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FatDragon

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The are definitely a lot of homebrewers in Shanghai. Look up Mike Sherretz @msherretz . I'm not sure if he's active here at all and I guess I can't even guarantee he's still in Shanghai since I haven't talked to him in years, but he's sort of a godfather of expat homebrewing here so he'd be a good resource for introductions and brew clubs, and he runs a Homebrew shop as well.

Unfortunately, my own brewing has taken a back seat to work and family, only three brew days in the last twelve months. I could send a couple porters and maybe the split batch Vienna lagers with S33 and T58 in a tasting swap, but I don't think I'll have anything new to offer for a while.
 

Great Hop Forward

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The are definitely a lot of homebrewers in Shanghai. Look up Mike Sherretz @msherretz . I'm not sure if he's active here at all and I guess I can't even guarantee he's still in Shanghai since I haven't talked to him in years, but he's sort of a godfather of expat homebrewing here so he'd be a good resource for introductions and brew clubs, and he runs a Homebrew shop as well.
Mike is still in Shanghai, active in homebrewing, and running his shop.
 

Alex413

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The are definitely a lot of homebrewers in Shanghai. Look up Mike Sherretz @msherretz . I'm not sure if he's active here at all and I guess I can't even guarantee he's still in Shanghai since I haven't talked to him in years, but he's sort of a godfather of expat homebrewing here so he'd be a good resource for introductions and brew clubs, and he runs a Homebrew shop as well.

Unfortunately, my own brewing has taken a back seat to work and family, only three brew days in the last twelve months. I could send a couple porters and maybe the split batch Vienna lagers with S33 and T58 in a tasting swap, but I don't think I'll have anything new to offer for a while.
I've got a styrofoam container for the bottles today, my brews are already packed and ready to be sent, just tell me where to send it.
 

tusabez

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Hi guys. Well it's been about a year since moving to Chongqing China and I've been brewing about one beer every couple of months. @FatDragon thanks for the initial pointers last year. Just saw your post about fermenters. It's probably a bit late now but I've been using glass ones like the ones you would use to ferment kimchee and they seem to work well. As a matter of fact, they are the same style of Big Mouth bubblers you can get back in the states. I purchased 4 8L ones on Taobao. I need to invest in a small refrigerator since not having any temperature control is tampering with the quality of beer I can produce.
 

Rastavich88

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Great idea starting a thread. I'm based in Hainan and only been brewing half a year, the taobao links have been priceless for sourcing stuff so cheers for that. Is there a homebrew wechat group anyone could add me to? More interested in brewing groups rather than just homebrew pub groups.
 

tusabez

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Don't really have an official wechat homebrew group in Chongqing but I am involved in a group that occasionally shares pics on brews we are doing. I can add you if you'd like. What's your wechat ID?
Great idea starting a thread. I'm based in Hainan and only been brewing half a year, the taobao links have been priceless for sourcing stuff so cheers for that. Is there a homebrew wechat group anyone could add me to? More interested in brewing groups rather than just homebrew pub groups.
 
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I used to be active in a Wuhan homebrewers group on QQ, but I haven't used QQ in a long while, and unfortunately I'm not involved in any homebrew groups on wechat.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Anything interesting in Hong Kong? A non-beery friend is visiting there at the moment, so could bring something back if they were given precise instructions...
 

Northern_Brewer

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I guess - things that are interesting enough to be worth me imposing on this friend's luggage allowance! :) (and worth bringing back to the UK). By definition, it's probably something I won't have heard of, whether weird brewing ingredients or commercial beverages (not necessarily restricted to beer made with barley).
 
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I'm afraid I don't know HK very well. The ingredient choice that comes to mind would be tropical fruit, but that's not something your friend could travel with. I haven't had much beer on this continent that's worth carrying halfway across the globe either. To me that pretty much leaves souvenirs like a brewery t shirt or growler.

Maybe tea? Chinese and Taiwanese teas would be easier to get in HK than the UK and offer an interesting ingredient option for brewing.
 
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FatDragon

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Anyone else here have any experience with the Master's Cup (大师杯) homebrew competition? I submitted a few beers in the last couple years before they reported scores to participants and never placed, which was fine but frustrating because without scores I was getting basically zero feedback. Since they started reporting scores this year (but just the total number, no score breakdown or judging notes), I've submitted three brews. Two of them were, in my opinion, definitely solid beers, and the other was sent in before I had sampled a bottle yet and really I shouldn't have bothered.

The not so great beer, an APA, was firmly in the 'drinkable' category and even got genuine compliments from friends, but it certainly was not a fantastic beer. They gave it a 13.5, which is in the 'undrinkable' range. Then I sent in a porter which was one of my best brews overall and is truly a very good beer - 23.5. I just got the results back for a very solid Gose that checks all the boxes except for head retention and compares favorably to professional examples - 14.5: 'undrinkable'.

I know my beer isn't world class. I'm not saying I deserved to place (though I thought the porter and Gose were both good enough to do so), but the scores that they're giving out are a total joke. In short, f*** the Master's Cup.

(Bitter but soberly factual aside: I shouldn't be surprised by this in a competition that's organized by Master Gao. Their beer is piss. Even the not-so-great APA they gave 13.5 points was distinctly better than any Master Gao beer I've had)
 

mongoose33

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Early on, I was interested in entering my beer in competitions as a way to evaluate how I was doing. I've since ceased doing that, and rely on a better set of criteria to evaluate my beer.

First, why not competitions? The range of judging competence varies widely; people have submitted the same beer to different competitions and gotten wildly different reactions to it. I remember reading here about someone who submitted the same beer under two different entries, and one of them placed very high (won or placed, can't recall, it was lauded as excellent), whereas the other, same, brew, didn't make the cut and was given a very low score.

Same beer. Different evaluations.

Second, I've done some local stuff, and the "judges" evaluate against the style guidelines of AHA or someone. I've lost to beers where the off-flavors were very clear, where the beer doesn't actually meet the style guidelines, where i have no idea what the judges are judging. Entered a great Amber in one of these; the winner had an off flavor, a sort of sour finish, and mine, which had no such flaws, was set aside. I don't get it.

******

So what do I do? I have several better ways to judge that beer, IMO, as judged competitions have proven to be so unreliable. One is that I have friends who want to buy my beer (had two on Friday say exactly that), a local bar owner who wants to sell it. Can't, of course, because I have no license to do that, but when people are clamoring to buy it, I don't need a judged competition to know it's good.

I have a bud here who has one of those super-taster palates. We have a deal: I give him the occasional 4- or 6-pack of my beer, he evaluates it with no mercy. I use him in part to see if there are hidden off-flavors my own average palate cannot detect. He's an important part of my evaluations.

Finally, I have a sure-fire way to determine if the beer is good. You know the deal--someone tastes your beer, they tell you it's good, then when your back is turned they pour it into a nearby potted plant and then say "what else do you have? I'd like to try something else."

But when they drink it, and ask for a second one? Nobody has a second one, when there are other options, except for one reason: they like it.

****

There's only one value in judged competitions, IMO: it's that if you can win a few medals here and there, it appears to validate your brewing to outsiders who are impressed by such things.

It's the only reason I'd want to win a competition.

****

You know (others here don't) that I've had some of your beer. You know how to brew. I'd have more of yours. I don't care for all the styles you brew, but that's a personal preference thing, not a "you don't know how to brew" thing.

One more thing: we have throwdowns in our local homebrew group every 3 months. Many do extract brews, and often they have significant extract "twang" as a "feature" of that brew. I wonder sometimes if that twang is part of what people expect to taste in homebrew, and if it's lacking, the beer is somehow not up to snuff. Mine never has that, and I don't know if people are shocked by it, see it as "incomplete" or what.

My 2 cents.
 

Malkner

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Hey! Long time lurker who decided to make an account to post. I'm based in Qingdao and looking to get in touch in others about homebrewing. I get around 2-3 batches done a month so quite keen to trade as well!
 

lukephilly503

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Hey brewers!!
I'm finally going to get started brewing here in Shanghai. I haven't yet in China, so if you have any advice, TB links, or are looking to sell any equipment, feel free to add me on wechat: luke_s_phillips
Also, does anyone have experience with an all-in-one systems made here in China (like the 20/30/50L Guten?)

Thanks everyone! =)
 

AaronQuigs

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Hi all.

I'm based in Shanghai and have been homebrewing here for the last 3 or so years. I want to start temp controlling my fermentation. Can anyone share info on their setup? and/or share Taobao links for suitably sized freezer/fridge and fermentor combinations? I use a 7 gallon glass vessel at the moment, and make do with whatever the Shanghai seasons throw at us! But open to brewing smaller batches to fit a smaller chamber.
Of course space is a consideration. Will have to negotiate for a bit more space in the spare room ha ha.

Also are there any Shanghai based brewers here? or could someone add me to a SH WeChat group maybe?

Cheers!
 

AaronQuigs

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Hi, everyone, I'm new here, but I really enjoy the process of brewing and already did 7 batches. Does anyone brew in Shanghai or nearby? It would be nice to find some brewing pals to brew together.
I'm also interested in beer swapping with anyone within China to try more different beers and get feedback for mine.
Here's my stuff:
California common
Koelsch (s-33 yeast)
Schwarzbier
Chinese Nugget IPA(going to bottle is this weekend, but it's too bitter for me now)

Let me know if you are into swapping.
Hi Alex, are you still based in Shanghai? Interested to do some swaps/drinking/tasting maybe?
 
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FatDragon

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Hi all.

I'm based in Shanghai and have been homebrewing here for the last 3 or so years. I want to start temp controlling my fermentation. Can anyone share info on their setup? and/or share Taobao links for suitably sized freezer/fridge and fermentor combinations? I use a 7 gallon glass vessel at the moment, and make do with whatever the Shanghai seasons throw at us! But open to brewing smaller batches to fit a smaller chamber.
Of course space is a consideration. Will have to negotiate for a bit more space in the spare room ha ha.

Also are there any Shanghai based brewers here? or could someone add me to a SH WeChat group maybe?

Cheers!
If space is an issue and you only need a single fermenter at a time, I'd look into a small vertical chest freezer like this. You may have to message the seller to get the internal dimensions as they often won't list those in the listing. Make sure you've got space for whatever fermentation accessories you use - airlock, blow-off, etc. You'd use a temperature controller (home-wired STC-1000 or prewired temp controller - search for 控温器) to control the temperature - you plug the freezer into the controller, run its temp probe into the freezer (preferably insulated to the side of the fermenter or in a thermowell inside the fermenter), set your desired temperature, and the controller controls when the freezer gets power in order to maintain your temps. You can also get a cheap heating wire (电热线, I think) and connect it to the hot side of the temp controller if you need warmer temps (kettle souring, winter brewing, etc.)

Alternately, you can get dried kveik yeast from Lallemand on Taobao now, or buy liquid kveik from Joyferm, and presumably never have to worry about fermentation temperature again (unless it gets too cold).
 

AaronQuigs

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If space is an issue and you only need a single fermenter at a time, I'd look into a small vertical chest freezer like this. You may have to message the seller to get the internal dimensions as they often won't list those in the listing. Make sure you've got space for whatever fermentation accessories you use - airlock, blow-off, etc. You'd use a temperature controller (home-wired STC-1000 or prewired temp controller - search for 控温器) to control the temperature - you plug the freezer into the controller, run its temp probe into the freezer (preferably insulated to the side of the fermenter or in a thermowell inside the fermenter), set your desired temperature, and the controller controls when the freezer gets power in order to maintain your temps. You can also get a cheap heating wire (电热线, I think) and connect it to the hot side of the temp controller if you need warmer temps (kettle souring, winter brewing, etc.)

Alternately, you can get dried kveik yeast from Lallemand on Taobao now, or buy liquid kveik from Joyferm, and presumably never have to worry about fermentation temperature again (unless it gets too cold).
\

Thanks for the reply, info and translations (very helpful ), that freezer looks perfect! Will check the dims and order soon. Although, temperature wise, we are getting into a good time for brewing here.

This is the glass fermentor from taobao i've been using if anyone is interested. 26 liters, large screw off lid with built in airlock. very easy to clean. https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.2.0.0.68302e8dmD0ntV&id=551245670964&_u=p30ehp1re6a5

Do you use Kveik much? Like it? I did a batch over the summer, it turned out quite well but it needed much more bottle conditioning than I expected for the yeast flavor to settle. Don't quite understand that as it had over 2 weeks in the fermentor. you're right though, low temps will be an issue. I've had safeale 05 get stuck here in the winter.
 

AaronQuigs

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Apologies for spamming with questions, but is there a source for info on water profiles I wonder? I would presume not. enough said maybe?
 
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FatDragon

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I don't know about water profiles. I use mostly RO water from a filter under my sink. Nongfu Spring publishes their approximate mineral profile on their jugs as well, but I don't know about city water or anything.

That freezer was just the first of it's approximate size I saw to offer as an example. There are probably better ones in terms of size and price if you search a bit more, but if that one fits your needs, all the better.

I've used Kveik a couple times - a harvest of Omega's Hothead strain a guy in GZ sent me several years ago. Kveik didn't become readily available here until a year or two ago and I've had proper temp control for longer than that so it's not become a priority. I was moderately pleased with Hothead. It lent a very distinct flavor to the beer fermented in a hot room (~35C) so it wasn't exactly clean, but it was not an unpleasant flavor so it wasn't a big problem either. A batch that fermented with Belle Saison at the same time, which is known to handle high temps as well, was definitely not as good as the Hothead batch.
 
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