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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.

Wednesday - Pub Strolling Day

Met Pete at the Commercial Rooms after my usual visit to the pie staff and via the number 42 bus. Started the day with a pint of Ale For Real Heroes 4.4% A donation of 50p per pint goes to the Help For Heroes charity so a very worthy pint. I felt quite good drinking it. A rather pleasant beer but with little head, no lacing and a little watery for my taste. However, I would have had another if we had stayed. Instead with walked for what seemed like a very long time to the Hare On The Hill situated in Kingsdown. We nearly overlooked this pub as the two other pubs we intended to visit were closed. Anyway we had a pint of Studland Bay Wreck 4.5% from a real micro brewery Isle of Purbeck Brewery. It a red beer with a light head and is malty and hoppy with spicy overtones which gives a full bodied feel in the mouth. Pete and I were the only customers in the pub which detracted from its appeal a little. However, I suspect that it will be more populated in the summer months and we will have another visit then. On then back towards the Centre to the Colston Arms and a pint of Brains Bread Of Heaven 4%. Another red beer with good lacing but no head to speak of. A nice fruity finish after a malty and hoppy taste. After this we decided to go next door and visit the Scotchman And His Pack. Not a bad pub but my senses were overwhelmed with a very strong smell of disinfectant on entering. The only real ale on offer here was Butcombe 4%. Not a bad pint. The highlight was a good chat with the landlord. We discussed the ups and downs of running a pub and how to deal with rowdy or otherwise annoying customers. This was bit really a rant. More like a gentle discussion. Then it was time for home and rigors of the number 42 bus which delivered me close to my home.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Monday - Brew Day

Started the brew as usual with 10 litres of warm water at 40C into which I dissolved 3000 grams of light dried malt extract. This was placed into the boiler and topped up with a further 8 litres of water. Into this I placed 240 grams of crystal malt. This was brought to the boil and 33 grams of Challenger hops added. This mixture was boiled for a further 80 minutes when I added 3 grams of Irish Moss. A further boil of ten minutes and the boiler was switched off and allowed to cool. After 90 minutes I added 4 litres of bottled water to the fermentation vessel. The wort from the boiler was then ran off into this water. The FV was then topped up to about 22 litres with bottled water and the rehydrated yeast pitched. After a good stir the top was secured and the FV placed into my temperature controlled cupboard and left.

This morning the brew was bubbling away nicely. I can definitely say that the goblins have been banished, at least for this brew. Although the original gravity of 1.036 was below the expected 1.043. However, I think that I have figured it all out. There is not enough wort getting into the FV from the boiler and then I am added to much water. I shall rectify this situation next Monday. I will make the same brew but be more careful with the wort and the added water.

Tomorrow is pub strolling day with Pete. I am looking forward to this very much.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Thursday - Curry Night With The Old Gits

Had a good turnout for the curry night at The Staple Hill Oak. Jim, Pete, John, and another John, Michelle, Geoff, Alannis, Duncan and Mary. As usual the night was started off with a pint of beer. In this case a pint of Viscount 4.7% from the Cottage Brewing Company. An amber bitter with nice lacing and a good hoppy taste. One pint down and time to order the nosh for the evening. I had a Chilli Con Carne. I am still not keen on Wetherspoons curry's. However, the chilli was quite good for the price and it was helped down with a pint of Sea of Tranquility 4.2%. A blond beer with good lacing. A light refreshing pint with citrus flavours and a malty aftertaste. The rants were coming thick and fast at this point. John was in particular good form. However, Jim pointed out that John was peeking to early and should save himself for the Sunday outing. A further pint of Great Western Brewery Classic Gold 4.6%. As it names suggest a golden beer with a good head and a hint of flowers. A good refreshing beer. At this point we had tried most of the real ales on offer and started again with the Viscount. A very pleasant evening with lots of bullocks talked and a few good rants. The Old Gits were in good form. Michelle handed out a few jars of pickled eggs to some of the Old Gits to cries of good one and I shall enjoy them.

Monday is brew day. I will not say which beer I am attempting to clone as this will be one of the beers on offer for the 2nd Annual Orchard Beer festival. Attendees will be asked to 'Name That Beer' on the day. More about that later in the year.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wednesday - Pub Strolling Day

Caught my usual bus and made my way to the St Nicholas Farmers Market. I tracked down the pieman, I am sure that his name must be Simon! Bought my usual PM pie and entered the Commercial Rooms. Here I got served straight away, thank goodness for small mercies. Started the pub stroll with a pint of Maid Marion 4.5% from Springhead Brewery. A blonde type beer with nice citrus overtones. Slightly sweet to start but a nice bitter finish. Very light in the mouth. Hardly any head and just a little lacing. A very nice start to the afternoon. We then made our way through the market to The Old Fish Market a Fullers pub for a pint of Front Row 3.7%. A brown bitter with a small head and good lacing in the glass. Sweet to start but a nice bitter follow through. As with nearly all of Fullers bitters there is always that faintly but nice taste of London Pride. The Fish Market is a very nice pub where the food looked very good and the beer even better. A definate candidate for a return visit. It was then on down across the river and into the V Shed a Weatherspoons No 1 Lloyds pub. The surroundings are pleasant but not really my cup of tea. For a Weatherspoons there is very little choice of beer. Just Ruddles, Abbot and Butcombe Gold. Of course there was a huge selection of lagers, ciders, and bottled beers. Shame really. However, we had a pint of Butcombe Gold 4.4%. A rather surprisingly good tasting beer. So we decided to stay. Pete treated us to a bowl of chips very tasty and then we had a final pint of Butcombe. Slightly sweet but with a lingering bitterness. We also sorted our Lybia, Gaddaffi, NATO, the USA and a host of other problems that seem to be plaguing the world at the present time. I still believe that the Bristish Government could do far worse that emply Pete and I as advisors on the world political and military scene. We wouldn't charge much as long as the contract stated that beer, of our choice, would be supplied whilst we were deliberating and formulating our advice. Anyway, the day came to an end so I caught my usual bus home, the number 42. Which by a quirk of fate did not change into a number 43. So I had the minimum distance to walk to my home and a plate of liver and onions with a selection of veg. Yummy!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Thursday - Curry Night

Along with Michelle, Tina, Alannis, Geoff, Pete and Jim we descended on the Staple Hill Oak for the traditional Thursday night curry. I started off with a Three Castles Heritage 4.2%. An amber ale with a thin head and likewise the lacing. But tasty. After ordering and devouring a bowl of Thai Noodles with chicken breast I tried a pint of Celt Golden 4.2%. Another amber beer with a medium head and good lacing. Tasty and enjoyable. Next to grace our palates was a pint of Tunnel Vision 4.2% from the Box Steam Brewery. A beer with a thin head, good lacing and a slight bitter taste. Yummy. It was noted, among the Old Gits, that no one had had a good rant. This started Michelle off with a belting rant about rude bus drivers. Several tales were related concerning the nationality, rudeness and general ignorance of some of Bristol's bus drivers. This led to a few other rants and the evening ended on a high note. Home and to bed with a silly grin on my face and a head full of pleasant memories.

Friday evening will see us at the Jade Palace to help Old Git Duncan celebrate his 53rd birthday. 

It seems that there may be gathering of the Old Gits at the Love Food Spring Festival. I am looking forward to this as there are a few good pubs around that area.

Wednesday - A Fun Day With Pete

I made my way down to the Farmers Market. Simon the Pie Man was there with his pies. I bought two. One for Thursday's lunch and one for the freezer. On then to the Commercial Rooms and a pint of Rhymey Export 5%.  A dark brown bitter with an initially sweet and malty taste with a strong hoppy and bitter aftertaste. It was a bit gassy in the mouth but a pleasant and refreshing beer. We decided over our pint to visit the Portwall Tavern which has been refurbished since this photo. We ordered a Potholer 4.3% from Cheddar Ales. However, this was served cloudy and bitty obviously from the bottom of the barrel. We swapped this for Bellringer 4.2%. However, this also was slightly cloudy but tasted OK. Pete and I liked the Portwall Tavern and will return in the future but if the beer is still served in the same condition the Portwall will be struck off our list. After a slight disappointment with the beer we struck out for one of our favourite pubs. The Severn Stars. They always have a good selection of real ales. We started with a Wychert 3.9%. A amber beer with a med head and good lacing. I enjoyed that one. Next we tried a pint of Mad March Hare 4.6%. This is a very hoppy beer with a medium head and medium lacing. Enjoyable to say the least. We didn't have too many rants and all of those were very mild affairs and not worth reporting. So it was homeward bound. I caught a number 42 bus which somewhere along the line managed to turn itself into the number 43. This meant that I had to walk from Kingswood. Not too bad but annoying nonetheless.

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