty bad, they got a lot of the dregs in them. Each bottle got 2 carbonation drops and 1 clove.
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This is what was left over at the very end, not appetising!
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That was it for that, the bottles went into a cupboard for 2 weeks to ferment further.

In the future if I'm going to make another clove flavour brew, I think that I'll boil up some water with a handful of cloves and will add that to the brew. Putting a clove per bottle didn't really work, but it's a lesson learned.

-i

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