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One More Brew in a Bag Before Christmas

A few weeks ago I brewed 46 litres of Oatmeal Stout based on the recipe on page 169 of Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer. That beer is downstairs and I’ll bottle half of it next week and the rest on the following week. Mostly because I’m kind of lazy. One half received a Gigayeast Norcal Ale #5 starter and the other got a seasonal release Whitelabs WLP006 Bedford British Ale starter. The first bottles will be cracked for Christmas at an expected ABV above 5 per cent.

In the meantime the plan is sometime before Christmas to do another (46 litre) iteration of my British Golden Ale. This is a style I enjoy drinking because it’s a light and clean, easy to drink, sessionable thirst quenching beer; but, as is the want of someone who doesn’t like black boxes, it’s a matter of brewing this beer over and over until I nail down the exact beer that I’m looking to create. Half of this beer will receive a Whitelabs WLP023 Burton Ale starter and the rest will get a Whitelabs WLP013 London Ale starter with WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii in secondary. Experimentation, fine adjustment one element at a time… it’ll get there in the end. This will be my third Golden Ale.

Another thing that I do like about brewing the British Golden Ale is it’s inherent simplicity in the grain bill and hop addition. Some British base malt and torrified wheat pretty much get you there. I’ll add a small amount of acidulated malt for PH adjustment and it’s done. I’ve previously used East Kent Golding hops, but this time around I’m going for Tettnang at 60 minutes and Saaz at the 15 minute mark. I can’t see how that would be anything but delicious.

This year has been a lot about making those 7 and 8 per cent ABV beers that draw you into home brewing. You know… the man’s drinks. Or, at least, the cool drinks. And, don’t get me wrong, there’s a very warm and welcome place for a lovely 7%+ IPA in my glass; slightly less so if it’s fruity and hazy. But I’m drawn to more sessionable beers, the sub-5 per cent ABV easy drinking beers and I’m drawn to British Ales in particular. This will be my year of exploring English Bitter, ESB, English Brown Ale, etcetera. I’ll try a few low ABV Saisons over the Summer in the warmer temperatures.

I guess my favourite home brewed beers of 2018 were the Dusseldorf Altbier and that gorgeously malty Wee Heavy ageing away in bottles downstairs. I do like that Roggenbier chilling in the refrigerator right now for Beer O’Clock… and I’ll redo all three of those in the coming year.

Everyone needs a hobby. A ‘doing thing’. A link to this planet in a physical sense. Reading actual books isn’t a bad one. And you might try analog photography with film cameras and hand processing the film, or even a darkroom. It’s fun. Maybe you could try gardening. In contrast to ‘the Internet’… or ‘electronic entertainment’… or even television. Whatever, give it a go… become a maker of tangible things. Maybe you could learn to cook beautiful cakes. And you will be amazed how it turns around an inclination to depression just having some power over your physical Universe.

And I love beer. Drinking beer, making beer, thinking about beer… I’d probably bathe in beer if it wasn’t sticky, bad for my liver & carcinogenic (there goes the romance in a sentence). And wine. And mead. And cider. Yeah, I know how that sounds. I like booze as a food group. Correct select.

Anyway, brew day number 13 on my NANO Brewery BIAB system is going to be that lovely British Golden Ale. Good Summer drinking 🙂

NANO Brewery 95 litre pot and Brew in a Bag setup

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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