The blog these days seems to be featuring more and more commercial beers and bar visits and less and less about homebrew. That’s mostly because my promised equipment upgrade is still coming together, and until it does,

Friday I picked up this plate chiller:

Plate chiller from Aus

Plate chiller from Aus

Like my pump, the plate chiller came with zero instructions. Apparently us homebrewers are just born with the knowledge; we won’t need sheets of paper to tell us how things work!

See that bag behind the plate chiller?

Please ferment me, Mr Homebrew Japan

Please ferment me, Mr Homebrew Japan

That’s a lovely 25kg bag of Pilsner malt, that is. Delivered on Saturday morning. That forces me to make beer sometime soon.

So what am I waiting for? I’ve got the pump, the plate chiller, the grain mill, and a drill – now I need to get the weldless kit for my aluminum pot, the tubes and connectors to connect everything together, and build a mash-tun.

I also need space – so on Saturday afternoon I kegged my Don’t Mention The War Pilsner and Coconut Wheat Porter (and bottled a little so Jonno and Chuwy could sample them when I hit Yokohama later).

Here’s the Coconut in my bargain 600yen “water container” primary:

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Next to it you have The Sugary Tingly Belgian, which currently ranks as the most awful beer I’ve ever made. It just tastes like sugar. The Coconut Wheat Porter and the Pilner, on the other hand, are the best beers I’ve made to date – I just wish I had completed them in time for the Japan Hombrew Competition.

In the hope of getting some taste into the Belgian, it’s been out of the fermentation chamber since day 5. Maybe the higher temps will force the yeast into making some funky flavours. At the moment it’s a tossup between whether I throw it away or try throwing some orange peel or amarillo or both at it.

Back to nice beer. This is how the Coconut looked after two weeks dry-hopping:

I was a lovely bunch of coconuts

I was a lovely bunch of coconuts

Kegging was a breeze thanks to this little yellow thing I shoved in the tap when racking to the secondary:

Not a single bit of coconut made it to the keg

Not a single bit of coconut made it to the keg

26.25 yen well spent that was (105 yen for a pack of 4 from the 100yen shop).

As I said above, I rate the Pilsner and the Coconut Wheat Porter as the best beers I’ve made to date. The Saaz of the Pilsner it fantastic – maybe it’s not a 100% pure Pilsner (because I had to use some 2-row and my mashing technique doesn’t allow for perfectly clear beer), but it’s lovely – and the toasted Coconut is to die for. It’s not a sweet coconut taste like I’ve had before, but a delicious toasted taste.


Coconut in Tokyu Hands

There’s 5 packs on this unsweetened coconut in the 10-11L that I racked to secondary – more that I’ve seen in most other recipes, but worth it.

I got a bit of a shock opening the other side of the fermentation chamber – Hops of Mass Destruction IPA has been exploding internally!

Living up to its name...

Living up to its name...'s exploding internally

...there's been a war going on inside

That’s the most active fermentation I’ve achieved so far. Hope this one gets down to a nice dry 1.012. Cleaned up, it’s back in the fermentation chamber. I’ll be adding a lavish amount of dry-hopping later this week.

Beers kegged, bottles of Don’t Mention The War Pilsner, Coconut Wheat Porter, and America vs Britain Superpower IPA forcecarbed, it was time to hit Yokohama. That’s the next post…