Aha, yes, marking is now finished for the national boards (I still have some others to do for work, but I should have enough time coming up) and there is free time once more. So, that means more beer reviews that I can actually do and get posted. It means being able to check out the local micro-brewery again and it means that it is time for the brewing adventures to begin once more!
Would you like to know more?
This batch, the second, will be fruit beer and is based on the kit bought by my colleagues and presented round about this time last year. It follows the same basic pattern - malt in bucket, mixed with boiling water, cold water added, add in yeast - but will introduce a new element. Rather than adding in the hops after the first week or so it will be adding in some oddly coloured syrupy raspberry mixture. Because why not?
First thoughts are that the malt is distinctively darker, looking more like stout, and smells mustier, stronger. It is properly malt. The yeast is dried, but then so was the first batch, and carries a warning that it must be treated with respect and in a way that is not mentioned on the enclosed instructions which are entirely different again to what it says on the box. In a bit of tizzy, I hate having multiple contradictory instructions, I opted to go with the instructions on the box and be prepared to follow the timings (longer) on the type-written page enclosed. The instructions on the yeast... well, if they're the right ones then I've already bollocksed up the whole shebang.
However, it is now safely ensconced in the kitchen, in Anna's office, and the temperature there seems to be a constant 24 degrees at present. A touch too warm but there is nowhere in the house that is cooller than that other than the fridge (5 degrees, too cold; also, far too small). Ah, the perils of British summertime. No matter, we're due for rain tomorrow and that may bring in a cooller edge. In the meantime we have grown a mighty basil plant that seriously looks strong enough to use as rope and some rather large pepper plants. Though the two in the kitchen have greenfly. I have no idea how any of this is even remotely relevant to brewing.
This batch of beer already has a name, by the by: Berry Bad Bucket-Brewed Birthday Beer. Alliteration and an awful pun - what more could be asked for?