Friday, 16 January 2009

A New year… Of more beer.

The beginning of this month I got round to finally bottling my very own Vintage 2008 ale after just over 4 months of aging. At 11.7% a.b.v (and that’s after the primary fermentation) this is indeed the strongest beer I have home brewed, and a very attenuative yeast strain was used to enhance the potency. The interesting fact with this brew was that it was not originally intended to come out at such a high gravity. Some miss-judgement concerning my mash tun extract efficiency turned a target gravity of 1.092 to the immense 1.112! Anyhow my first tastings were promising, and I shall be conducting vertical tastings on this one for years to come.
Further good news comes in the form of another T.V series, in the form of Oz and Clark Drink of Britain, finally a T.V series covering beer that isn’t pandered with gimmicky disrespectful, beer degrading, immature rubbish like last years Morrisey Fox series. In fact from what I have heard and seen Oz Clark is very much a professional beer taster. OK at times he seems to over emphasise the traditional aspects of British brewing, but lets not forget that these days craft brewing can be as much about innovation as tradition, both here and abroad. None the less I sense the brewing force is strong with this one.
However off the screens not much seems to have changed since 2008 yet. I have tried a few interesting beers from Leeds brewery and despite Christmas and new year have managed not to consume all of my cellared/special occasion beers. Admittedly quite a few will probably be consumed at my wedding in December, where I am planning to home brew my very own wedding ale which will be racked into an actual cask borrowed from my work the Daleside brewery. The downside of this plan maybe that I will have to do my own cellarmanship work before the day, and due to my capacity shall have to do a ‘double brew’. I.e. brew two 5 gallon batched of wedding ale in the same day to fill a 9 gallon cask. Given a few extra demi-johns and a hot liquor tank for my birthday this should not be a problem but will probably still mean a 10-12 hour day of home brewing. Brutal stuff.

Home brew: Back from the days of living and brewing at my parents. Having plenty of free time as a student, a higher turnover was achievable with batches being brewed at a time. Sadly much of it lacked quality.


Ale Fan said...

The Oz & James series is about more than just beer, next week I think it concentrates on whisky, but it's good that beer is getting such publicity. Oz is actually a TV wine buff, whilst James is on a laddish car programme.

Rob said...

This is indeed true, Oz seems to follow wine alittle more than beer as he does not seem to have a great knowlage of brewing but a strong point in tasting. I was once told he could tell by sampling the beer at my work that Daleside beers are made with the same yeast strain as those from both Thwaits and Old Mill brewery. Very impressive. But to my knowlage I dont think hes a propper beer writer.