Saturday, 27 July 2013

Homegrown Hops

The anticipation has started.

My hops have reached the end of the frame and there's the tiniest hint of flowers starting to form. It seems an age since the plants started to poke their way through the earth earlier this year, but now there's just a month or so to go.

These are my 'Bramling Cross'. The second hop frame is currently empty as I dug out the 'Target' and wanted to ensure there was no growth, before I plant up a replacement next year.

The Bramling Cross don't look quite as good as last season, in terms of appearance - the plants don't look quite so lush and vigorous, but that may have something to do with the incredibly dry weather we've endured of late. 30deg may not be much compared to other parts of the world, but for the UK it's damned hot.

It will take a while for the cones to form properly, but with the harvest due in late August / early Sepetember, the waiting is almost over.

Bring it on...

Monday, 15 July 2013

East India Porter

There are a few things to get out of the way before I'm brewing next. Like a shedload of work, a quick vacation with the wife and kids, plus the Great British Beer Festival. But, I already know what I'm brewing as soon as the opportunity arises. An East India Porter.

Inspired by The Perfect Pint I'm going to have a crack at Will's recipe which was based on the Porter that Barclay Perkins produced for the Indian market. The original details can be found on Ron's blog and, I must admit, before reading this I didn't know that we exported as much, if not more, Porter to India than we did Pale Ale.

For someone whose preference is usually for a beer that's light and hoppy, the requirement of 19% Brown Malt is a wee bit scary.

The recipe, adjusted for my kit will be;

East India Porter 1859
Robust Porter

Type: All Grain Date: TBA
Batch Size (fermenter): 50.00 l Brewer: Mark
Boil Size: 61.39 l Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 75 min Equipment: Elite Brewery
End of Boil Volume 55.12 l Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 50.00 l Est Mash Efficiency 77.4 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10500.00 g Mild Malt (7.9 EBC) Grain 1 71.7 %
2800.00 g Brown Malt (150.0 EBC) Grain 2 19.1 %
750.00 g Amber (Crisp) (54.2 EBC) Grain 3 5.1 %
600.00 g Black (Crisp) (1339.6 EBC) Grain 4 4.1 %
230.00 g Goldings, East Kent [5.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 57.6 IBUs
115.00 g Goldings, East Kent [5.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6 17.4 IBUs
40.00 g Goldings, East Kent [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 5.0 IBUs
3.13 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 8 -
Yeast - TBA Yeast 9 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.064 SG Measured Original Gravity:
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.2 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 80.0 IBUs
Est Color: 72.8 EBC

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Yankee Doodle

What a week for our friends in the States.

I believe that Monday was the first time since Prohibition that all states in America can legally homebrew. And Independence Day follows on Thursday.

A day later, I shall be heading to London in pursuit of American craft beer.

The event: American Beer Festival 2013 - "The Big Weekend for Small Beer"
The beers: Beer List

If there's anything on the beer list that American readers feels shouldn't be missed, please comment before Friday.