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Archive for the 'booze' Category

Viking Blod Mead & Flavour Profile

Monday, March 25th, 2019

I’ve been making mead for a decade and the way that I’ve made mead has changed over time. What we know about mead and the processes involved has expanded to a point where you can turn a good mead around in three months from honey-to-glass without that traditional patience of waiting for fruit to drop and months-to-years ageing in the bottle. A really nice mead to make this way is called Viking Blod.

What the Hell is Viking Blod?

You’ll see a lot of Americans, in particular, calling cherry mead a Viking Blod. And that’s fine. But the Viking Blod mead that I’m talking about is that one based on the 1700s Danish recipe with hibiscus and hops. I use a 1-to-4 ratio of hops-to-dried-hibiscus and I probably put a lot more hibiscus in there than the Danish version (and, naturally, the same goes for hops). I believe their Viking Blod is pink, while mine is vibrant red. I would guess their Viking Blod is less fruity and bitter, as well.

The quantities depend how red and vibrant you want your mead; also, how much you like the taste of hibiscus, because it tastes like a citrus and cherry blend. The noble hops you employ should balance accordingly. That 1-4 ratio is a good starting point.

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Austerity! (Book Review)

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Austerity! cover

One of my Christmas presents this year was Austerity! by Ronald Pattinson. If you’ve never heard of Ron you might want to go check his blog out at Shut Up About Barklay Perkins and watch the BeerSmith podcast #176 where Ron is interviewed about this book. And what’s the book about? Well, British beer. That is… British beer from 1945-1965 in the post-War period of Austerity. He’s an interesting beer history nerd with a lot of tabular information packed through the first half that lets you get your head around what beers they were actually making in that time period.

And I don’t mean in a general sense. Ron is a man of specifics (where he can inform) and educated information (where there are gaps in the record). Which is about the best we’re going to get on the subject if you’re looking to make these old recipes. People exactly like me who have a thing for history and making booze are the perfect market for his books.

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My Biggest Beer Brewing Lessons from 2018

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

For about a decade I’ve been brewing various concoctions from mead to cider and fruit wine (and, yes, beer extract and wort kits). About a year ago, I received a grain mill for Christmas from my generous and loving partner and I almost immediately bought a BIAB (Brew in a Bag) set up for my move into all grain brewing. This year I have learned that making consistently good beer has it’s challenges.

Some 2018 Beer Lessons Worth Heeding

Beyond the rudimentary truth of obsessive cleaning and sanitisation of all brewing equipment the biggest tip I’d give anybody starting out is to ramp up the temperature of the brewing beer right at the end of secondary fermentation. Just when that airlock appears to be slowing right down to nothing. Why? Well, the yeast is struggling. Simple. It’s been making some heat of it’s own during fermentation and as it gets sleepier it therefore gets a little colder. And you need it not to go to sleep before it finishes the job of cleaning up all the bad stuff.

To that end, I have an electric blanket that helps just ramp the beer up a little right at the end. Makes a lot of difference to the final product. If you’ve got money for temperature control I’d highly recommend going down that road.

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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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