Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Dragon Stout - Jamaica

I've tried a bottle of Dragon Stout tonight that I found in my local Supermarket, it's the first time I've tried it and to be honest I expected it to taste cheap and awful but I was pleasantly surprised. It poured with a good 1/2 to one inch fairly-tightly beaded head and tasted very sweet and light and refreshing, certainly not what I was expecting. It's Brewed by Red Stripe in Kingston Jamaica and comes in half pint bottles and weighs in at 7.5%. It gets the thumbs up from me!

There are some recipes here for cloning it which I might have a bash at and stick a few bottles away for Christmas I have loads of empty Leffe bottles that I could use.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Evening Brewing Again...

I'm pretty (no actually very) low on stocks at the moment, in fact the only home produced beer I have right now is no where near ready and has only just been put into the beer fridge to crash cool with 50 ml aux-fining's after fermentation finished. That Beer is Randy Sparrow the FG was 1.012 from an OG of 1.044 so using the formula (OG minus FG / 7.45) it should be around 4.3% it tasted great from the sample jar the Fuggles really stand out and there is a lovely aftertaste that I've had in other beers where Challenger has been the bittering hop. It's turned out a nice light copper colour, I'm going to be strict with myself and not tap this one until it's ready (about 5 weeks from now).

To get the stocks back up I'm going to brew another batch of Big Kenny there are a couple of reasons for choosing this beer, firstly I thought it was bloody good, secondly before Christmas I dared to take a bottle to a friend of mine who works for a very well established brewery and he's on their tasting panel, he tried it and liked it so much so that he's asked me to brew it again so that he can pass some bottles to their head brewer for his opinion and also present some to the tasting panel!! - Better make sure I get this one right! (Cheers Neil BTW)

Monday, 21 January 2008

Brew-Evening : Randy Sparrow

Well it had been a long time since my last brew but on Thursday night the brewing equipment came out and I got a brew on. As you'll see from a previous post I've come up with a recipe which will be known as Randy Sparrow

I ended up hitting target OG bang on at 1.044 (25l) it's fermenting out well using Safale S04.

Here are a few pictures from the brew :

The grains all weighed out and mixed, they had been mixed the night before and stored in the garage so they were a bit cold ~9 degrees, the temperature of the grain is important as it effects the strike temperature of the mash liquor.

After doughing in I adjusted the mash PH from (about) >6 to 5.2 using 1.5 tsp of CRS the mash temperature was just what I wanted - 67 degrees.

This picture is the first clear runnings after recirculation from the tun, it looks like it's going to be a lovely light copper pale ale this one.

The bittering hop was Challenger, added at the start of the 90 minute boil, 30g Fuggle was added 10 mins from the end of the boil and another 30 added when the cooling wort hit 80 degrees, this picture is of the final hop addition (steep hops) the smell was amazing. I'm going to crash cool with aux-finings as I did with Big Kenny to get this one as clear as I can, with any luck i'll be posting about drinking this one towards the end of February. I'm hoping to get another brew in this week, not decided what to do yet though.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Batemans Rosey Nosey

Tonight i'm having a Rosey Nosey from Lincolnshires Batemans brewery in Wainfleet. Obviously this was their Christmas beer and very nice it is too, a full bodied sessionable (4.9%) winter ale. Very nice on a rainy night like tonight.


As for my own brewing, it's now looking like being the latter part of this week before I can brew Randy Sparrow.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Randy Sparrow

I've not done a brew since 21st November (Glasshouse Porter) so it's time to get the boiler on again this week (probably Wednesday) It's about time that I gave a beer a name fitting for 'The Fledgling Brewery' and I've come up with this which will be 'Randy Sparrow' I expect by the time i'm drinking it the sparrows will be at it like rabbits I've tried to keep it simple(ish) bittering with Challenger and then Fuggles at 10mins and steeped while cooling, hoping for a nice bitter with floral aroma.

Randy Sparrow
25L Batch
Target OG : 1.044
Target EBU : ~40

4400gm Pale Malt (Fawcett MO) (Grain 89%)
250gm Crystal Malt (Grain 5.5%)
250gm Torrified Wheat (Grain 5.5%)
60gm Challenger [AA 6.80 %] (90 min)
30.00 gm Fuggles [AA 4.00 %] (10 min)
30.00 gm Fuggles [AA 4.00 %] (steeped during cooling)
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 min)
1 Safale S-04

I'm going to crash cool for a week after fermentation has finished and add Aux finings - I did this with Big Kenny Scottish Ale and it turned out polished.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Brewing Again

After the long lay off because of Christmas i'll be brewing again next week. I'm planning another batch of Big Kenny Scottish Ale this went down very well with friends and family so i'll stick with the recipe as before and use the same post fermentation crash cooling which produced my most polished beer to date.