Saturday, 20 February 2010


I think there could be something in the water??


Now this one relates back to a discussion on an older post about Simco hops and how fellow blogger Ed mentioned that they are obtainable in the UK. Curiously I then pondered on what I could use these hardcore high alpha acid American hops for. Then I remembered back to last years project 'Brutal ale' and the failure that arose from randomly combining Chinook, low alpha English hops and coriander into a dark roasty beer. Then the name 'brutal ale', what was I thinking? That sounds about as brutal as your grandad up biking on a second hand scooter thinking it will make him look cool dressed in leather. But this year I decided to change my game and focus on the formulation. Pale, munich, crystal cara and Aromatic malts filled the mash tun almost to the brim. Simco, Chinook, Centennial and Amarillo hops were added every 15min to the copper adding 10-20 IBU per addition. In fact I even had to liqor back to 1093 OG because higher than expected extracts were achieved.

I advise all to watch our Meglodon promotional video, assistant brewer Georgia was very enthusiastic to talk about the brew. She also has a talent for talking with her mouth closed.

On a further thought, given that I had to liqor back (from 1102 to 1093) If I repeated this brew with even more hops (maybe over 100 IBU) and didn't liqor back (fermenting to a 12-13% beer) and even stronger DOUBLE MEGALODON beer could be produced. And the last runnings from that (given the Megalodons last runnings were 1039.7) could be used for another brew (the BABY-DON perhaps). Its all gripping stuff.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Unity is strength, and all that. Dealing with alcohol prohibitionists.

It was only the other day, I was happily checking the gravities of the beers at work, seeing how our friends the yeast were progressing in their journey of fermentation, fermenting wort sugars into CO2 and ethanol when I had a few thoughts. This whole idea of teaching children about alcohol abuse could well be a good thing. I mean, I was never taught anything about it when I was a bearn, and most the kids at school who did abuse alcohol just did it to be seen as cool, getting drunk and showing off to the other kids.

But that was during teenage years, maybe its the primary schools that would be more effective taking action, teaching kids at a younger age. They could even take to the old happy man in costume tactic, such as that displayed by the 'sexual harassment Panda' from TVs South Park. I mean I cant see whats wrong with an 'alcohol misusing mongoose' or 'alcohol abusing badger'? So long as the blokes in the costumes weren't misusing alcohol before performing.

But anyhow, one of the more interesting ideas Pete Brown has had is this ideal of unity being strength and how the brewing/alcoholic beverage industry needs to unite against this evil that is the neo-prohibitionists. But what would this mean exactly?? As a Brew-I I would find it most controversial to swear allegiance to the huge maga-companies that make up what we Brew-I term, the dark side. But there is more to the brewing/alcoholic beverage industry than the dark side. Maybe its rubbed off on me living in Yorkshire to think of a no nonsense solution to end this whole polava but would be to ask the neo-prohibitionist/government lobbyists to step outside for a good old fashioned scrap. That's right, no wholes barred punch up.

But look who we would have on our side.

The Craft Brewers

Or rebel craft brewing alliance as I like to call them.

The Dark Side

InBev-AB head CEO

"We shall dominate global beer markets with heavily advertised, mass produced, fizzy pap!"


The benefits of siding with CAMRA are that (although its stereotyping) they have beefy old blokes amongst their ranks. Tell them the Neo-pro's took all the Cask ale from the bar last night (because it contains potentially hazardous live yeast organisms) and they'll be mad.

Dukes up Protzy boy

The Bloggers/Beer writers

Think about it, no one wants to mess with the likes of Jeff Pickthall. In fact I've always thought he and Melissa Cole would make a great WWF tag team. Then you've got the likes of deadly kickboxing Ed alongside a range of other web browsing folks pent up on arguing about the brewing world and beer. But wait, look out for the old Cooking Lager, I bet he could get vicious. But in the situation I recon he would probably opt for an affordable efficient solution to the problem... Like an AK47, or failing to afford that the old plank of wood with a nail in it.

Cooking lager; deadly with facts and figures, potentially deadly with automatic weapons

The wine/spirits industry

OK I doubt the likes of Fiona Beckett would put up much of a fight (but you never know, she might posses deadly Ninja fighting skills).

That's right, the good old fashioned British punch up should do the trick. There's no doubt we would win. But although these events would probably never happen, its was just a thought. Then when its over the bloggers can go back to slagging off CAMRA, CAMRA can go back to slagging off the Pub-Co's, The regional brewers can go back to slagging of the Micros, the Micros can go back to slagging off the big brewers and so forth. But in years to come we will always remember that this was our finest hour.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Hotels, whisky, beer, Scotland

Last weekend my wife and I were given the opportunity to visit some hotels in Edinburgh for free (paid by Helen's work). Tho this wasn't a beer hunting holiday, I decided to hunt some anyway. Our first hotel; Hotel du vin came as a surprise. That's because for a hotel that at first seems set up for wine drinkers only, it has a awesome beer range (for a hotel that is) including mainly Scottish and Belgian craft brews in bottled form.

Innis and Gunn Rum Cask was probably the most impressive beers of the holiday, darker than the original with more depth.

More impressive than the beer range however was the wisky range, available exclusively in the wisky snug (shown below). Here I sampled some Yamakazi 18 year Japanese single malt that was impressive and a unknowlagable drinking partner bought a round of doubles for him and myself that later turned out to cost... Wait for it.... £120 (thats for 2 doubles, £30 per shot)

My honest opinion is that this place needs a beer lounge as you can see why hunting whisky can be pricy. Never the less we had a pleasant time, and managed to stop by some bars for some Edel Weiss.

All this gets me in the mood for some oatmeal stout brewing next week.