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  • Hello and thanks for letting me join. So many questions, hope I don’t drive you crazy! I have just made my very first wash and using an air still produced my first bottle. During the distilling process it smelt like popcorn and there is a slight taste in the finished product. Is this a bad thing? I quite like the aroma and flavour
    October 6
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      Hi Beeksie, welcome, one thing that can sometimes give this popcorn type smell and flavour is if you collect more than the 750ml of distilled spirit, after the first 50ml is disposed of the next 750ml is the best spirit, then any after that is best disposed of. We don't know if you collected any more than the 750ml, but if you did then this is one possible reason?
    • Beeksie
      Beeksie
      Thanks for the info. Am using an air still which doesn’t produce methanol (idiot proof😂)
      It seems to be a one off, no more popcorn aromas. Cheers
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      Hi Beeksie, with the Air Still you must also discard the first 50ml, that can be really quite unpleasant, it will taste and smell quite unpleasant
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  • I have a problem with the carbonation.
    I have a barrel with pressure valve
    During brewing the barrel pressurises but then I hear the air leaking out of the valve so that when the brew is done I have no carbonation
    What am I doing wrong??
    September 28
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      Welcome and thanks for your question, the valves are clever but are quite simple and rely on a couple of 'rubber band' seals being in place, if for any reason they have moved or are not sitting correctly then these are the prime suspects. We have a guide here on this link with a few things to check, this should highlight the issue but any problems just let us know:

      https://homebrewonline.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/209/barrel-problems-co2-injector-cap-leaking-tap#latest
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    September 27
  • Hi, I've just joined this forum and I'm new to the home brewing game. I started a brew of Golden Stag 4 days ago now. Before adding the yeast, I took a starting gravity reading and it was 1.030. Is that a little low for this type of ale?
    September 25
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      Welcome Nelly, 1.030 is a low reading but there can be a few reasons for this and it is nothing to worry about, it may just be that all the sugars had not fully dissolved when the reading was taken as this can happen, but as long as you added all the malt extract and any sugars included they will ferment out and the brew will turn out as intended
    • Nelly
      Nelly
      Thank you for your response, I thought that was the case. I fear it maybe a rookie error on my part as I was having trouble getting the temperature down so I could add the yeast, so I was tipping some out and adding more cold water. I’m presuming nothing can really do now to raise the abv% closer to what is stated on the box and I just need to see the fermentation process through now?
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      If you have tipped away some of the ingredients then it will reduce the strength and flavour, you could perhaps add a little sugar to increase the strength, around 500g will add some alcohol strength if the reading was definitely 1.030. Alternatively just leave it and see how it turns out, it is often best not to mess about with the brew too much as you don't want to risk contamination. Thsi brew may lack some body and flavour, but with your next brew if the temperature is a bot on the warm side when you go to add the yeast just leave it to cool down a bit, often with ingredients if you add the smaller amount of boiling water that dissolves the malt extract, then add the rest of the water as cold, the temperature is around 25 degrees C or so or not too far away, and once cooled enough the yeast can be added, we hope this helps
    • Nelly
      Nelly
      Thank you for your advice. I’m sure the body and flavour will not be a million miles away. I’m in agreement that messing around with the fermentation now may contaminate it. I’ll certainly know for next time just to put either less boiling water in or wait for it to cool
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      Great stuff, all being well it should still turn out a good brew, the Festival range make some good beers, let us know how you get on
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  • Hi, I am new to this forum. I have been making wine form kits or fresh fruit for a couple of years now. A neighbour has offered me a load of apples and i would like to try making some cider. Can anyone offer a nice simple recipe for this. All replies appreciated.
    September 10
    • HBO_Staff
      HBO_Staff
      Hi and welcome, we have a guide and recipe here that are quite straightforward, see if any of these on the links are of any interest:

      Basic recipe: http://www.home-brew-online.co.uk/instructions/cider-making-kit-instructions.pdf

      Blog guide: https://homebrewonlinebrewblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/a-guide-to-scrumpcider/
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  • Hi, I am busy doing the 3k all malt kits, they are really great and easy to do.
    September 6
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