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Archive for the 'booze' Category

One More Brew in a Bag Before Christmas

Friday, December 7th, 2018

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.

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The First Year of Brewing All Grain Beer

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

There are hobbies and then there are hobbies that get your drunk, I guess. I’m a big fan of making slow booze. It creates a different relationship and experience around alcohol in the same way baking a cake is way different than buying something from a bakery. Just be cautious… booze is highly caloric and I hear a little whisper that it might just be a little bad for you.

My hobby of making fermented beverages went a step further this year with (a) the gift of a grain mill last Christmas, and (b) the almost immediate purchase in late January of a 95 litre brew kettle and the other items I needed to produce all grain beer in our back yard. Since then I’ve made ten batches of various beers of varying sizes using a technique called Brew in a Bag.

Brew in a Bag is a method of all grain brewing that only requires a brew kettle and a fine mesh bag pegged inside the pot for mashing in the grain. Mashing in is just a fancy word for throwing your grain into a specific temperature water where you use a paddle to moosh it all into a porridge. It gets left an hour and voila… remove the bag & the sugar you need to make beer remains in the kettle. You have unboiled wort.

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Making All Grain Beer with BIAB (Brew in a Bag)

Monday, June 4th, 2018

BIAB (Brew in a Bag) is a relatively cheap entry point for making beer from the rudimentary elements of grain, hops and yeast. Why do that? I can see a lot of people look at the home brewers out there like we’re all crazy – a whole day making booze? No way!

Why do BIAB Brewing?

Well, imagine the difference in taste and quality between a cake you make from a packet (or buy in the supermarket) and a cake you make from carefully sourced fresh quality ingredients at home in an oven where you control the variables of cooking. That’s a large part of the answer right there. Quality.

Another part of the answer is cost. No, it’s not ever going to be cheap to make all grain beer because equipment costs serious money. But BIAB is a way of doing all the things relatively cheaply in one pot. So it’s really not that expensive. Once the equipment arrives it’s going to cost you a few bucks a 700ml bottle. That’s not bad.

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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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