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Home brew review
This years Homebrew review of the year isn’t going to be as lengthy as other years as I’ve simply not brewed as much and didn’t try that hard when it came to the National Homebrew Competition, some serious time was spent building a car-port style affair at the side of the house, so the list bellow is the best of what I had time to brew…

  • AG #110Ring of Fire IPA
    This one is also still fermenting, but it smells & tastes so good I thought I’d add it to my end of year round up, it has promise whether I dry hop it or not 😉
  • AG #109Mittlefruh Junga Blonde
    This isn’t actually bottled at the time of writing this but tastes from the FV have been displaying some the traits I was wanting so I have high hopes for another easy drinker like AG#108 but with more spicy character.
  • AG #105Summit 73 E366
    This is bloody marvelous, I hope they re-release Experimental 366 in future years and let us know what its going to be called.
  • AG #104NZ Sour Wheat
    My Sour Mashed wheat beer, this is a style I’d like to pursue further, I dropped lucky and got a really nice balance between the Sour and the balancing sweetness and body.
  • AG #103Farmhouse Rye Noir
    My first attempt at a Saison and it turned out damn well too 🙂
  • AG #102Gods of War
    Easy drinking mix of under-used hops, worthy of a re-brew but with more cara/crystal/hotter-mash/flaked-barley.
  • AG #101SCAN
    Mental but good, in hindsight I’d go a bit easier on things to ensure more of a crowd-pleaser.
  • AG #100Altitudinous Cable
    Everything to the MAX, a touch too much Max which has taken time to settle down, VERY hoppy, this is going to age really well over a few years 🙂
  • AG #99BoomStick
    Massively easy drinking simple recipe.
  • AG #98Robust Wheat Porter
    It seems these user-upper brews always turn out well, this is a mega solid porter with hints of smoke.
  • AG #96Bravo+Apollo=Citra?
    An experiment that turned out good.
  • AG #94Hooded Embarrassment
    Maybe not my best beer but it ticks enough boxes and made for enjoyable drinking.
  • AG #93Pacific Rim
    Nice little hop-combo and worthy of a re-brew.

A nice surprise this year was this book through the post from Andy Hamilton featuring a couple of my homebrew recipes, its full of good stuff and obviously some cracking recipes 😉
Pop, I got a book :-) #BrewingBritainToo many hops and so little time!
My Hop-Freezer is bulging, I should make 2014 the year when I don’t buy any hops!
Sad to say the 50L copper I am building and said in last years review I would finish, is still not complete just the hop-filter to sort out and a mate to finish the socket wiring, I obviously need to get my finger out once the wiring is done.
What I want to do in 2014 is get an upt-to-date Liquor test by Murphy & Son and maybe get my digital Thermometer calibrated so when I mash in at 69°c I am really mashing in at 69°c! (for most beers 69°c seems to be the mash temperature that makes us-05 get to the FG that BeerEngine says it will!)

Happy New Year to all

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….

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