Sunday 7 March 2010

Summer Brewing Had Me A Blast

Something you need to do with brewing is plan about three months in advance especially if, like me, you're kit brewing. Some of my best brews last year were coming into their own just as some greedy git (usually me) was draining the last out of the barrel.

So this year I've been particularly good at building up my rolling stock. I've now got four kegs and two kits worth of bottles on the go at any one time. This weekend I've bottled or kegged three kits; one cider, one lager and a real ale kit tweak.

The tweak is a Woodforde's Great Eastern which I've dry hopped with 20g each of Amarillo and Pacific Gem hops. I've also eschewed the standard kit yeasts in favour of S04.

All of these are planned to be ready around the third week in May which, curiously enough, coincides with my birthday and I'm now planning the next series of brews which will take me through the second half of the summer.

I've got a Brupaks Linthwaite Light kit bubbling away as I type. This is a light but strong summer style beer that'll be going into bottles. I brewed to an OG of 1050 so I'm hoping for something around the 5% mark. I've been really impressed with every single Brupaks kit I've done to date and I expect this will will certainly be up to the mark, judging by the reviews my homebrew friends have given it.

Not being much of a lager drinker I stand to be corrected on this but I do believe that Cerveza style lagers, slightly sweeter than the pils style, are pretty decent barbecue fare so I've got a Muntons Mexican Cerveza on the go in one of the brewfridges. That's got another 10 days in the FV then it needs to be racked and lagered for three weeks or so before bottling. Of course the sort of weather we're getting at the moment lends itself rather well to lagering; I don't think it has been much above 5 degrees in the shed all week.

For later in the summer I'll be doing a Coopers European Lager and a Black Rock Cider. One of my brewing buddies gave me a Coopers European to try and it was very crisp and clean to taste. The Black Rock I don't drink (teenaged overindulgence put me off cider for life) but my wife and the children are pretty big fans of this stuff. Hopefully I'll get these on next weekend.

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