Homebrew – Its been too long

20160328_111626looking back, it has been nearly two months since I brewed a beer.
My last two experiments were Brewdog clones with varying adjustments to allow for limitations on grains and hops currently available.

While the brewing process was mostly successful, I hit a couple of issues at bottling stage which resulted in pretty poor quality beers.
Firstly, I tried using brewing sugar instead of the normal granulated cane sugar. Secondly, I tried heavily dry hopping which caused major clogging issues for the my Hopped Up Pale Ale clone – A solution was found for the American Red Ale.
The pale ale was marred with extreme sedimentation throughout whilst both contained less carbonation that I wanted. The damage was already done.

These failures mixed with the fact that brewing has been a pretty lonesome hobby to date made it very difficult for me to remain motivated in keeping things going. Not to mention the cost of the waste and general disinterest in people trying my beers.

My problem is more in finding and focusing on people with similar interests and those who are happy to try my beers. Any feedback, whether the beer is good or bad would be invaluable.
I think that by communicating with the right people, I can keep motivated regardless of how my beers turn out.
It would also make homebrewing a worthwhile hobby and something that I can do long term.

Social-Media-MishapSocial media has been a great resource in finding people with similar interests but it has lacked the communication side of things so far.
I’ll get a few likes on Twitter, even more on Instagram and next to nothing on Facebook.
But the likes are limited and only offer a quick fix in terms of satisfaction over what I’ve just completed or achieved.
I want to be able to communicate with people, share common goals and discuss beer rather than clicking a quick like button here and there. I want things to really count.
Perhaps I’m not communicating in the right way or with the right people? Maybe I’m just over thinking the whole thing?

Starting on the 11th June 2016, I’ll be getting back on the homebrewing. My plan is to continue where I left off and look to push my beers more seriously on the general public through work, try to enter competitions where possible and see what I can do to share my experiences both using my blog and through Social Media.
I love talking about beers and homebrewing and can’t wait to get back into it.

Providing that I can find the recipes, I will be brewing what were supposed to be my next projects. Here are the deets :-

Hopped Up Black IPAblack IPA

The Black IPA will be pretty basic on the malts. Opting for the crisper and cleaner extra pale malts for the base with the addition of caramalt and dark crystal to provide a little sweetness, some toffee flavour and add to to the darker colour. Carafa I & Carafa III will be added to provide the dark colour I’m looking for, along with an espresso aromas and a chocolate\coffee flavour without being too bitter. The crispness of the beer along with the flavour of the hops need to sing here.

The hops will be purely American.
I’ll be boiling in plenty of Simcoe which acts as a great dual purpose hop giving an abundance of pine, fruit and earthiness. I’ll later dry hop with the aforementioned Simcoe as well as adding Cascade and Mosaic hops. The Cascade hops will give plenty of citrus of floral notes whilst the Mosaic will go down the tropical yet fruity route.
The IPA should be bursting with American hoppy flavour.

Finally, It will all be brought together with an American Ale yeast. I’ve been using Safale US-05 which has always offered great results at fermentation stage

Fairly British PorterBlack Porter

The Porter will again be made up of extra pale malts for the base but will include plenty of dark grains. I’ll be including Dark Crystal for sweetness and colour, Amber malts which should help with the colour and impart a biscuity flavour and black malts to deepen the colour but also offer a deeply roasted and somewhat bitter flavour to the porter. Roasted barley will be used to build on the roasted flavour but should help with giving a dryer finish and oats will help to give body and help with head retention.

I’ll be using a little Fuggles and East Kent Goldings to provide a purely British feel to the porter but will also add a touch of Willamette. Willamette is an American hop which pairs well with Fuggles and should be fine with the East Kent Goldings. Overall, these hops should give a floral, spicy and herbal tone to the beer both in flavour and aroma.

As with before, I’ll be using an American Ale yeast in the form of Safale US-05 to bring everything together.

Join me on the 11th June where I’ll Tweeting, Insta-Gramming and Blogging my progress.

More to come soon and thanks for following!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Great. Those beers look good! Have you trying Homebrewtalk.com or any other sites? Those wide reaching communities have a lot of resources and people that love talking about beer. Maybe a local homebrew club?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the response and really appreciate the feedback.
    I’ll take a look at Homebrewtalk.com and dig around for some other forum opportunities.
    There is a homebrewclub here in Cardiff but it seems more about drinking at special brewing events than bringing along and trying homebrew beers.
    Gap in the market maybe?
    Cant wait to get back on the brewing again!


  3. Arwyn says:

    Just trying your 5am saint clone. Absolutely stunning. Wasn’t expecting such a great beer from a homebrew (from past experience). Good carbonation and head. I’m closer than ever to investing in some pots and giving it a go. Genuinely impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for that! The 5am clone was one of the more successful brews in recent months in terms of dry hopping .
      Really appreciate the feedback and it gives me the kick up the butt I need to keep it going.
      Next week will see my kicking it off again.


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