Tuesday 24 August 2010

Is this the answer to sediment in the bottle?

Sediment in home brewed beer has been an issue for donkeys years. As I'm sure most of you know, it is by product of secondary fermentation and cannot easily be avoided. Until now perhaps. A product called Brodies, widely used in Australia, comprises a sediment trap and bottle cap.

They're reuseable and allow the bottle to stand upside down, therefore collecting all the sediment. You can then remove the trap, leave the cap in the bottle and store your home brewed beer on its side in the fridge or drink it straight from the bottle.

I can tell you more about these but there is an excellent instructional video by an independent home brewer in the US available here which explains things much better.

I could do with trying some of these but the company who makes them is still looking for a UK distributor. So I thought, how about a bit of blog/twitter market research. Home brewers, can you tell me if you think they are a viable option.

Would you buy these so you could either drink homebrew from the bottle or lay it down in the fridge?

Do you prefer sediment in the bottle?

Bearing in mind they are reuseable, spares are available and obviate the need to use crown caps, would you pay,

a: £1 each for these
b: £2 each for these

Or do you think the price differential from using conventional crown caps outweighs the benefits?

Leave a message below. I'm interested to hear what the UK home brewing community has to say.

Saturday 21 August 2010

So Many Brews.... So Little Time

I've been going into brew overload this last week deciding what sort of beers to brew next, and next, and next. There are so many I want to do and no free weekends until I return from holiday.

I've got a Red ale for the October Brew it Yourself competition, two Thornbridge recipes I want to do (a Jaipur and a St Petersburg Imperial Stout), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as well as mark two versions of my Summertime Pale (which I have christened Whispering Bob in tribute to the legend who has just celebrated his 40th year in broadcasting) and my Green Bullet Pale Ale which will be tasted at Beervana in Wellington.

That's six brews, and looking at my diary for the next couple of months, I can see I might get two done in September, definitely two in October and the rest in November. I need to learn patience and maybe become like this wise old bull.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Latest Brew - Summertime

I'm very pleased to have got this recipe in the cornie at long last. I've been having a bit of trouble with a couple of infected brews and was anxious (and for "anxious" read bricking it) that this pale ale would be similarly afflicted.

I need not have worried; it's not as nice as the Green Bullet single hop beer but it's a good starting point. I used a little Caramunich in this, too little really but the Cascade/Chinook aroma hops come through. It is quite crisp but a little thin.

The original recipe was

4500g MO
240g Torrefied Wheat
100g Caramunch

28g Northern Brewer (90 min AA 8.5%)
23g Cascade (25min 7.6%)
8gm Cascade (5min)
20gm Chinook (0 min)

After consulting with those who know far more about brewing than I, the next incarnation of this beer will have another kilo of pale malt and 500g more Caramunich. The hop schedule will also be radically altered with a lot more late hops going in.

The trouble is, though, by the time I get round to brewing it, we will probably be in November by which time a summer pale ale might seem incongruous.

Monday 16 August 2010

(Green) Bullets to Wellington

So I got an email the other day from Evin O'Riordain from The Kernel Brewery, fast becoming (rightly) recognised as one of the finest craft brewers in the British Isles, telling me he'd had a visit from "a fellow in the NZ beer scene" who was looking for beers single hopped using only New Zealand hops.

He then went on to tell me that, as he had "not a single bottle" of the Nelson Sauvin single hopped ale that the Kernel was famed for (it's not one that I've had the pleasure of tasting either). Evin went on to tell me that, "as I couldn't let him leave empty handed" he gave him a bottle of my single hopped Green Bullet IPA.


He went on to tell me that the beer will be tasted at the Beervana NZ event organised by the NZ brewers guild:http://brewersguild.org.nz/beervana2010. Not so much coals to Newcastle as Bullets to Wellington.

It is fair to say that by this time I was bricking it. I mean, the Green Bullet was only my fifth all grain brew and here was Evin sending it half the way round the world. There I was thinking about the steps one would take to avoid drinking my beer (and sending it to New Zealand is an absolute masterstroke) when I received a second email from Evin reviewing the second bottle I'd sent him. I was pleased to read "Not hugely aromatic, but beautifully clean and had a great bitterness, Lovely Beer" I don't think they'll be flying me over to New Zealand as a brewing consultant just yet but it was a much appreciated comment from a lovely bloke who really does know his beer.