Monday, May 30, 2016


Brewed a big beer last night (we filmed it and will be up soon) and this happened while I was home, the foil got some actual distance too...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bread and Bitter Pudding

How good is English beer?

I dunno if I've mentioned it before but I love English beer, Timothy Taylor's Landlord (or Timmy T's) is by far one of my favourite beers ever.

Also, how good is bread and butter pudding?

Picture credit to

How good is drinking English beer and eating bread and butter pudding on a cold winters night?


Can you see what I'm getting at here?

Bread and Bitter Pudding. A sweet English Strong Ale that tastes like bread and butter pudding.

So first things first, the base beer. A bready, sweet English Strong Ale to replicate that creamy buttery goodness of the great bread and butter pudding. I chose to use Maris Otter as my base malt (there's no other way to make an English beer) with a bit of wheat and carawheat to help get that breadiness, a good amount of English light crystal malt for the sweetness and a small amount of Gladfields Toffee malt for the butteriness. For yeast I used Wyeast Thames Valley II because it sounds amazing and perfect, estery, fruity and generous with malt.

The Malt Bill:

4kg Simpsons Maris Otter
350g Simpsons Crystal 40L
200g Joe White Wheat Malt
120g Gladfields Toffee Malt
100g Wayermann Carawheat
90g Flaked Wheat

Mash went well, I was pretty happy with the colour of the first runnings. Nice and golden, like the crust of a good bread and butter pudding.

Time for a beer!

What's this? This is the Cookie Brown Ale from the last post.

This was interesting, on one hand it was quite delicious, on the other hand it was pretty average. Up front it is a dry, roasty brown ale that is maybe a little over-carbonated (still getting used to the kegging setup) but with a big milkshakey mouthfeel. Then you get the diacetyl, and that paired with the opaqueness, isn't very appealing. I blame this on me being impatient and forgetting to ramp up the temperature near the end of fermentation and just chucking it straight into the keg. This beer actually finished a bit higher than expected too, which is totally normal for English yeasts. They usually require a bit of convincing to get to a reasonable FG and I didn't allow it, paying the price.

The delicious price...

I think next time I will add a bit more crystal malt - or cut down on the brown malt, that stuff is pretty invasive (and I mean that in the most delicious way). Massive coffee and bread notes but it was just a little too dry for my taste.

Back to our pudding! Mash is over, got the wort on the stovetop, time for some hops! What hops?

I used all East Kent Goldings because of their spicy sweet English vibes, I'll be damned if they aren't delicious and perfect for this beer. A workmate would probably be pretty upset that I didn't use any Fuggles, but I think they're just a little too earthy.

The hop schedule was:

40g EKG @ 60 mins
35g EKG @ 10 mins

After the boil, before cubing for no chill, I took some of the wort to make a RWS (real wort starter), one of the benefits of no chilling. 

Got the beer in the cube, got almost exactly the amount I had planned, with an OG of 1.058. HI FIVE!

The next day my yeast starter was looking hungry so I pitched it.

But not before having to defrost my refrigerator. One of the downsides to have a fermenting fridge that seconds as a keg fridge... help please send space

After about 4 or 5 days the fermenting seemed to slow down a bit, hitting 1.018 and stalling. Aha! Learn from my mistakes, I ramped the temperature from 18*C to 22 and roused the beer a little, hoping to get some of that high flocculating yeast back into suspension.

Didn't work so I did it again the next day.

The next day, gravity had dropped to 1.014, perfect!

I let the beer sit for another week, letting the yeast rest up for what was going to come next!

What is a bread and butter pudding without raisins, marmalade and most importantly, brandy?

I soaked oak, raisins and orange peel in brandy for a week to add to the beer. I wish you could smell it, it was unbelievably good.

Also that Pirate Life IPA is pretty good, if you are in Australia and haven't tried Pirate Life before WHY ARE YOU READING MY BLOG GO AND GET ONE OR SIX OR TWENTY FOUR NOW

So that brings us to now, I've just kegged the beer, removing the bag of orange peel and raisins, they don't look so appealing anymore...

And all I can think about is that I should have used these to make a bread and butter pudding...

Maybe next time.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fermented Dreams

I have this really bad habit of making beers and completely forgetting that I run a homebrewing blog, well this won't happen again! Oh I know what you're thinking "but Oscar, you've said this before and nothing changed!" yeah well guess what? You're probably right.

Anyway! What's up people?! ...


Well I've been busy, sorta. Firstly, and most excitingly, I've got a couple of sweet new jobs. One is at one of my favourite local breweries: Moon Dog, serving beers at their brewpub, and the other is working at Grain and Grape, which if you have followed along, is my go-to homebrew supplies store.


Also, if all goes to plan, there'll be a little bio about me on this page with a link to this blog on it. So if you've come from there, welcome. My infinite loop is now complete and I can now begin work on my anti matter machine.

Ok, enough about me, let's get down to why you're all really here:

So I've made a few beers since my last post, I made the Burnt Toast and Jam again, which I mentioned a couple of times throughout the blog. It's basically my favourite beer to make/drink and the taste is exactly what the name suggests. I'm not telling you the recipe though because then I'd have to kill you, ferment you and make you into... Uh-oh, I've said too much.

It turned out great, if you were wondering, it always does.

Another beer I made was one to test out my new kegging setup (woo!), a Citra/Amarillo pale ale. Really simple, nice and dry with a delicious tamarillo-esque hop profile, and I churned it out quick enough to just see the last of the hot weather. The recipe was as follows:


2.5kg Pale Ale Malt
100g Medium Crystal
50g Flaked Wheat

80g Citra @ flameout (the reason it's all at the end is because I was no chilling and it would cook for a bit more as it cools.)

80g Amarillo dry hopped for 4 days

Fermented for 2 weeks with Wyeast 1056 American Ale and then straight into the keg.


I think next time I would swap the hops, so use Amarillo in the boil and dry hop with Citra. Really keen to maybe throw some actual tamarillos in next time too...

The latest beer I've done, which is still in the fermenter, is a beer inspired by a recipe in Radical Brewing: a cookie brown ale (or biscuit brown ale for all us non-americans).

What separates this recipe apart from other brown ales is that it uses a big hit of oats, kinda like an oatmeal stout, except that you toast them in the oven to give it that real oat biscuit vibe.

So I toasted some oats in the oven about 2 weeks prior to brewing the beer, the reason for the wait is because of something John Palmer said about letting some of the harsher aromatics to escape and if there's one thing I've learnt it's that you should always follow John Palmer's advice even if it doesn't necessarily make sense to you, because science.

Is this obsession healthy?

Brew day was smooth, hit all the numbers which was nice. Particularly hitting my mash out bang on the dot.

I used a malt in this beer that I have been loving lately: Gladfields Toffee, and I haven't even used it in a recipe yet, I could just eat handfuls of it all day long.

A workmate told me that if you use too much there's a chance it can end up giving a buttery taste to the beer that can be confused with diacetyl, and I did use quite a lot of it so I guess we'll just see. I can't imagine it will be terrible either way.

I don't know why I first wort hop so much, I read somewhere that it gives a smoother bitterness and in my experience it has, but this is pseudo-science 101 right here so don't quote me on that.

Here's the recipe:


1.7kg Maris Otter
1kg Pale Ale Malt
.400g Toasted Oats (300g lightly toasted, 100g dark toast)
.200g Brown Malt
.200g Gladfields Toffee
.080g Dark Crystal
.020g Roasted Barley

10g Fuggles @ FWH
25g Fuggles @ 20mins

No Chilled and fermented with Wyeast West Yorkshire 1469


So hopefully in the next couple of weeks you'll get an update post about how this beer tastes, fingers crossed, like biscuits!

Stay smelly,