Friday, 19 October 2012

Pumpkin Beers

But no recipe in this post....

One of the American special, or should I say, seasonal beers I enjoy the most is pumpkin beer, not a beer we tend to do over here or in the case of the one time I saw a UK bottle in the supermarket we don't do well. Give us fruits whether it be raspberries, blackberries or another berries and we do a fine job at putting them into beer, fair enough it's not normally my taste but I have drunk a few that have been good, my husband loves fruit beers though and he isn't normally disappointed by these offerings.

Pumpkin beer isn't something we see a lot of over here, I really like Brooklyn's version when/if I see it at Halloween. I'm guessing because it is a seasonal our guys don't have the time behind them at perfecting the ideal pumpkin beer, it should be slightly spicy but sweet with the slight note of roasted pumpkin or at least that it my ideal one. The American brewers have had years to get their recipes right, pumpkins were used by the first lot of brewers over there to brew beer so it is a traditional beer style for them, we over here had over things to use.

We don't get that many over here in the export market either but then I guess it is an unusual beer to us British, Brooklyn's Post Road being the only one I have found in the last few years and this year so far locally none.

If you spot a pumpkin beer give it ago, you may not like it or you may just find yourself another lovely beer to enjoy.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Beetroot Beer

Or another of your five a day...

1 lb beetroot
0.5 lb malt extract
0.5 lb brown sugar
1 gallon water
Yeast (I note there is no quantity for yeast... This could be interesting)

Wash and slice the beetroots, place into boiling water and cook as you would do normally, then strain the liquid onto the malt extract and sugar and stir to dissolve, let it cool down to yeast happy temperature then drop in the yeast and ferment for three days, siphon and bottle. But you have to let it settle in the bottles for ten days before drinking...

Plus side you have cooked beetroots for making a salad with!

Boak and Bailey mentioned on twitter about vegetable beers, they probably have books with these sorts of recipes like I do. Sadly I can't find the carrot beer recipe though!

Again it is all a bit Good Life but still with the financial situation being what it is, homebrew I suspect will be making a comeback.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

68% beer afford brewdog

For those of you who read but don't have a blogger account, if you have an account you can view various stats on your viewers, which posts are popular etc...

You can also see search terms that people use to end up reading it and the title of this blog is the one which has been trending on my blog for the last month... seriously I have no idea how. Whilst I mention them on posts occasionally I haven't written about how a beer can afford to buy a brewdog.

Stats are bizarre!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

It's All Down To The Acoustics

Nope, not a music post but more the main problem of being to hear your companion when you go out for a drink.

Bars tend to be more modern and the old fashion boozer is more traditional, a broad generalisation I know but the modern bar/pub has tiled or wooden floors with wallpaper with maybe the odd poster and a lot of space.... Space that loud music and very loud voices bounce around in, making the place lively and busy I guess.

Now, your old fashioned boozer in my experience has carpet, curtains and pictures on the wall, all of which serve to absorb some of the conversation from the next table so I can hear the conversation at mine.

Why with all the money that is spent on expensive refurbs of bars and pubs that no one has bothered to recreate the acoustics so that you can hear folks without having to shout? A lot of bars end up with a group huddled outside and not just the smokers but folk who are trying to have a conversation and a laugh with their mates.

News flash, people love being able to meet up with their mates and catch up, not listen to the folks behind them.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Craft = Organic

The word craft is like organic for me to be honest.


Because ultimately it is a phrase that has no legal definition  backing it up and it is used to sell products.

Whilst I like the concept of craft beer, there are no legal requirements for it, so anything can be called craft. Plus to be honest you can argue Greene King IPA is as craft as say Marble’s Bitter or Brewdog Punk IPA or any number of beers, its all about perception.

So while this is going to a hot subject I think I'll bow out now. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hop It

Or rather what to use instead of hops....

Some of us have tried the International Arms race beers from Flying Dog and Brewdog, one is a ginger beer and the other a sour, from my viewpoint anyway. However that competition was to brew an IPA without hops, but the concept of brewing without hops is hardly a new one, so back to the home brewing books to see what is suggested.

Spruce beer has a fair few mentions and I recall seeing the foraging brewers on River Cottage making a spruce beer so it mustn't be a bad drop. Or at least they seemed to enjoy it and according to the books it goes well with hops if you want to combine the two.

The key thing according to the books is " the principle of balancing sweetness against bitterness once understood becomes easy", not a hundred per cent it becomes that easy but the idea of using nettles in stout, apparently an old idea, sounds an interesting one and I like the flavour of nettles. Nettle cordal and explosive beer experiments always a good one. :)

Wormwood was also used in the past apparently for its bitter flavour instead of hops, although I don't fancy that one much as I have used wormwood infusions to kill garden pests off the other plants and as I don't have bugs inside me I want to get rid.... I'm guessing the toxicity of wormwood stopped our brewers from using this herb nowadays.

Of course as someone who likes their darker beers, Treacle Ale is a good idea for brewing without hops. The dentist may not agree though!