Real Fermenting: 2014

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Aromatic Spice Stout

Within the body of roasty oats and barley, there is spice at the heart of a stout ale. There are chocolate and caramel, coffee and molasses notes in those grains. Sometimes we add those literal items to accentuate the hints found in the base. This hopless ale doesn't attempt anything quite so obvious. Nutmeg, licorice, vanilla, bourbon and oak form the aromatic accents of this stout. 
Crystal and chocolate malts with home-roasted oats in the center

Friday, 15 August 2014

Ginger Citrus Saison

This saison recipe is part II of my five part series on hop-free ales. I have already transferred the ale to secondary and it smells fantastic. It's also my second attempt at ageing an ale on oak chips. This time I have soaked the french oak on some chardonnay, to replicate the effect of barrel-ageing in a chardonnay barrel. We'll have to see how well that goes, but the recipe for the main brew is below.

Definitely don't store your soaking oak chips in the sun...

Friday, 11 July 2014

Hedgerow Pale Ale

This is the first in a series of unhopped gruit ales I have been researching and planning for the past few months. The inspiration for this brew is the simple availability of certain herbs to our forebears in hedgerows and the margins of forests. The herbs I'm using are Nettle, Horehound, Yarrow, St. John's Wort, Elder (berry and flower). I am aiming to produce an ale that is analogous to an American Pale Ale. It will be around 6% with a medium-high level of bitterness.
Yarrow growing in my brewer's garden

Monday, 5 May 2014

English Pale Ale - Extra Special Bitter

This is going to be my last hopped ale for a little while. I decided on an English Pale Ale, of which ESB is the heaviest class. Maybe it's pure nostalgia, but I am really hoping to recreate the brews I drank back in Merry Olde England when I were a lad. So I got my (organic) Whitbread Goldings hops and my biscuit malt and my Marris Otter LME and my fingers crossed!

Pelletized Whitbread Goldings hops

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Best Six Beer Homebrewing Resources on the Web

Homebrewing is about results. Whether you're opening your 1st beer kit you got as a Christmas gift, or you're planning a new 10-gallon all-grain recipe from scratch, we all need help and information from time to time. I have collected what I think are the six best homebrewing resources online for beer making. I look forward to hearing from you guys in the comments about your favorite sites/books/whatever.