I was so excited I forgot to take a picture!

Well It has been a long time and I have much to write about however, one thing at a time. I am sure we have all been in this situation where an event goes by you are as busy as hell and during the aftermath you realise you didn’t take any picture of the event. This is what happened to me; I was so intent on trying this beer given to me by my friend Steve that I totally forgot to capture it in picture.

Steve very generously provided me with a new Belgian Beer Mobius  It is a craft beer based on India Pale Ale. When poured it has a lovely Golden hew as an IPA should. The smell was in your face Lemony / Grapefruit very prominent and refreshing. It was light and refreshing and unlike the brewdog IPA no Alum like aftertaste at the back of the mouth which for me is a winner as the only thing that puts me off of modern craft beers is this aftertaste (this could be a contradiction of myself as hoppy beers tend to have an alum taste but for me there are two parts the fruity zesty aroma and taste then the after effect at the back of the mouth) which leads me to prefer only have the first. This one I could easily have had another should I have chosen to do so but at 6.5% easy does it!

Thank you Steve for introducing me to yet another great beer.

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Weaker Beer can be a session in itself!

Embarrassingly for me I wrote this piece a while ago and forgot to publish it. It was only when my brother in law posted his tasting that I realised my mistake. Thank you Matthew for the heads up and your gracious words and insight.

From past experience I have always been making stronger beer than expected. I have come to the conclusion that the recipes I have followed and tweaked are very likely based on a different brewing process than mine hence my higher readings. Maybe too much grain (very likely) more efficient mashing (again quite likely).

The next two beers I made over a very hot summer; Theakstons Best Biter clone and Exe Valley Dob’s Best bitter. Both came out rather weak compared to previous styles 4.87 and 4.3 respectively. Very similar in grain bill and yeast. only major difference was the hops used and the temperature during fermentation. Theakstons was first and the temperature was a little lower on average than the Dob’s which was a worrying 25 degrees with peaks of 28 throughout. Now wondering about off taste in the latter.

Lads night came around quicker than I expected and we were trying out both the Theakstons Best and Exe valley. What we found was the Theakstons was a better tasting beer tan the Exe Valley now this could be due to off taste maybe both beers being very similar in recipe. Maybe I got lucky with the Theakstons! Not quite session beers but the closest I have got so far. The Theakstons was a smooth slightly caramel flavour whereas the Exe Valley had a slightly harsher edge to it. Both bitters poured with very little head and no lacing down the glass some will argue about aroma and the release of CO2 some about the aesthetic look of the leftover proteins attaching to the glass as it is drained or even a ‘beer clean’ glass. For me taste and smell is everything lacing or not nice if it looks pretty but not essential.

One thing I have noticed, this summer being so hot. all my beers brewed since February have poured beautifully however, after the summer break they all have the same frustrating foam when pouring. I can only gather the secondary fermentation was completely spent and more co2 than ever was forced into the beer. Hence since summer it is a rare thing to get a beer to pour without some foam (sometimes an explosion). With that in mind I have reduced the secondary fermentation sugar to 40g rather than 50g a small change I know but if you don’t experiment you’ll never get it right.

I did try these beers out with my Choir friends and the opinion was split down the middle on preference. So there you go variety is the spice of life! Different beers for everyone. Vive La Difference.

Raspberry pi and the Tilt Hydrometer

Frustrated at not knowing the whole story for my fermentation using the tilt hydrometer. I invested in a raspberry pi 3. With help from my trusted and geeky friend Darrel we set up and tested the tilt in a glass of water whilst downloading the app and installing on an SD card. We did this on one of our AD&D beer fest days in may this year, Karl and Matthew turned up a little later to see the raspberry pi in action. Then we paced away and got on with business. Continue reading

The Tilt Hydrometer!

 

Darrel and I ventured into new territory purchasing a rather expensive instrument called a Tilt hydrometer. The purpose of this geeky gadget is to submit temperature and hydrometer readings directly from the fermenting bin without having to expose the beer to the elements therefore preventing any possible infection plus very convenient to check readings when not standing over the bin. Continue reading

Brewferm Mini keg system

You know the saying boys and toys. I have a cornie keg which I love and a King keg which can be a little tricky. Now the new kid on the block the midway dispenser. Brweferm’s Mini keg system a nice practical solution for bringing your beer to parties without pulling a muscle or causing severe back strain. All of these solutions have their place depending on the situation you wish to use them in. The cornie keg is great if you are catering for large parties where you are supplying the beer. The mini keg is where you just want to bring along a descent amount to share with your friends.

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Tasting the Old Peculiar

 

Old Peculiar

Old Peculiar vey dark

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say Yummy! Dark but not like the porter I would say it was similar in colour to a dark brown Ale. Although very strong at 6.7% this was a very smooth beer with  little gas but lots of life. I thoroughly enjoyed this pint and will definitely be making it again. Whether it came out f the mini keg or bottle the taste was just as good.

Strange it didn’t look that dark at last I don’t remember it looking so dark hmmm! We did finish the whole keg!

 

 

 

If you want to know about the mini keg system then watch this space.

An interesting read

I stumbled across this write up by chance and found it thought provoking.  It was very interesting – there was enough in there to provide many different conversational topics around beer the making of, its social use, its affect on certain people and their use/culture face to face around communication or lack of it. The use of pubs and the impact this could have if they disappeared. Not forgetting the writers own sanity when setting up his brewery and the mental impact it had on him. As for any effects that drinking can have this is down to the person doing the drinking. It is easy to say you can always say no but there are other issues that I am not qualified to answer; but drinking alone has got to be high up there for dangerous hobbies. Beer is about a shared experience a social vehicle for communication the catalyst for the bringing together of people of all backgrounds. Like the writer said put down the technology and start talking face to face maybe look out the window if the view is good and enjoy the moment.

Damned clever those Belgians!

Belgian Beer Glasses

Steve a good friend of mine and Belgian beer lover, handed me two glasses and said to me ‘pour your beer in both glasses and then taste it. I guarantee there will be a difference.’ Well I was intrigued to say the least. Once all my driving duties were done and dusted and the BBQ was lit and having checked that there was no need of me from the family. I poured my Belgian Triple into both glasses; one glass was a Leffe the other a Kasteel the beer of which I have tried before both sweet and dry. Interestingly my beer had a great head in the Leffe but very little in the Kasteel sorry the picture does not depict that but more about that later.

First I tried from the Kasteel glass. I found it quite strong and a little harsh however, when I tried the same beer in the Leffe glass the beer was smoother, silkier so I poured the remainder from the Kasteel into the Leffe glass. Who would have thought that the glass shape was so important when drinking.

 

A beer Shared – Steve’s St Peter’s IPA

00Once again I am tasting one of Steve’s Extract brews. This one is a St Peter’s IPA. Pouring not much of a head. A lovely Ruby colour surprising for me as I was expecting a golden yellow. Nice citrus hoppy smell and possibly a little woody. Definitely a light tasting beer with a strong hoppy taste characteristic of most new craft beers and very bitter. Altogether a nice pint. Way better than my attempt. Well done Steve keep it up.

 

What happened to the Hedgerow?

 

On my way to the voting station; I noticed that the hedgerow where I pick my hops form has had some alterations. A lovely new brick entrance for the local Football club has been erected. This has had an impact on the hedgerow by losing some 5 meters of hop plant. There is still a lot left but the best area where it gets the most sun has gone. Oh well tip your glasses for progress I suppose. Continue reading