Sunday, 14 September 2008

Open Brew Day #1

Yesterday I had an "Open Brew Day" at my home, inviting a few colleagues along to see a beer being made, and to sample a few. It all went very smoothly, with lots of questions, a few beers and a new chili recipe I'm playing with (to which was added a bottle of Hacker-Pschorr Animator). I also asked them vote between two recipes I had made; one an American type Pale Ale and the other a bastardised Irish Red Ale/English Pale Ale/Dark Beer - no idea what kind of beer you'd call it, but who cares. After the tasting in the office a few weeks ago I fully expected to be making the pale ale, but I was very pleased when they voted two against one for the darker ale! The fourth guy hadn't arrived by then, but I have a feeling he would have gone dark too. It kinda messes up my theory that the more north you go the more people tend towards pils, but then I didn't have a representative sample. It may be the beginning of a group of willing guinea pigs for me, and not only on the home brewing front (will be part of the experiment!).

Following the brew day we cycled the 8.5km to a boathouse owned by the company at which there was a party. It's an interessting cycle as much of it is though woods on dirt trails, and it's bloody hard to see the trail in the dark with just a bicycle lamp. I took a wrong turn on my way back last time I did it (beer was involved, but there was also no moon that night), so I was happy when I was told of an alternative route home that was on regular street. The beer at the party, by the way, was Becks. Freezing cold Becks! Oh, and Becks Gold.

This was in contrast to the daytime event at my house where we had some home-brewed porter and IPA, and a Landbier and Hell a colleague brought along from a small brewery based in Havixbeck; Münsterländische Privatbrauerei Klute. I have to get some more of this, but they both had a very distinctive zesty hop profile, bordering on hay with lemons, with the Landbier having a very strong light-caramel base.

I plan another brew day in two weeks where I hope to be making a smoked stout with more volunteers, assuming I manage to find the last bits I need to complete building my mash tun!


Alistair Reece said...

Smoked stout sounds good, are you using rauch malt or distiller's malt for the smokey flavour?

Barry M said...

I have some rauch malz, which is probably easier to get here. Would love to try some distillers malt though! I was planning a smoked porter, but I'm leaning towards something more stout-like at the moment. We'll see when the day comes :D

Alistair Reece said...

I would love to get hold of smoke distillers malt, especially the stuff they use on Islay for the Laphroaig (only Talisker is a better whisky in my world). A pitch black stout with the aroma of peat, a dream drink.