Thursday, 25 August 2011

Brewday - Green Bullet Gold 25/08/11

Thursday wasn't quite the pleasurable brewday I had in mind.

The brew went well, it's just that the more enjoyable vision in my head was one of sunshine, peace and quiet from the usual day-to-day, a good deal of drinking and some top music.

What I'd forgotten, was that it was school holidays.

This meant the whole bloody troop were at home. Screaming youngsters, moody teenagers and a tetchy wife. All doing my head in, in some fashion or another, when all I wanted was to have the day to myself.

Anyhow beer was made.

Mashed in at 67C;

Steamy sparge;

Golden wort into the copper;

Chilling and into fermenter #1

Two 5 Gallon fermenters in the fermenting fridge @ 20C

Golden wort, OG 1038

I'm planning to brew again in a couple of weeks. Something a bit stronger and darker. And I'll make sure the house is empty.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Impending Brewday

Right. It’s about time I bloody brewed something.

Pressure of work leading up to the family holiday, then dealing with all the crap when I got back, has meant I’ve not had time to scratch my backside, let alone think about getting a brew on.

But I finally can pause to draw breath next week, so I’ve pencilled in a brewday for Thursday.

I can’t disclose the recipe for this one as it’s based on a commercial beer brewed by a friend of mine. All I can say is that it’s a golden ale, using Green Bullet hops and is marketed as a ‘perfect thirst quencher’.

Let’s just hope there’s some summer left in which to enjoy it. To put our summer in perspective to any American readers, it’s currently 52F as I write. And it’s raining. 

I’m currently out of pale malt, so I’ll be off to ThreeCastles Brewery next week to pick up a sack. Can’t wait to get the brewing boots back on...

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Hop Crisis

Having been on holiday, I thought it prudent to nip down the allotment to see how things were doing upon my return. Good job I did as one of my hop frames had partially collapsed. Apologies for the quality of the shots, but I only had my phone with me.

Before I left the plants were beginning to climb nicely over the frame...

But then, half the bamboo supports this side gave way...

I've managed to bodge it together for now, but there'll have to be some serious improvements for next year. The second frame was unaffected as I had to move the hop plants for that structure and they didn't take off as well as those that were already in position.

The good news is that the harvest looks promising.

Friday, 12 August 2011

National Homebrew Competition

Having brewed full-mash beers for nearly four years, I thought I might have a crack at the National Homebrew Competition.

I don't expect to win, but I'd be interested to get some valuable feedback on my beers, especially now that I've got familiar with my new gear. And fortunately for me, it's taking place in Bristol.  Just 50 mins from me in the car.

I've decided to enter three beers;

1. Old Ale - this was actually my attempt at a barley wine, but it came in at the lower end of the BW scale with an OG of 1.080. As a result, it might do better in the old ale section, so that's where I've entered it.

2. Pale Ale - This was a brew I put together with various hops, including Citra. I blogged about it here - the bottles I'm taking are from the second batch I brewed.

3. Best Bitter - I would have preferred this to have gone in the 'Ordinary Bitter' category because it's not overly hoppy or malty, just a straightforward, easy-drinking beer.

Trouble is, you have to adhere to style guidelines in the competition and with an OG of 1.045, it doesn't fit - it will have to go in the special/best/premium bitter category. It's bound to get overpowered by more sexy, hop bombs, but hey, I think it's a good beer and I'd be interested to see how it scores.

I've never entered a competition before, so I'm not sure what to expect but I'll post about how I get on next month. It's on September 3rd.