Latest goings on with my brewing

Normally I would try and squeeze these status updates into 160 characters but today i compelled to write more. This is because last night was a bit of a nervous time.

As you may or may not have read but I was attempting my first brew containing fruit. I had already dubbed this Finnish Imperial Stout as it was to be a play on Guinness and blackcurrant containing hand picked, with my own fair hand, Finnish blackcurrants. I thought since this was an experimental brew that I would also try and push my previously achieved alcohol strengths and aimed for around 7%, hence the “Imperial”. So I cobbled together a recipe, mostly incorporating grains/hops which I had in the pantry, and set out to achieve this beer.

So back to nervous moments of last night. The beer had been fermenting for over two weeks and was ready for transferring to the bottling barrel. This was the nerving part, as I’ve done this meany times in the past. Once i transferred the beer I took a sample to measure the gravity. From the reading I took I found out that I should have achieved a strength of 6.8% which I am extremely happy with.

And then it was time to taste it … it had turned out exactly as I had hoped. There may have been additional sweetness due to the priming sugar but it was very pleasant. A nice stout base, not too intense with the roasted barley, and a subtle aftertaste of the Finnish blackcurrants.

All in all I feel this experiment was a success … so far. Now I have my most difficult part of homebrewing, leaving the beer to condition. I look forward to trying the beer again once it conditions but in my opinion everything seems to be pointing to a pretty decent beer.


Rye Brown Ale

As always I feel I have to start with an apology for not keeping my blog up to date. Things have been happening at GingerbeardBrew but since the start of the rugby season not great deal.

So I may have mentioned a while ago that I was brewing a beer and that it didn’t have a name. Well for now it shall be known as Rye Brown Ale. Since my last activity on the site the beer has been brewed, fermented, bottled and has been conditioning in the bottle for about three months now.

This was the same recipe as the Uncle Calum’s Detox Brew but the difference between the two is that this time I hit my desired gravity. I have created a Brown Ale of around 5% and the taste really benefits from the additional alcohol. There is a brown sugar sweetness that is really enhanced in this batch and the Rye creates a very moreish dryness to the flavour. I still feel Uncle Calum’s Detox Brew has a place for a tasty low alcohol beer but I feel it’s a lot tastier with the desired strength.

The other factor I feel that has enhanced this beer is the time it has been conditioning in the bottle. I have been trying this every so often since bottling and I feel this beer reached it’s peak after about 2 months in the bottle and has currently plateaued. The flavour has developed over this period of time into a smooth tasting beer, and to cliche a bottle of wine “excellent with food or with friends”.

Ultimately the highest honour this beer recieved is the seal of approval from the reason I do this today, My Dad, who seems was so enthused by this beer that he has dusted off his homebrew kit and started a batch himself.

So looking to the future hopefully I’ll try and get an exclusive on the outcome of my Dad’s beer but I also have an experimental brew in the fermenter as I type, I am attempting to make a fruit beer. I have dubbed it “Finnish Imperial Stout”, it’s a take on a Russian Imperial Stout but plays on the idea of Guiness and Blackcurrent as it contains some Finnish Blackcurrants. I have no idea how this will turn out as it was a recipe developed using the “lets add some of this, some of that and some blackcurrents” method. I will undoubtedly write what has turned out to be quite a long post on that when it’s ready.

I feel have have managed to unload everything I’ve forgotten to say over the past few months, so hopefully you have made it this far.

Later Days

As you may be able to tell from the title this is a retrospective on the life and love of Charles Babbage … or not.

This is firstly an apology for being incredibly lazy and not finding the time to keep the site up to date. I have wanted to create a homepage and structure the site a bit better and have done a lot of the work but for some reason can’t be bothered to finish what I’ve started … will hopefully get this done soon.

Ok now to updates well I’ve purchased a printer and created some labels for my beer. Now I know which beer will be in the bottle.

Also had friends and family trying Leftover IPA over the past few weeks. I think it was met very positively and that I’m on the right lines with the recipe I formulated.

So I think in the very near future I will be trying the Leftover IPA recipe again to see if I can brew a better batch, may rename it as well as it will no longer be a beer made from leftovers. Plus trying to put together a recipe for an interesting Imperial Stout but I’m not going to say anymore until I’m ready to brew. Firstly though I’m going to try and get Uncle Calum’s Detox Brew right. I’ve started getting the yeast ready and should be brewing on Wednesday. Again this should be a diffent beer from last time so will have to come up with a more appropriate name. If you have any funny suggestions feel free to let me know.

Anyway that’s where I’m at this current point in time. Will post again and let you know how my next brew goes.


Leftover IPA

Alrighty, it’s been a while since I’ve posted something so I thought I would start writing about my latest brew then add more as the story unfolds.

So, Leftover IPA, what’s it all about. As the name suggests it was about getting rid of some leftover ingredients, but more than that it was about a lot of experimenting. After purchasing my new equipment I didn’t want to dive into a recipe that I would be disappointed if it failed. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to try throughing some ingredients together and see what we get, maybe even give this dry hopping melarke.

With my ingredients laid out and an idea of a recipe I commenced the mash.

Everything seemed to go fine but one again I didn’t hit my desired gravity. This time at least I took the gravity before adding water so made a smaller batch to make a more alcoholic finished product.

So now, as can be seen, I’m playing the waiting game.

So far there has been plenty of bubbling but has slowed down immensly in reacent days. I think I’ll move it into the settle out fermenter in a day or two and then bottle it a couple of days after that and let it condition in the bottle.

Ok so my Leftover IPA has been bottled and left to condition. I am currently in Finland with a limited supply (3 bottles) to test the response on an international scale. I gave a quick description on twitter when I was bottling but I’m going to save the official tasting notes until after I’ve had a couple of pints of the stuff.

Later days.

New Stuff

As all my avid followers on twitter have noticed I have been up to a few things with the site and my homebrew operation so thought I would take this opportunity to elaborate.

Well first and foremost I would say the website is pretty much on tick over now. Replaced the default banner with a custom one featuring the GingerbeardBrew logo which went on to twitter a few days ago. Now I will be building up content and minor tweaks when required.

Now to beer. I took stock what I had left over from previous brews. This in itself is not that interesting but did find a lump of hops which needs to get used so gonna what could be the simplest IPA to get rid of it, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now to the equipment. So I was putting in my order for grains and hops etc for the IPA and hopefully brow ale with more alcohol than Uncle Calum’s Detox Brew. For some reason ended up in the mashing equipment section. Long story short ended up buying myself a thermostatically controlled mashing tun/boiler and an imersion coil cooler.

So there it is, that’s what I’ve been up to. Once my order arrives it will be action stations once again so I’ll uodate then.

Later days.

Ok title might not tell you a lot but this is what I have decided to dub my latest homebrew attempt, the reason for which will be aparent.

So what is it, I hear you scream … Well it’s a rather tastey Brown Ale that in essence went wrong.

This was my first attempt at an all grain brew and, as first attempts go, it wasn’t bad. That is until I missed my desired gravity by quite a margin and the end poduct came in at a wimpy 2.5% abv.

So if things went wrong why is it worth writing about?

Well from this blunder I discovered that 2% beer could actually taste quite nice. I always thought that they watery and were void of any flavour, although my only point of reference was a warm can of Tartan on a driech camping trip.

So if I ever feel the need for beer without the hangover or if I can’t survive a hangover without beer Uncle Calum’s Detox Brew is there to help me back on the horse.