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Posts Tagged ‘2012

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Here we go again, its the end of another year of Homebrewing and I’ve rattled off a fair amount of brews which are edging me ever closer to my Centenary Brew (100th) All-Grain / Full Mash brewday.

Its been a mad year with Brewers & Home-brewers eager to get their hands on any and all new hop varieties, 2013 is going to be the same… Home-brewers are increasing in numbers along with new Microbreweries, diversity in beer and brewing has never been so great in the UK.
Homebrewers are using Hops from all around the world and an expanding range of Malts from the UK, Germany and Belgium are giving us an ever increasing pallet of flavours to meld together with an excellent range of yeast profiles.
It feels to have been ‘Year of the Dry Hop’ for the last couple of years, but thats not to say every beer should be made this way (Even if it is rather entertaining), some things work better with light hopping and leave a complex blend of malts or interesting yeast to do the talking as @Lugsy51 has been doing with his current fetish for Saison & Rauch Beers.

A few homebrew highlights for me were:

To start with the New Year’s Day Imperial Stout Brew-along was fun; then there was the Twitter #BlackIPAoff that a few of us did and met in MrFoleys, Leeds for a tasting and scoring to find a winner; the second NCB/Saltaire Brewery meeting and competition; the Homebrew highlight was attending the National Homebrew Competition in Bristol and helping out as a steward, it was a long but entertaining day. I seem to recall Vac-Packing quite a few kilos of hops too, though thats not really a highlight!

Here’s some of this years brews that I’m keeping in mind for 2013:

AG #89 – Big Malty Smoke Beer
This one requires another brew, tweaking for a little more smoke and maybe mash a degree cooler, then prime a bit heavier to give it a bit of extra sparkle in the glass.
AG #87 – Chinook Blonde
Just a touch more Chinook at the end with a little less Carapils and it should be about spot on.
AG #86 – Ta Moko II
I’ll brew it again! I hope the next crop of Nelson Sauvin has as much Catty-punch as when I brewed Ta Moko for the first time.
AG #85 – HopZilla IPA
I will do another Heavy on the Dry Hops double IPA, I feel Hop pellets are the way forward with these bigger hoppy beers so as to save on the wort-loss that you get with whole hops.
AG #84 – Liquorice Stout
I shall brew a similar beer without the Liquorice as I believe the base beer to be a very solid stout.
AG #83 – Ring of Fire
Re-brew with tweaks and also an IPA version with added Nelson Sauvin.
AG #82 – Hop Sap IPA
Well… There wasn’t much of this, and if you had a bottle you were bloody lucky, Massively Dry Hopped happiness.
AG #80 – Nit Wit
Yeah… you need a good Wit and I’ll do it again, maybe with a slightly different yeas as the WLP400 was annoying and had to be roused a lot to actually ferment!
AG #78 – Pioneer’s Gold
Ooo, Barleywine… and the Saltaire Yeast worked a treat, mouth-filling and satisfying, steady drinking and wholesome.
AG #77 – UK Cascade
I should do a re-brew as the yeast spoiled this one and I don’t think I got to appreciate the full hop character.
AG #76 – Steaming, Brown & Sticky
Oh yes… this is definitely on the cards, tweaked or un-tweaked this is a great beer.
AG#74 – Is it ‘cos I is Black?
I think there could be lots of Black IPA experimentation ahead with colour & roastiness being areas to keep a check on, it must be Black but the level of Roastedness is quite easy to turn this dark-but-not-dark beer into a hoppy Stout.
AG #72 – Toasted Oatmeal Stout
To do again and not toast the oatmeal, and not prime too much as I’m lead to believe the oats leave slow fermenting residual sugars… giving me Gushing bottles! Still this is going to make some great Beef Stews 🙂
AG #71 – Abyss Imperial Stout
Well, of course! Its nice to see how these strong dark beers develop over time.

Last years review is here it encompasses ’09-’11 and there are still things on that list that could be on the coming years brew-plan.

More for 2013…

I’ll finish off the 50Litre Keg Boiler I’m building and get the electrics installed in the garage to plug the elements into, this should allow me to brew a bit more of the beers I like and also fill a Firkin with one brew.
Things to Brew for: Thornbridge Homebrew Competition, the NCB & Saltaire Competition, the National Homebrew Competition.
We need to have a get-together for a last years Imperial Stouts, that has messy written all over it!
More beer to be drunk and flavours to be experienced 🙂
Buy a good few kilos of a few hops and spread the love….

From memory I think from front to back its Challenger-Fuggle-WGV 🙂 Last year my pathetic piece of string I used between the house & the pole just snapped in the strong winds we had so down came the hops! This year I’ve borrowed the neighbour’s ladders and fixed a strong Rawl Bolt Eye-bolt in the house wall and strung a securely clamped steel cable between pole & house.

I may change tack another year and move these plants round the side of the house into very large planters and attach some more cables from house down to fence so when they hops grow they will form a nice looking covering over the yard at the side and also have a lot of support from strong winds. If I do this I shall probably but a Bramling Cross / Saaz or Hallertau / Cascade in the original spot.

You can just see the wire top right, now firmly anchored to an eye bolt in the house wall:
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I’ll leave these a week or so as they are to see which of the new growth starts climbing best before weeding out to keep maybe 4 or 5 strong shoots:
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Coir twine, AKA ‘Bean String’ a nice biodegradable climbing frame for hops, hopefully it will be strong enough to support them until they get to the top wire:
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Rather than cutting and clamping off the cable at the height of the upstairs windows I’ve taken the cable down the wall to knee-height and looped it over another eye-bolt so I can un-hook and lower the cable down when it comes to harvesting or cutting back the hops:
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