Friday, April 04, 2008

Pretty Pictures

10 minutes yesterday knocking up a super-quick label for the bottles of Landlady produced this. If you've seen the hilarious 'Kung Fu Hustle' you'll recognise the lovely lady in question, though thankfully the beer is a little better-mannered.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Getting a taste of the Landlady

In order to bottle and keg the '1880 n' All That' I made a week ago I needed an extra bottle, or at least that's what I told myself. To free one up I had a taste of Landlady golden ale at just shy of 3 weeks in the bottle.

Thoughts overall: too early. It poured crystal clear, with a tight fizzing head which then dissipated fairly quickly. The overall aroma was fresh and yeasty, an indication of it being too young to drink. There was good mouthfeel but it felt definitely over-carbonated. There was a light maltiness and good strong bitterness in the mouth but little in terms of hop flavour, save a mellow spicyness, probaby from the challenger hops. I shook some of the carbonation out and it began to drink better with a slightly more pronounced hop flavour leading to a good bitter finish.

I reckon I'll give it another couple of weeks, plus there's always the option of dry-hopping in the keg to boost the aroma. Maybe something citrussy to fill in the lacking high-notes.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Time to big up some o' the Bro's...

Here's a little round-up of some of my favourite beer and brewing blogs from around the UK.

My first port of call when I've a spare moment is Stonch's Beer Blog. He writes well (I could do with some lessons) and has a good international focus on beer and beer travel along with news and comment on UK beer-related issues.

A Girl's Guide to Beer is a refreshingly un-geeky and informative blog from food and drink writer Melissa Cole. With a slant towards the social side of the UK beer scene it is a much needed female perspective in a very male-dominated subject area.

For day-to-day brewing techniques, information and chat, Jim's Beer Kit forum is a lively spot containing a mine of information and some hilarious characters.

Other sites of note are the blogs Wezbrew and John's Random Ramblings, and for a great introduction to how to brew you could do a lot worse than visiting How to homebrew at 18000 feet.

(And on a non-brewing related note, it would be rude to forget family and friends so there's Chris Brown Pianos, top web-designers Thinkology, and fine-artist Jo Brown.)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

'Landlady'

I'm currently trying to get as many brews in as possible before the weather makes things more problematic. Ale yeast works best between 18-22°c, and even better if a constant temperature is maintained. Which means that the best time to brew is late Autumn and early Spring, unless you can convert a fridge to allow year-round brewing. Sadly the Nunhead Brewery doesn't have the space for such luxuries so I've got to take the chances when they present themselves.

Another early start this morning for a quick-drinking golden ale which has a vaguely similar malt and hop bill to Timothy Taylor's 'Landlord', except this one's more blonde and floral, so I guess that makes it a...

Landlady

Original Gravity: 1.043
Alcohol: 4.3%
Bitterness: 36 IBU

Ingredients:
4300 g Maris Otter Pale
150 g Crystal Malt 30°L

35 g Challenger (8.6%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
10 g Styrian Goldings (3.1%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
7 g Challenger (8.6%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
20 g Styrian Goldings (3.1%) - steeped after boil

Safale S-04 Yeast

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Winter Solstice - final tasting

I took a couple of bottles of the 'Winter Solstice' along to the february meeting of London Amateur Brewers where some of the BJCP and Durden Park experts there picked up a fault which I hadn't identified. As soon as it was pointed out though it became really obvious, shows how you can never stop teaching your palette!

The fault was down to oxidation of the Amarillo hops I used, basically meaning they were old and had started to stale. When I used them I thought them to be a little brown (fresh hops are more of a yellowy-green) but they seemed to smell ok to me at the time. How to avoid this in future? Rub some hop cones between your palms and take a good sniff. Any hint of 'cheesiness' and the only place the hops should go is in the bin. Once you've smelt it, you'll not forget it. It didn't stop us finishing the keg in a short time though...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

High-Altitude Porter

To continue my tradition of "new year, new beer" I've taken today off to recover and brew. After the success of Gail Porter and the fact that I've already got a pale, hoppy number fermenting at the moment I thought I'd conjure up another Porter recipe, this time with a bigger grain-bill for some added complexity. Hops will be the traditional porter/stout hop Northdown, with some Styrians along the flanks to provide some interest in the flavour and aroma, as well as to use some of them up as I still have a good few bags in the freezer and don't want them hanging around in case they start to oxidise.

sherpa Tenzing Porter

Size: 26.5 L
Efficiency: 70%

Original Gravity: 1.045
Alcohol: 4.72%
Bitterness: 35 IBU

Ingredients:
5250g Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
170g Crystal 120
80g Black Malt
95g Chocolate Malt
140g Roasted Barley

35 g Northdown (8.6%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
15 g Styrian Goldings (3.1%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
15 g Styrian Goldings (3.1%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
15 g Styrian Goldings (3.1%) - steeped after boil

Nottingham Yeast