Thursday, January 30, 2014

On the brew

Homebrew No.6 - St Peter's Golden Ale.
My poor wee beer blog has been awfully neglected of late. But I've been busy MAKING beer rather than writing about it (though I did pen this Christmas beer piece for The Herald). I've also started a novel. And I'm working on a wee ebook venture. So it's not out of laziness. Just so we're clear.

Anyhow, tomorrow, after a month off the booze*, I'm cracking open my fifth homebrew. It doesn't have a name yet - that'll come after the tasting, which, frankly, I'm a bit anxious about.

Homebrew No. 5 is a Cooper's stout kit with a medium malt extract. Also threw in a cup of strong, black coffee, and a pint of Liberty hop tea. So, yeah, might be awesome; might be rancid. It was bloody bitter with strong malty notes, hoppy aromas when I tasted it during the bottling late last year. The coffee was there but not overpowering. It's had five very long weeks to condition so fingers crossed these elements all come together in perfect, beautiful harmony.

One of the great things about homebrewing is the choice and freedom to hack beer kits. Boiling up hops, playing with different sugars, malts and yeasts. The next step, of course, is brewing from scratch using the raw ingredients rather than an extract. I'm not there yet. Maybe this time next year ...

Pictured here is my sixth brew. A St Peter's Golden Ale. It's coming along nicely thank you very much, but, like all decent homebrews, requires a bit of patience: it probably won't be ready until March.    

* I had a dry January a few years ago and felt great after it. Did it last year too and it was OK. This year it's just been miserable and pointless. Clearly something that should only be done once in a lifetime. Someone please remind me of this in 11 months' time.