Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Beer Porn - Wherry with Elderflowers

Took me a while to get used to this one, a standard Woodforde's Wherry kit brewed top an OG of 1050 (temperature adjusted to 1051) and dry hopped with 40g of dried Elderflowers. Tastes completely different out of the bottle compared with the keg.

Obviously, because of the crap winter, Elderflowers will be a bit late this year but when they do grow, I think I'll try an All Grain beer with Elderflowers as well as hops. I'm looking for a summer beer so feel free to suggest some grains.

Who else has made beer with wild ingredients? I'd love to hear some suggestions.

Friday, 9 April 2010

My Road To Damascus

Or, how a brewing competition finally tipped me over the edge into All Grain brewing.

It's been a busy week it the world of beer and brewing for me. On Saturday I attended the 5th Planet Thanet Beer Festival where I drank many beers, some excellent like Gadds' Uberhop and Tiger Rut from Millstone, an all Chinook beer. I also met the Eddie Gadd and had an interesting discussion about cricket. Now most of my brewing friends and acquaintances fall asleep when I turn the talk to cricket (as do most of my cricketing colleagues when I talk about beer - or perhaps it's just that I am a boring git). Anyway the upshot of the conversation was that I will soon be off to the Ramsgate Brewery to watch/take part in/clean up after a brewday. I am quite excited about this and have bored my wife about it many times this week.

Then earlier this week I read about the brewing competition being run on Beermerchants blog and thought about how I would love to be a part of that. Then I read through the competition rules and realised that kits, however well tweaked, weren't going to be allowed and that pushed me over the edge.

My plan was always to attempt the conversion in about September this year by which time I would have built a second shed in which to put all non brewing related crap but the competition deadline is in June so I need to find a tarpaulin under which I can store a barbecue, lawnmower and two push bikes until I can afford the shed.

Thanks to those nice folk on the Brew it Yourself forum and other places on the Twitterverse I've got step by step instructions on how to make a 10 gallon boiler, false bottom mash tun and immersion chiller.

Hopefully I can get all these things made over the next couple of weeks and be ready to get a brew on in time for submission to the competition.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

An Insight into the Life of a Dozy Brewer.

There are several sorts of brewer but I think I must be the dozy sort; I spent a good hour looking for the lid of my fermenting vessel yesterday so I could put on a second brew (well it is Easter you know) and failed miserably.

This was a bit of a shame really because, my good friend Jim has got hold of some out of date Youngs Brewbuddy beer kits which a number of home brewers on Jim's Beer Kit are coming up with experiments for.

I wanted to do two kits side by side so that, apart from hops, they would have the same ingredients, the same conditioning time, etc. but my own lack of organisation meant that the first experiment was an epic fail, as my teenaged sons would tell me. This experiment involves using rehydrated S04 yeast, 15g of East Kent Goldings in the cafetiere for a hopped tea, a kilo of medium spraymalt and 25g's of EKG's for dry hopping purposes. This one's already bubbling away in the Brewfridge.

Oh and by the way, the lid to the aforementioned fermenter was in the garden on one of the garden chairs. Doh!