Sunday, 21 December 2008

New brews

Last night a friend came round to drink beer and help me brew some more. I now have a load of empty bottles and a batch of K in the fermenter. I was about to post a picture, but to be honest it looks just like any other plastic carboy with beer in it.

Just now I'm bringing the wort up to boil for a batch of Pale Beer. Because I'm a manky bastard, and just to see the effect, I am re-using the hops from last night. There were a lot of late hops in last night's brew, so I'm hoping to get enough unused alpha acid out of them to bitter today's beer. It doesn't need too much bittering because it's a low-gravity brew and the addition of some Bramling Cross for aroma near the end should be all it needs. In fact, I've just tasted the wort, it's only just come to the boil and is already nicely bitter. The reason for a low-gravity one is that I'm hoping to be able to bottle this after Christmas and be drinking it at New Year, but this may be over-optimistic; it depends if it carbonates in time. I rather suspect it won't.

After Christmas, once these two are bottled, I'm now planning to brew an X, which will be a low-gravity ale with a bit of crystal malt and sugar, and a Brown Beer, which will basically be X with more hops.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

quick update

Update: the strong ale I brewed on Sunday (OG 1082) is now down to 1044 ...

I feel like making a light bitter now, very low gravity that might be done in just a few days. I have a new fermenting bottle to put it in, having heard people on the internet raving about how great it is that you can watch the fermentation.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Bread failure

One of the reasons I like brewing and baking is that there's so much synergy involved. You always have a spare half pint of beer to throw into a bread or pizza dough, and you can use the yeast and the spent grain from the beer to make bread.

I overdid it today though; yesterday I made a strong beer (OG 1082) with steeped chocolate malt grains which is now fermenting away and should be drinkable this time next year. I then made a bread dough with a small amount of the spent chocolate malt, wholemeal wheat flour and the yeast left over from the batch of KK that I bottled last Tuesday.

Sadly, although it looks and smells amazing, the chocolate malt makes it just too burnt and bitter to eat.

Monday, 1 December 2008


I took a couple of bottles of K round to a friend's house, and two discerning beer drinkers loved it! I didn't think it was quite that good, but who am I to argue? They weren't too keen on the KK though, which I thought was the better of the two, but it was straight out of the fermenting bucket and still a bit flat after all. And not everybody likes calcium sulphate, I have to keep reminding myself.