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Archive for the 'booze' Category

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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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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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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