The first meeting of 2020 was a fascinating experiment in variation and following instructions.
We first started with a great insight into the reasons and science of the copper boil by Windsor & Eton’s crack brewer Matt. As well as deftly explaining IBUs, coagulation and kettle design he frightened the horses with some terrifying mathematics.
We then moved onto the Golden ale experiment. Paddy had previously provided us with the recipe for a beer very similar to Knight of the Garter that can be found here back in November. The idea was everyone brewed the recipe as is then we compared beers. This would show the differences that our individual processes and set ups added. We had half a dozen versions and first up was Alan’s. His initially seemed darker than the others and when questioned he’d added some extra caramalt and on further questioning had used different hops. In essence it was a different beer! That said it was good.
The other beers were compared and drew some interesting discussion around yeast handling and hop utilisation. A useful and interesting experiment and something I think we can repeat in the future.
We also had some other very interesting beers to taste afterwards. A small beer from the second runnings of the golden ale – a real achievement to give so much body to a 1.2% abv beer. The final two beers were harking back to the festive season a Norwegian Christmas tree beer – brewed with a real Christmas tree (No tinsel was harmed during the brewing of this ale) and lastly a beer never to be repeated. A Christmas dinner surprise ale hopped with sprouts – the evilest of all our vegetables. Opinions differed on this as they do around the festive dinner table.
Another great meeting. Afterwards we discussed and agreed the concept of having theme months. So every other month will have a theme or style or ingredient we can all try and bring our results. The other months will be free-for-alls when anything goes. The first theme month will be March when English bitter will be the style to bring. Whatever your take on this bring it along.
We also discussed the concept of a large format homebrew contest to be run in the club later in the year. We’ve a kernel of an idea that needs some thought. Please give your opinion on this on our Facebook group discussion that can be found here.