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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Monday - Brew day

To be able to cope with the thirst of the Old Gits, when the 2nd orchard Road Beer festival is held, I have had to ramp up beer production. I am making clones of well loved commercial beers that are available today or have been available in the past. However, I am not going to publish their names. That will be something for the festival.

I dissolved 3250 grams of dried malt extract in 10 litres of water at 40C then topped up with a further 10 litres of water. When this mixture started to boil I added 51 grams of challenger hops. After a further 80 minutes of boil I added 17 grams of styrian golding hops and 3 grams of Irish moss. The wort was then allowed to continue boiling for a further 10 minutes. The boiler was then turned and the wort allowed to cool for 30 minutes when a further 10 grams of styrian hops was added. After a further hour the wort was run off into a sterilised fermentation vessel which contained 4 litres of fridge cold bottled water. The wort was then topped up to 20 litres of cold water and the gravity checked. This turned out to be a little higher than desired so I added a further 1 litre of water. This then gave an Original Gravity of about 1.046 and all was well with the world. The yeast was then pitched. This latest brew was mostly free from the influence of goblins. A check this morning revealed that the brew was bubbling away quite vigorously. So I declare another successful brew is on the way.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Thursday - Curry Night

The Old Gits returned to the Staple Hill Oak after an absence of one week to partake in the weekly curry night. Started the evening with a Cocky Blonde 4%. As the name implied the beer was blonde to golden. Slightly sweet with a fruit overtone but full bodied. As is our custom we then ordered our curries. I had the chilli con carne due to the fact that I have gone off Wetherspoons currys. The meal was reasonable especially as it was washed down with a pint of Prairie Gold 5%. Another pleasant golden beer with a slight citrus finish. Of course we were now beginning to put the world to rights and begin our weekly rants. Amidst all this we had another pint of Cocky Blonde. I must admit I quite like a cocky blonde now and then. It was then onto a Fox's Nob 5%. A strong bitter with a mid brown colour. I liked this one. The next on the list was Bloomin Smoky 5%. This is a dark wheat beer. Now I usually like wheat beer but this one was to me undrinkable. There was nothing wrong with it except my own personal taste but I couldn't drink it. A sad thing to admit but perhaps my tasting buds are changing with the onset of old age.

Due to other commitments I will not be publishing a blog next Wednesday or Thursday. However, Monday will be another brew day. I am ramping up for the 2nd Orchard Road Beer Festival to be held sometime in June, July, August or September.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wednesday - Pub Strolling Day

Caught the usual number 42 bus to the Centre and from thence to the Berkeley to meet Pete and joy of joys the Wetherspoons Real Ale Festival was on. £1.95 per pint and a chance to taste some beer that would not normally come my way. Zeunerts Ale 4.5%. I can't remember if I have ever tried Swedish beer before. However, I was pleasantly surprised. A very nice pint that I could have carried on drinking. However, we put on our walking shoes and legged it for our next venue The Hope and Anchor. One of my favourite pubs. We both had a pint of Cheddar Ales Potholer 4.3%. Another one of my favourite beers. Putting half the world to rights we moved on in search of another pub and another decent pint. However, the Fleur de Leys appeared to be closed. Whether just for the the lunch hour or permanently I couldn't make out. A little disappointed we made our way to the Three Tuns an Arbor Ales Pub. We had a couple of pints of Single Hop - Tettnang 4.0%. A light gold bitter. Extremely tasty and moorish. Which we did. Had some more that is. However, as is the way of the world time was not on our side. Sadly we made our way back to the Centre to catch our respective buses. I managed to get on a number 42 that left just as soon as I sat down. So it was home to a nice bowl of home made lamb stew. A nice pleasant way to end a nice pleasant day. 

The 2011 Bitton Beer Festival is being held on the 3 & 4 July. More about that as the great day approaches

Monday, 28 March 2011

Monday - Brew Day

Made another brew today. The usual routine was followed. 3000 grams of Dried Malt Extract dissolved in 10 litres of water at 40C and put in the boiler. Topped up with another 8 litres of  water and 220 grams of crystal malt added to the mix. When this mix came started to the boil I added 42 grams of Whitbread Golding Hops. After 45 minutes I added 150 grams of caster sugar and after 80 minutes I added 14 grams of fuggle hops and 3 grams of Irish moss. This was allowed to boil for a further 10 minutes and then the boiler was switched off. The wort was then left for 90 minutes to cool and settle. At this stage I realised that a goblin had got through my defences and made me forget to refit the hop strainer. To overcome this I got two stainless steel sieves (the kind you would find in almost any kitchen). I placed each sieve into a muslin bag and ran the wort off through this.  To a sterilised fermentation vessel I added 4 litres of fridge cold bottled mineral water and ran the wort off into this. The sieves in their muslin bags seemed to to the trick very well and I may well adopt this method for future brews. I topped the fermentation vessel up to a total volume of 20 litres and pitched the yeast and placed in the fermentation cupboard. I will check later tonight to ensure that the brew is fermenting as planned.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Wednesday - Pub Strolling Day

After travelling to St Nichols farmers market and picking up my pie I travelled even further and met Pete at the Jersey Lily in Clifton. Pete was already present and correct so I ordered a pint of London's Pride. Unfortunately this pint was off so I settled for a Bombardier 4.3%. Although this tasted alright I noticed that there were 'bits' on the bottom of the glass but a nice beer nonetheless. On then to find another pub. We couldn't remember where the pub we wanted to visit was exactly but we bumped into the Coach and Horses. After finding another pub The Red Lion which looked promising but was in fact closed. It may well be worth a visit the summer. The beer was better presented here but only a small selection. We both had a pint of Doombar 4%. I couldn't taste any difference in the beer as I had half expected since the brewery was taken over. On then and down the road to the Penny Farthing. This is a Wadworths pub and we started with the St George 4.5%. A nice pleasant ale with hints of fruits and a tangy aftertaste. The Budget was on the TV. There was no sound but the headlines were constantly being scrolled under the picture. This being budget day Pete and I had a few good rants. Mainly about the Treasury were paying for the military action in Lybia. Excuse my ignorance but doesn't the Treasury pay for everything the Government decides to do. Anyway the rants were good and honest. We finished with a pint of Horizon 4%. This beer has a good head and is a nice light gold in colour. Just the job for the hottest day of the year, so far

Beryl has invited all the Old Gits to celebratory curry tonight. Good old Beryl, she is *!"£$%^&*  Old.

There will probably be a brew day next Monday 28 March 11.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Monday - Brew Day

I wasn't very satisfied with my efforts last Monday so I thought I would try the same brew again with some slight modifications. I dissolved 3000 grams of dried malt extract in 10 litres of water at 40C and placed in the boiler. To this I added a further 8 litres of water and 240 grams of crystal malt and 22 grams of chocolate malt. I brought this to the boil and added 33 grams of Challenger hops. A further 80 minutes of boiling and I added 3 grams of Irish moss and allowed to boil for a further 10 minutes. I left the wort in the boiler to cool down for 90 minutes. Then I ran the wort off into a fermenting vessel containing 4 litres of cold bottled water. I then topped up to 20 litres (I usually top up to about 24-25 litres) and pitched the yeast. After about 4 hours the brew was bubbling away very nicely in my fermenting cupboard. No goblins were to be seen so I pronounce another successful brew. Next brew day will probably be Monday 28 March 11.

Out with Pete tomorrow.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Thursday Night and a Curry

Joined a good crowd of the Old Gits at the Staple Hill Oak for the traditional curry. Started off with a pint of Funnel Blower 4.5%. A dark almost black beer. It had a slightly aniseed taste and a stoutish feel in the mouth. A pleasant enough ale but I would only drink one per session. After ordering a Thai Noodle with Chicken Breast I had a pint of Butcombe 4%. Somehow it did not taste as good as the Butcombe I consumed in the Scotchman And His Pack. This could have been due to the previous pint of Funnel Blower. A good discussion followed on the poor Japanese situation. Quickly followed by a three way discussion on the experiments carried out by.... (missed the name) into the early attempts to create nuclear fission. I don't know if the link has any bearing on the discussions but if you are interested just hunt around on the internet for a while. I am sure that you will stumble find what some of the Old Gits were on about. However, I made up for a lack of understanding by having a pint of Western Glory 4.7%. I couldn't find this beer on the Cottage Brewing website. However, I enjoyed it. Quite a bit lighter than Funnel Blower but still a darkish brown.

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