Showing posts with label ron pattinson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ron pattinson. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What is IPA?

When I managed to screw up my first attempt at the International Homebrew Project Burton Ale I was loathe to ditch all that wort and start fresh, so I chucked in a packet of Munton's yeast and decided to see what came out.

The other day I got round to bottling both that and the batch which hit the nail squarely on the head. I say the first batch was messed up, but in reality it just had less fermentable sugar from the mash than I wanted. In reality I had a 4.5% abv pale ale with an estimated IBU rating well north of 100. When I tasted the sample I took for a gravity reading I was actually quite surprised that my tongue didn't disintegrate, it was quite nice - and I say that as an avowed advocate of balance in my beer. This got me thinking, a dangerous pastime to be sure, and so I calculated that I had the equivalent of about 2.25 lbs of hops per barrel in my beer and whisked a quick email away to Ron to see if there was any precedent in history for a relatively low gravity, super hopped up beer. I am sure you have guessed already, there is.

India Pale Ale, that darling of the modern brewing industry and victim of an almost Protestantesque ignorance of a large chunk of its own history (for those not sure what I mean, for many Protestant denominations, Church History skips from about 313 AD to the late 16th Century without covering 1300 years of doctrinal development and ecclesiastical wranglings). For many in the beer world IPA was invented in the 18th century by George Hodgson to survive the long trip India, it then disappeared entirely until the nascent American brewing scene revived it and claimed it as its own. Shame the whole premise is utter bollocks, but why let facts get in the way of a good story?

One thing that gets lost in the miasma of misinformation and mythology is that IPA lingered in British brewing for a very long time before becoming the hop bomb it is today. At the turn of the 20th Century, British brewers were still making beers that they called IPA. Indeed, Whitbread brewed, in 1902, an IPA with an Original Gravity of 'just' 1.050, an ABV of 4.9%, and 2.65 pounds of hops per barrel. I am fairly sure that if a modern brewery made such a beer, it would be lauded as 'innovative' and 'ground breaking' or some such silly nonsense.

The truth of the matter is that beer styles evolve, as we saw with the development of Burton Ale, and that a modern beer like Green King IPA is no more or less of a 'traditional' IPA than Worthington White Shield or Starr Hill's Northern Lights, they are all expressions of the same tradition, just from different parts of the timeline.

Kind of makes you wonder what's the point of style guidelines and websites that advocate the rating of beer?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Original Pilsner?

You all know the story, legendary brewer tinkers with the ingredients and methodology to create a new, paler beer which takes off and is soon being imitated by brewers throughout the land, and eventually overseas as well. However, I am not talking here about Josef Groll and the creation of what would become known as Pilsner Urquell. Rather, I am talking about Samuel Allsopp and Burton Ale.

As I mentioned in Monday's post, and again thanks to Martyn Cornell for this information, Burton Ale was once a nut brown, super strong ale which was shipped to the Baltic region and Russian Empire. This trade formed the basis of business for brewers such as Allsopp and Bass until 1822 when Tsar Alexander I's government instituted tariffs on the importation of beer into the Empire which made the trade too expensive to be profitable for the brewers of Burton. Left with large amounts of sweet strong brown ale on their hands, men like Allsopp needed to find new markets for their wares. In a scenario strangely similar to what would happen in Plzeň exactly 20 years later, in October 1822 Samuel Allsopp produced a new version of Burton Ale, which was less sweet and with a more pronounced hop bitterness than it's predecessor. According to a recipe from the middle of the 19th Century, Burton Ale had also become a pale beer, made with 100% pale malt and hopped only slightly less than the IPA that Allsopp would send to India in 1823.

By the time Burton Ale was being described as one of the four major types of beer being sold in Britain, it had become a 'style', for want of a better word, that had transcended its parochial origins to be imitated by many. In the ancient county of Middlesex, Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner were producing a pale Burton style Ale from at least 1845 and would have a beer bearing the name , whether pale or dark, until 1969. In Scotland, the Edinburgh brewery William Younger's introduced a range of numbered ales, which bear a marked resemblance to Burton Ales, in the 1850s and according to Ron Pattinson, what became known as is Burton Ale by another name (which makes you wonder where this bullshit about Scottish beer 'traditionally' not being heavily hopped came from?). Even in the US, brewers such as Amsdell's and Ballantine were making their own versions of Burton Ale. By the time I was born though, in the mid 1970s, Burton Ale, in any form, was pretty much gone, a victim of mankind's slavish attachment to fashion, and perhaps the inexorable march of pale lager inspired by the work of Josef Groll?

I guess it is only natural to find parallels between the development of various types of beer, the interesting thing is to see how they ride out the peregrinations of fashion. Clearly Burton Ale didn't have the staying power of Pilsner, and who is to say whether or not modern IPA will still be here in 20 years time? History is so much more interesting than hagiography and myth, especially when it comes to beer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Other Burton Beer

Despite the fact that the making of beer has been part of the human experience for at least 6000 years, indeed one of the marks of being civilised in the Epic of Gilgamesh was to be a beer drinker (though I am sure ancient Sumerian 'beer' was a very different beast from the modern stuff), there are places which are renowned for their beer throughout the world, for various reasons. Whether it is Plzeň for its pale lager, which spawned endless imitations, Dublin and the stout porter that would define not just a beer style but an entire country in the minds of many, or Munich for its dunkels, there are some cities where beer is the very stuff of life.

One such city is Burton upon Trent in the English Midlands, an area rich in the history of the Industrial Revolution. At one point the city was home to more than a dozen breweries including such world famous names as Bass, Allsopp and Ind Coope. To put that into context, Burton is about the same size as Charlottesville and in the city proper there are currently 2 breweries. When people think about the Burton brewing industry they think of a style of beer which has come to embody in many way the modern brewing industry, India Pale Ale. However, when in 1948 The Brewer's Art listed the four main types of beer being brewed in Britain they were 'pale ale, mild ale, stout and Burton'.

Burton Ale is one of those beer styles which is almost extinct, I say almost because it would seem from my reading (mostly Martyn Cornell's 'Amber, Gold and Black', various of Martyn's blog posts and magazine articles, and naturally Ron Pattinson's blog) that the style lives on in the Winter Warmer genre of strong English ales. In common with many beers, Burton Ale evolved. Over the years it went from being a super strong nut brown ale shipped to the Baltic region to the Victorian era beer made to a recipe of pure pale malt and Kentish hops to create a beer which was about 6% abv and slightly less hopped than the IPAs being sent from Burton to India. Seemingly, and again most of this information is from Martyn, as the Victorian age gave way to the 20th Century Burton Ale became darker again and then in the decades immediately after the Second World War, the style practically died as the public turned away from dark, sweet beers in favour of pale, bitter ones.


According to Martyn's book though, there are still some beers out there which meet the description of a Burton Ale, whether the paler 19th century version or the darker 20th. Fuller's 1845 is apparently based on a Burton style recipe from the Griffin Brewery, Timothy Taylor Ram Tam is an example of a lower strength dark Burton, and is, according to Martyn, a 'classic of the Burton Ale type'.

Of those three, I have only had the pleasure of the Fullers 1845, and a mighty great pleasure it is, but I have it in mind to try creating some clone recipesof the various stages in the development of Burton Ale for my homebrewing this year. Brewing old beers is one of my favourite types of history (and history is probably one of my favourite things in general), the type you can drink.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Beer Historian Appreciation Day


I have always been a fan of history. At school I left my Geography teacher perplexed as to why I chose to take History O Grade (the then Scottish equivalent of O Levels) rather than his subject, especially as my test scores were higher in Geography. Simply put, History was, and is, more interesting to me. My tastes in historical interest are fairly catholic as well, whether it be the Russian Revolution, Scotland's role in the expansion of the British Empire or the development of Anglo-Saxon society, I will read pretty much anything about history.

I believe that without a knowledge and understanding of history it is more difficult to understand our world today, and that is just as true with beer as it would be with any other sphere of human endeavour. Few beer styles have so clear a defined origin story as Pilsner, for example, and so an interest in the history of beer continually takes you back through the eras to see what the monikers attached to beer have meant at any one point in time. So being interested in the history of beer becomes an etymological exercise.

Take for example Mild. I love modern milds, usually around 3.5% abv, dark, quaffable, rich and complex, they are in my as ever unhumble opinion a dream of a session beer whilst being a bitch to brew really well. Take a step back to the Victorian era and the ceramic pot of mild that you ordered is pale, as strong as a modern barleywine, has as many IBUs as an imperial IPA and because it came out of the William Youngers brewery a few weeks ago and is yet to age, it is Mild.


As you sit, magically transported back to your modern day drinking hole, you wonder what happened in the beer world that in about 150 years the 120/- Strong Scottish Mild with an abv well north of 9% and IBUs that put Pliny the Elder almost to shame, should become the equivalent of the little black dress? The answer really is simple, history happened, World Wars and the subsequent forcing down of gravities, the pressure to make a product in a world of rationing and want for basic ingredients.

Given that beer history is important, in my opinion, it is no surprise then that I think the work undertaken by beer historians such as Martyn Cornell and Ron Pattinson is more than just a fascinating read, it is a vital contribution to our understanding and appreciation of beer and the people that shape it, and how their own sitz im leben shapes the things they do. Hence I am officially calling today, the Fuggled Beer Historian Appreciation Day - thanks Ron, Martyn and any one working to bring a knowledge of the history of beer to the people, it is much appreciated.

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Local - Guest Blog

Earlier this year I had the inestimable pleasure of brewing a beer with the guys at Devils Backbone and beer historian Ron Pattinson, of Shut About Barclay Perkins fame. Well Ron has stepped in the guest blogger shoes to tell us about his local pubs....


My local. What could be easier than shooting the breeze about the place you usually drink? Well, for me it's a bit tricky. First of all I have to decide what is my local.

Strictly speaking, it's either the Playground Pub or Gent aan de Schinkel.

I would tell you the real name of the first one. If I could remember it. Physically, it's the closest pub to my flat. And, as the nickname might well give away, It's a place I used to frequent with the kids. Dump them in the playground and then dump myself at the bar. Only it never quite worked out as simply as that. But when does anything go the way it should? (And for that matter, when will I stop asking questions?) Kids, eh. Always wanting attention the little attention vampires. That and unhealthy food.

The pub was a good way to get acquainted with some of the other people in our neighbourhood. As it turned, mostly ones with kids themselves. I wasn't the only one with the idea about dumping the babes and boozing myself into oblivion. Must be something about children that prompts that.

I don't go there any more. On principle. Despite the law, they allow smoking. Yes, just what I need. Bugger my lungs even more.

I have a strange relationship with Gent aan de Schinkel. I won't go into that now. Let's just say that it also has something to do with my kids. On the face of it, it's an obvious candidate for my local. Just around the corner and a sort of half beer café. It used to be a full one, but they've pared back the range somewhat over the years. Still, La Chouffe and Filliers 8 (a rather delicious jenever) is usually enough to satisfy me. All sounds pretty good so far, doesn't it? Now here are the not-so-good points.


They major on food. I rarely to never eat out in Amsterdam. No point. There's a kitchen and a cook back home. Seems like a huge waste of money. Being crowded out of a pub by diners isn't my idea of fun (I won't tell you what is, it's just too sad). Especially (here's the second not-so-good point) when they are a bunch of yuppies. I prefer a more genuine drinking atmosphere myself. Preferably without any music, TVs, slot machines or yuppies. Miserable old git, that's me.

The pub I most regularly go in Amsterdam in Wildeman. Not exactly local, at near dead on three miles away, as the crow flies. Not being a crow, it's just as well the number 2 tram takes me virtually door to door. Usually on Saturday afternoon.

Night time boozing. It's a young man's (or woman's) game. My powers of recovery are too feeble for it to be an option most nights. And, given the state I'm in when I leave a pub, it's best if there's still daylight. Gives me a sporting chance of getting home uninjured. It's hard enough getting up in the morning when I've gone to bed sober. I'm not taking any chances. That's why 2 o' clock in the afternoon is my designated Wildeman time.

I'm not the only one with a routine. The bloke with a beard who reads the paper. He's always there, too. Reading the paper. As well as me and Mike, Guy Thornton often turns up. Very reassuring. Usually we occupy enough seats to keep out the young. The bastards. With their designer clothes, radiant skin and irritating electronic devices. Ticky, ticky, tick. You can't get away from people fiddling with some gadget or other nowadays.

When I contemplating writing this piece I realised there was another pub that had a claim to be my local. What is a local? It's a home from home. Somewhere you feel comfortable and safe. Where there are people you know. Where you can walk in at any time of the day and someone will say "Hello Ron" (it's probably a different name your case, but you get the idea). Where there's always someone to chat with. A place where the normal rules of physics don't apply. It doesn't matter how long since your last visit, you pick up straight away where you left off, even if it's been a year.


Going by those criteria, I realise there was an odd candidate for my local: the Gunmakers in London. The preceding paragraph, that was all about the Gunmakers. I feel bizarrely at home there. Even though I've not lived in London since I became aware of it. Even though I've not spent more than four days on the bounce in London for several decades. Yet every time I walk through the door the welcome rushed out to meet me.


Of course, it helps that I'm mates with Jeff, the landlord. But that isn't the only reason I love the place. Well-kept cask beer is a must. And Jeff's is very well looked after. Not a huge selection, just four handpumps. But I've never been shallow enough to judge a pub by the number of beers it sells. (Some of my favourite pubs only sell one.) Small, but well chosen. That's the Gunmakers beer range. You're guaranteed that any beer you buy will be in top condition.

I'm going to contradict myself now. But who gives a toss about consistency other than premiership managers? The Gunmakers is at times of the day mostly given over to diners. I told you I hated that. But there's always space for the solitary drinker and his pint and paper. And having a full kitchen means they can offer the things I like to eat in a pub: homemade scotch eggs and pork pie.

Maybe it's the associations that makes it such a happy place for me. Most of my visits are after a session in the London Metropolitan Archives, which isn't far away. Aching and dirty, but with a camera full of brewing records, I stumble in and soothe my exhaustion with a pint. Several pints. Because pints like company, too.

There you have it, three locals for the price of one. Sorry, four for. Pubs, they’re like kids. Noisy, irritating, lively, invigorating. And just like kids, it’s cruel to pick just one favourite.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Learning to Parti Properly

You may remember that a while back I did a little experiment, which I thought was parti-gyling but in fact turned out to be medieval style parti-gyling. I brewed two beers, one porter and one mild, from a single batch of grain, taking the first runnings for a small batch of porter and the second and third runnings for the mild.

While both beers turned out rather drinkable, it was brought to my attention that the process I had followed was a long rejected method. One thing I hope I never have a problem with is being told that I was wrong and then being corrected (how else does one learn?), so firstly I want to thank Ron Pattinson for putting me straight on parti-gyling and then putting up with my stupid questions so that I could get a clear picture of the process.

Having been a technical writer when I lived in Prague, I thought I would take the information from Ron and break the process into simple steps for people to understand so they can have a bash at parti-gyle for themselves, and hopefully I have understood this all properly.
  1. Mash the grist as you would do normally
  2. Drain the mash tun
  3. Re-mash the grist
  4. Drain again
  5. Sparge
  6. Boil the worts
  7. Blend to achieve desired gravities
  8. Ferment
  9. Bottle
  10. Drink
Ron mentioned to me that sometimes the grist would be mashed as many as 4 times in order to get as much extract out of the grain as possible. Given this corrected information, I will be doing another parti-gyle experiment at some point in the future, probably using a grist of 95% Pale Malt and 5% Dark Crystal, to make a strong pale ale and a pale mild. For a more thorough exploration of parti-gyling, see .

Just a quick aside, I think the greatest example of user documentation I have ever seen was in Prague, and I present this picture in evidence.


Monday, July 18, 2011

A Pint of the Past Please

It went on tap on Friday, and if experience of dark lager made at Devils Backbone is anything to go by, it will last about a month. Yesterday afternoon I drove out to Roseland with two aims in mind, meet up with my good friend and photographic genius Mark Stewart, and to try the Barclay's London Dark Lager which was brewed with Ron Pattinson of Shut Up About Barclay Perkins fame.


Recently they had a Bavarian Dunkel on at Devils Backbone which was delicious, so it was interesting to see and taste the difference from using British malts rather than German. For example, adding roast barley to the mash late, to get the colour without flavour, rather than using one of the Carafa malts.

I am not sure the picture really illustrates the beer very well, but it pours a rich mahogany tinged with auburn, topped off with a light beige head. The nose was grassy, with touches of lemon and spice, in the background, the merest hint of lightly roasted coffee. As for the flavours, the smooth sweetness of English toffee dominates, with some toastiness and nuts in the mix as well. The sweetness is cut through by a firm, assertive, but not brash, bitterness. This beer is insanely drinkable for a 5.8% abv lager and while it most definitely isn't a session beer, 5 pints of it does slip down with inordinate ease.

Yesterday afternoon felt like the culmination of a project I have enjoyed immensely. Brewing with Jason is always a pleasure, meeting Ron was likewise a delight - beer people are such good company, especially when you combine a passion for beer with a love of history. Sometimes I think it such a pity that more brewers aren't doing this kind of project instead of running after the latest trendiest hop variety (remember when Amarillo was all the rage?). On my own homebrew front, I think more of Ron's Let's Brew Wednesday recipes will be making appearances in the coming months.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Barclay's London Dark Lager - come forth!

1934 was a momentous year.

The British Empire Games (now the Commonwealth Games) were held in London, despite originally being awarded to South Africa, with Hong Kong, Jamaica and India making their debuts at the event. British composer Edward Elgar died, as did King Albert of the Belgians, to be succeeded by Prince Leopold. The British Industries Fair is held in both London and Birmingham, featuring a 200 year old weaver's loom from the Isle of Lewis. For 4 days in February, Austria was at war with itself. In a foreshadowing of what would come, Hitler became President of Germany on the death of Paul von Hindenburg, and ordered the Night of Long Knives to eliminate his rivals.

Meanwhile, in the Anchor Brewery of Southwark, Danish brewer Arthur Henius was at work brewing Barclay Perkin's Dark Lager, a London take on the dunkel style from Bavaria. Unusually for a Barclay Perkin's beer, nothing was done to the water to change the minerals, no Burtonising, no boiling, nothing. Using British malts and Bohemian hops Mr Henius set about making a German lager for the London market.

Come forward 77 years, skip across the ocean to Virginia and you find Jason Oliver, Ron Pattinson, myself and a few others, gathered round the copper recreating Mr Henius' beer. As I mentioned a little while ago, some of the lager is making its way home to London, to be enjoyed by beer lovers at the Great British Beer Festival. However, this weekend will see the tapping of the beer in the place of its resurrection, Devils Backbone Brewing Company. Due to a huge mess with my holiday dates, going next Friday rather than today, I will be around to try it.

If you are in the Charlottesville area, I might suggest you get along to try it yourself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lazarus Lager

Unless you've been living under a rock, as opposed to on this rock, you will know that I am rather partial to lager. My "go to" beer of late has been Devils Backbone's lovely Vienna Lager, I have also been availing myself of various American made pilsner style lagers, some decent, some not. Despite the fulminations of some in the beer world, Britain has a decent history of brewing lager style beers. The very first cold fermented beers in Britain are reputed to have been brewed in Scotland, as early as 1835. Unfortunately, being in the days before refrigeration, the yeast didn't survive more than a few brews, and although the 19th century saw several more attempts at brewing lager it wasn't until the early 20th century that British brewers started to make a more concerted effort to make lager.


In the 1930s, the London brewery Barclay Perkins, located in the Anchor Brewery in Southwark, employed one Arthur Henius, a Dane, to head up their lager brewing operations. During that time, Barclay Perkins produced three lager styles, two pales and a dark. Where am I going with all this historical information? Well, quite simply, last Thursday saw the culmination of a project between myself, Jason Oliver at Devils Backbone and Ron Pattinson of Shut Up About Barclay Perkins.


When we heard that Ron was coming over to the States, and would be just a couple of hours away in Washington DC, we decided that it would be good to try and arrange a brewday with Ron, and to brew a historical beer. Previously Jason had used a recipe from one of Ron's books as inspiration for his 1904 Ramsey's Stout, and with an interest in brewing forgotten beers it was natural to try and arrange something. The seemingly now tradition thread of emails ensued, unfortuantely Nathan Zeender from DC couldn't make it down for the brewday, though was involved in the email chain.

We went round several ideas of beers to recreate, and eventually came to the notion of brewing a British lager. From there it was a short step to deciding on a British dark lager, and it just so happened that in Ron's possession was a recipe from 1934 for Barclay Perkins' Dark Lager. It had to be done.

The recipe was fairly simple, the malts being lager, pale and caramel, added to the mash late on was roasted barley, in order to get colour without the harsh roasted flavour you associate with that grain. I was surprised when I saw the recipe that it was hopped only with Saaz, surprised but delighted!

Naturally we wanted to be as authentic as possible, and so various salts and minerals were added to Devils Backbone's insanely soft water to mimic as close as possible the hard water of London (when we brewed the pilsner last year I learnt that their water is softer than Plzeň!). From reviewing the brewing log's technical details Jason decided that it would be more authentic to do a temperature control mash rather than a decoction. At the end of the day we had 10 hectolitres of 14.25o Plato, dark brown wort, which had about 25 IBUs of Saaz goodness and should be ready for drinking some time in July I imagine.


It seems to have become traditional that these brewdays inevitably involve sampling various beers. Ron bought with him a bottle of the new East India Porter from Pretty Things, a recreation of a 19th century porter made with extra hops to survive the sea journey to India (sound familiar? cough, splutter, black IPA my arse cough). Keeping with the theme of historical beers, Ron also brought along a bottle of the first in the Fuller's Past Masters series, which you can see in the picture, and was a lovely beer. So lovely in fact, I wish I could find it in the States.


We had a really good day, it was a pleasure to meet Ron in person, and as ever to go brewing at Devils Backbone.

Friday, February 4, 2011

International Homebrew Project Recipe

So here it is, the recipe for the International Homebrew Project 2011. A quick recap, those that took part in the polls voted to brew a historical recreation of a milk stout, hopped with Challenger and Goldings. Therein lay one of our first hurdles, Challenger is a relatively modern hop, and so with the agreement of the majority of people who have told me they plan to brew for the project, we shifted to a combination of Fuggles and Goldings.

In thinking about the ingredients for the project, I have decided to push the brewing weekend back to the first weekend in March - so people can make arrangements for getting amber and brown malt, not to mention the invert #3 sugar. If you can't get amber and brown malt where you live, then here is a very useful article about making your own. On the making invert sugar syrup, as I plan to do, this post from Northern Brewer is useful. From my understanding, the #3 version was reasonably dark, so simmer it for about 90 minutes.

The recipe itself, kindly provided by Kristen England, is a recreation of a 1933 Barclay Perkins Milk Stout. So, as Ron would say, over to Kristen, though note I have changed his tables into bulleted lists, personal preference, that's all (and nothing to do with my shoddy HTML skills, honest guv).....

Milkstouts show up here and there throughout English beer history to the current day. There we never massively popular on a grand scale but always had their almost cult following. The most well-known is Mackesons XXX stout which currently has very little lactose in it. Most of the milk/sweet stouts are now made in happy, warm and tropical places. Jamaica, Trinidad, Malta, etc, etc. This ‘whopper’ of a stout is actually very low in gravity. It has pretty much every dark, toasty and delicious malt and sugar. Then you throw in two separate dose of lactose, one in the copper, one after for a grand total of about 22% lactose. The beer is very dark and roasty. The bitterness is quite high as these stouts weren't known to be exceedingly bitter. Lactards beware!
  • OG - 1.053
  • FG - 1.029
  • ABV - 4.4%
  • IBU - 39.1
  • SRM - 105
  • EBC - 207.8
  • Apparent Attenuation - 45.12%
  • Real Attenuation - 39.96%
The recipe is listed first in pounds, then kilograms and finally as a percentage, based on 5 US Gallons, or 19 litres.
  • Eng. 2 Row - 5.29/2.41/40.7
  • Amber malt - 1.04/0.48/10.6
  • Brown Malt - 0.58/0.26/5.9
  • Crystal 75 - 0.58/0.26/5.9
  • Invert # 3 - 0.5/0.23/5.1
  • Roasted Barley - 0.84/0.38/8.5
  • Lactose in boil - 1.26/0.57/12.8
  • Lactose priming - 1.04/0.47/10.6
For the extract brewers amongst us use 4lbs or 1.82kg for 5 US gallons or 19 litres respectively.

The mash is 90 minutes at 151°F or 66°C, with a water to grain ratio of 0.92qt/lb or 1.92l/kg.

Expect a long brewday for this, given that the boil is 2.5 hours. Talking about the boil, here's the hopping schedule, by ounces then grammes respectively.
  • Fuggle 5.5% @ 150mins 1.15/32.5
  • Goldings 4.5% @ 90mins 0.7/19.8
The yeast recommended for this recipe is Nottingham, or Wyeasts 1318 London Ale III.

Grist & such

The base malt for this beer is the toast mild malt. If you can’t get it, some Optic would be nice or even Maris otter. ***For the extract brewers out there the only real change is that you’ll use pale malt syrup instead and the poundage is listed and highlighted above. The amber and brown malt add a good dose of complexity and flavor but don’t dominate the palate like the 8.5% of roasted barley.

Hops

The hop additions for this beer are mostly for bittering. The neat thing about this beer is that milk stouts at a later time are much less bitter than this one. Nearly 40 bus is quite a bit! One addition at the start of the boil and then another addition an hour later. If you wanted to dry hop this beer you can do a simple combination of fuggles and goldings but I wouldn’t go higher than about 1g/L. Any more you really are going to have a striking hop nose.

Mash & Boil

The techniques used in this recipe are very straightforward. There was a simple multi-infusion mash where additions of hot liquor were added to keep the mash at the wanted temperature. You dough in a bit thick and then have a good sparge. This mash is very simple as there are a lot of things easy to extract out of here. The No3 invert sugar should definitely be added but can be substituted by using a mix of treacle and golden syrup. White sugar and blackstrap can be used in a pinch at about a 10:1 ratio. The lactose is the big boy here and there are two separate additions. The first one goes in during the boil and the second goes in at priming which we’ll cover later. Both invert #3 and the first lactose addition goes in at 30 minutes.

Fermentation, Conditioning & Serving

A simple fermentation at 68F (20C) will do good to ensure a nice and fruity beer that finishes well. This beer was meant to be bottle conditioned but you can serve it out of a keg. The second dose of lactose goes in with the priming sugars. NOTE – lactose is NOT the priming sugar. The lactose and priming sugars can be boiled in a little water together and added at once. Shoot for around 2.0 volumes of CO2 if you can. The more ‘fizzy’ the less mellow it will be. For serving, I suggest you keep this thing out of any sort of refrigeration. Cellar temp is ok but this really does best at room temperature or warmer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Milk Stout takes on Challenger to take Gold(ings)

In the end, the votes were quite conclusive. This year's International Homebrew Project will be brewing:
  • milk stout
  • hopped with a combination of Challenger and Goldings
  • recipe inspired by a historical precedent
Surprisingly there was a late surge for brewing an Export India Porter, which admittedly I would have loved to have won, but we go with a simple majority. At this point I want to thank Kristen England of the BJCP, and Mr Recipe for Ron Pattinson's , for offering to supply me with an authentic recipe for the project. As soon as I have that recipe I will post it here.

Kristen's involvement came about because when Milk Stout took such a commanding lead in the poll, I was looking at the Mackeson recipes over at Ron's blog, and they all use invert sugar number 3, and I couldn't find much in the way of how long it took boiling the sugar with citric acid to create said version of invert sugar. As you can imagine, I am chuffed as chips to have Kristen's input and help on this project.

Just so I can get a rough estimate, if you are planning to brew for the project - drop me a quick
email with the subject line as "I'm In". Oh, and if any of you are graphic designers and would like to design a logo for the project, that would be awesome.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Revival! Export India Porter...

Last night I went to my first CAMRA meeting. No, not the Campaign for Real Ale. Charlottesville's local homebrew club is called the Charlottesville Area Masters  of Real Ale, or CAMRA. Yes, yes, I know I have been here now for over a year, but I had not plucked up the courage to go to a meeting quite simply because these guys win medals left, right and centre at homebrew competitions.

Anyway, one of the members recently started following my Twitter feed and we got into the conversation that seems to be de rigeur in American beer circles at the moment, Black IPA or whatever the trendy term this week is. It turned out that Jamey had brewed a Black IPA around the same time as I brewed my Red Coat India Black Ale. We agreed to meet at CAMRA's monthly meeting and compare beers, a short version of the comparison would be; both were good. Jamey used American C-hops and for the first time in a Black IPA they didn't taste out of place, although my first thought of the nose was sweaty jockstraps, but that became blood grapefruits after a further sniff or two. On the basis of his beer I wonder if part of my gripe is with the lack of balance in the IBAs I have had so far?

My beer was also good, judging from the approving nods and comments from various members, but given that the hops were British, the consensus was that this was really a porter. I suppose that reaction very much vindicates my belief that Black IPA is actually just an over-hopped porter, using American hops rather than British. Given that the IBU range for Robust Porter according to the BJCP (sorry to the non-style people) is 25 - 50, and that according to a recent post on Ron's blog, 19th century porters shipped to India had about a third extra hops chucked in, then the evidence is stacking, in my mind, that India Black Ale belongs with the porters rather than the IPAs.

As such, I have decided to enter Red Coat in the upcoming Virginia Beer Blitz as a Robust Porter rather than my initial plan to enter it as a Category 23 Specialty Beer.Also being entered in the competition will be Machair Mild, as Experimental Dark Matter has been renamed, and Gunnersbury Gold, a Best Bitter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fuggled Review of the Year - Blog of the Year

Slowly we are getting to the end of my review of the year, only a couple more categories to go! This in some ways though is the one I have been looking forward to writing the most, because I get to give credit to some of the people who make my days infinitely more interesting with their writings.

Like so many of the categories I have done, it really it difficult to whittle it down to just three from which to pick a winner, however I did give myself a couple of criteria which were absolutely vital. Firstly, the majority of blog posts had to be actually about something rather than a few words about how many beers they drank or something equally vacuous. Secondly, the ability to continue the conversation in the comments section is important - I like being able to make a comment and have it responded to, after all, one of the points of web 2.0 isn't just to give every gobshite with a keyboard a mouthpiece, but rather to facilitate dialogue, and through that greater understanding of a topic.

Without further ado, the three best blogs in my world are:
I can't remember exactly when I came across Dave's blog, but from day one I have enjoyed the refreshingly open and honest perspective that Dave brings to his writing.  Whether posting on the trials of running a countryside Free House, tax issues relating to beer, or even why he invested in BrewDog, Dave brings a depth of passion and also willingness to have his views challenged by the wider beer blogging community.

E.S. Delia of Relentless Thirst fame doesn't write as often as some, but when he does it is always worth reading, often bringing subtle insights into the Virginia craft brewing scene as well as tips about beers to drink, and which good beers are actually available in this neck of the woods. Of the three bloggers on the list, E.S. Delia is the only one I have actually met, spoken with in person and had the pleasure of his company, in every way he is the stereotype of what a beer lover and blogger should be.

I am sure that most of us appreciate Ron Pattinson's fascinating historical perspectives on gravities and brewing ingredients, I know that I very much plan to make some of the homebrew versions of the beer recipes he has been posting of late. From deep within all the statistics, logs and numbers shines Ron's deep love and passion for beer, which is of course the driving force behind any good beer blogger.

Given that I have one UK based, one Europe based and one American based blogger on my list, it would be so easy to make each of them the winner in their respective geographical location, but that would be shifting the goal posts. So my Blog of the Year is:
  1. Dave's Beer Related Blog
Always challenging, always interesting and always worth thinking over and ruminating on, Dave's blog is the one I always go to the moment it is updated.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fuggled Review of the Year - Specialty Beer

The last of the beer style awards for this year is another rather large catch all category, basically the beers that don't fit in any of the other categories.

The top three in this category are as follows:

The Starr Hill Barleywine was a small batch made by Starr Hill back in the autumn and for a while was my favourite beer. Big sweet maltiness with a huge whack of spicy hops made this beer simply a magnificent drink. Of the Starr Hill beers I have had this year, the Barleywine was far and away the best and if I were in their shoes I would be doing this on a yearly basis and releasing it bottle conditioned in the same way Fullers do their Vintage Ale.

As I noted earlier this week, Lovibond's make excellent beers and the Gold Reserve is a notched up version of their Henley Gold wheat beer. Referred to as a "wheat wine" and with the brewer's weight in honey thrown in as well, this is a strong, sweet and yet a grassy noble hoppiness that just balances it out nicely.

Back in June, myself and Evan Rail got together to do a comparative tasting of Fuller's London Porter, Lovibond's Henley Dark and Ron Pattinson's re-creation of a 1914 London-style Porter recipe brewed in conjunction with De Molen. Rich and yet dry, it was a pleasure to try a re-created Edwardian beer.

As ever the decision is tricky, but for the pure pleasure of discovering a beer style I had never even heard of and it being a moreishly drinkable beer, the Fuggled Specialty Beer of the Year is:
  1. Lovibond's Gold Reserve
A second award there for the Lovibond's Brewery and my most keen wish for 2010 is that their beers somehow find their way to the USA, in particular this little corner of Virginia, where I know for sure they would be very much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Porter Ancient and Modern

Last week I met up with Evan Rail in order to compare Ron Pattinson’s 1914 porter with a couple of modern day versions, namely and Lovibond’s Henley Dark.

As you can see from the picture below, there was a very noticeable colour difference between the modern versions and the re-creation, Ron’s was more brown than ruby like the Fullers and Henley Dark, and although the picture doesn’t show it, the Henley Dark is a lot darker than the London Porter.

In terms of flavours, both Fullers and Henley Dark were rich and laden with rich fruit and cocoa notes, which I could very easily imagine enjoying with Christmas pudding or a nice chunk of stilton. Ron’s porter was also fruity, though I felt it was less rich and cloying than either of the modern versions.

The London Porter was to my mind a bit drier than the Henley Dark, although the 1914 recipe was much drier than either, some people have commented that Ron’s porter is sour, however I didn’t feel it was particularly noticeable, especially when compared to the Dark Reserve I drank last week.

I feel that it would be unfair to say which of the three beers I enjoyed the most, especially as the task at hand was not to rate the beers but rather to compare a modern interpretation of the style to a historical precedent.

Clearly modern malt production methods have changed the colour profile of porter from a brown to a very dark red beer, and if the 1914 version is faithful to the flavour profile, porter has become richer. It will be interesting to see what beer geeks in the year 2104 make of our modern porters when compared to their own, and see the continued evolution of beer styles.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...

男女真人后进式猛烈动态图_男人让女人爽的免费视频_男人脱女人衣服吃奶视频