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This is the small print where I deny everything and refuse to take any responsibility for anything. Any opinions given should not be taken as facts & any facts given should not be taken as opinions. As an extra precaution all the really small print is in white text, this is copyrighted .


E. & O. E.


Copyright www.petespintpot.co.uk  2008. First published 17 October 2008, last updated  11 October 2017.


Pete’s Pint Pot is dedicated to the home production & sensible drinking of beer, wine, cider & meads plus a little bit of china painting & a few bits of photograph tampering.


If you are affected by any of the articles on this site or any of the issues raised in them, I truly feel very sorry for you.


Finally the sanity clause: As Chico Marx

famously said to brother Groucho,


  “Everybody knows there ain't no

     Sanity Clause!”



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               do a fair bit of home-brewing but only from malt extracts etc. and kits. The thought of “proper” brewing (mashing and sparging etc.) scares me, extract brewing provides me with more thrills and spills than I need (especially the spills).


First of all a few definitions:-


BEER is an alcoholic drink made from grain, most often malted barley and usually flavoured with hops, it can be sub-divided into two main branches:-

            ALE is a general term for a top-fermented beer.

            LAGER is a bottom-fermented beer. The word lager is derived from a German word meaning "to store", in this case, normally at low temperatures - a few degrees above 0°C.

Both these beers can be sub-divide into many other categories.


For honest, unsolicited reviews of many of the beer & wine kits available in the U. K. visit the www.yobrew.co.uk/reviews.php web page where even some commercial beers are covered.


When asked my opinion on what are the best beer kits, I normally suggest:


Cheap kits:- Finlandia, Geordie, John Bull & also the cheap Brewferm Pils (20 litre option as apposed the the 12 litre option, normally kits in the UK are for 23 litres which is 5 UK galls or 6 US galls).


Mid-priced kits:- Better Brew, Brewmaker, Brewmaker & Munton’s Connoisseurs range.


Expensive kits:- Brewmaker, Woodeforde’s, York Brewery, Milestone & Brewferm, the latter make one of the most expensive kits I’ve tried, around £15 at the time of writing, for 12 litre kits of their Kriek (cherry) & Framboose (raspberry) beers. I think they are well worth the cost, I also like their cheaper kits.


I find that some home-made beers can take a month or even three to reach their best, do not be too impatient as you will probably not enjoy your beer. Non-kit beers seem to mature quicker, I can only think this is because real hops are used rather than hop extract.


Beer kit making:- For an excellent article on kit beer brewing visit www.colchesterhomebrew.co.uk/brewingwithbeerkits.html


Note:- If a manufacture has not been named above, do not assume that it is a reflection of the quality of their products. No one is deliberately going to flog you some rubbish as they have their reputation to think of, unless of course, you are interested in to-day’s fashion, “art” or “music”.

It is also worth remembering & respecting that (thankfully) different people have different tastes.


CHRISTMAS BEER


I suppose that by definition, a Christmas beer could be any beer you drink at Christmas but some brewers produce “special” beers bearing this name. The serious ones tend to be strong, full-flavoured dark brews that can contain all sorts of herbs & spices but these are not mandatory & so I will expand the definition to include the more aptly named “winter” & generally all strong ales. Commercial, non-serious Christmas ales tend to be relatively weak brews with silly names primarily aimed at TV soap addicts.

Strong beers can easily take over 6 months to mature, many will steadily improve over several years & so it is a very good idea to plan well in advance. Every year brew a batch before June say, try a few bottles at Christmas & save a few for the following year(s), your labours will not go un-rewarded! It is very important to keep good records so that you can re-make or refine your recipes/procedures.

The first Christmas recipe I ever came across is this one by Ken Shale's, one of the pioneers of home brewing.

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KEN SHALE'S YULETIDE ALE

I have never tried making this beer as, to me, it seems to contain far too much sugar, but like it’s author, it is quite well known in home brew circles. Note the very low calculated Final Gravity!

Dry malt extract

Crystal malt

White sugar

Demerara sugar

Priming sugar g/litre

Goldings (5.3%)

A good ale yeast.

1500g (or 1760g wet extract)

500g

1500g

1000g

4.725 (1½ level 5ml tsp)

132/83g (see notes below)


O.G. (Excl. primer)

F.G.

Alc. % (Inc. primer)

Initial volume litres

Bitterness EBU

Colour EBC

Calc.

1079

1004

10.4

20

48

35

RECIPE NOTES:-

Plain “malt extract” is quoted in the original recipe but I have assumed DRY to get the OG nearer to the quoted 1085. As usual the extract colour is not important.

The type of hop is unspecified so I have assumed Goldings, 132g are boiled for ½ hr with the malt extract & crystal malt in 6.75 litres of water, this gives about 48EBU from a 12.5% hop utilization, increasing the boil volume to 8 litres for 90min would give 20% utilization & so the quantity of hops could be reduced to about 83g whilst still giving the same bitterness. After the boil the liquid is sieved onto the sugars in a mash tun, made up to 20 litres & the yeast added when it is cool enough. Ken says to rack the beer when fermentation is complete & leave it to stand for at least a week before bottling.

The yeast may struggle if added directly to the wort owing to the high OG & alcohol content, I would suggest re-hydrating it in a fairly week sugar solution or, even better, use a yeast starter.

The original recipe was for 4 UK gallons, I have scaled this up to 20 litres thus giving nice round weights of ingredients.


The 1998 Autumn edition of the sadly defunct “Home Wine & Beer Maker” magazine gives a similar “Yuletide Special” recipe barley wine recipe which I have modified slightly.

BARLEY WINE

Dry light malt extract

Crystal malt

Demerara sugar

Priming sugar g/litre

Fuggles (4.5%)

Yeast nutrient (optional)

A good ale yeast.

1000g

200g

600g

4.725 (1½ level 5ml tsp)

42g

1 tsp


O.G. (Inc. Primer)

O.G. (Exc. primer)

F.G.

Alc. % (Inc. primer)

Initial volume litres

Bitterness EBU

Colour EBC

Calc.

1083

1081

1011

10

7.5

49/36 (see notes below)

45

RECIPE NOTES:-

The original recipe has been scaled from 4.5 to 7.5 litres thus giving nice round figures as dried malt extract comes in 500g packs.

Light extract replaces the original dark to reduce the colour from around 110 EBC (use what you want).

The hops are boiled for 1 hr with the other ingredients (exc. sugar, yeast & nutrient) in 6 litres of water. This gives a bitterness of about 49 EBU, adding the sugar to the boil decreases this to around 36 EBU, again the choice is yours, the original recipe gave a bitterness of only 11EBU, far too low for the style whose typical parameters are: OG 1080+, FG 1018-1030, 8-12% ABV, 35-70 EBU & 15-45 EBC.

Again the yeast may struggle if added directly to the wort, I would suggest re-hydrating it in a fairly week sugar solution or, even better, use a yeast starter, the yeast nutrient will not hurt either.

#CHRISTMAS

SAMMY CLAUSE

This recipe is intended to be in the style of Samichlaus, when originally brewed by Hürlimann’s in Switzerland this Christmas lager (doppelbock) was the strongest in the world at 14% & available as a light (Helles - red label) brew or the darker original brew (silver label). Production ceased in 1997 but the Austrian brewers Schloss Eggenberg started the process again using the same recipe & yeast. Considered by many as the best & rarest beer in the world it is traditionally brewed on St. Nicolas’ Day (one of the Patron Saints of brewers), December 6 & bottled after ten months for consumption at Christmas.

Dry extra light malt extract

Crystal malt

Cane sugar

Priming sugar g/litre

Northern Brewer (7.5%)

Tettnang (5)

Hallertauer

Yeast nutrient (optional)

Zurich lager yeast.

1500g

85g

170g

6.3 (2 level 5ml tsp)

16g

6g (15min)

6g (3 min)

½ tsp


O.G. (Inc. Primer)

O.G. (Exc. primer)

F.G.

Alc. % (Inc. primer)

Initial volume litres

Bitterness EBU

Colour EBC

Calc.

1129

1126

1025

14

5 litres

28

31

RECIPE NOTES:-

The hops are boiled with the malts in 4 litres of water for 60 min. then sieved & sparged to 5 litres onto the sugar in the fermenting bin, aerate well, add the nutrient (if used) & a working yeast. Because of the very high O.G., the hop utilization is only about 10%, half of what I normally try for. Again I have used dry malt extract to keep the figures nice and easy.


ALTERNATELY

You you could boil half the quantity of the hops with the crystal malt & ONLY 500g of the malt extract in 3 litres of water for 60 mins. & the remainder of the malt extract & the sugar added to the fermenting bin.


To get the darker beer, like the original brew (silver label), you could reducer the crystal milt to 55g & add 30g of chocolate malt, bringing the colour up to about 72EBC.


Another recipe suitable as a “Christmas beer” is my “Olde Wig Bender”, I bottled this about three months before one Christmas & found it to be very enjoyable but by the following Christmas it had developed into an exceptional ale. You also wish to try my “Sanity Clause”.


SEASONAL BEER


Christmas/winter beers can be defined as “seasonal” as they are intended to be consumed during those specific periods. Many brewers produce beers specifically for spring, summer & autumn as well, these are known as “seasonal” beers, another definition could be that the brews are only produced in that season. Note that I’m referring to British practices only.


I can find no definitions of what specific characteristics seasonal beers should have but generally my descriptions may apply:-


SPRING

Light coloured ales with noticeable hop flavour/character.


SUMMER

Refreshing light coloured & undemanding beers & lagers.


AUTUMN

These tend to be darker, malty brews with a slightly higher alcohol content.


WINTER

Robust porters & stouts with a nice warming taste go down well on long cold nights, as do special ales & barley wines.

clone Malts & Sugars Hops Mull Page

Ale, Cider & Wine Mulls

People who bought Stella also bought …..














                                              LYNX!

They marginally preferred the taste but the Stella smelt much better!

Slim Dusty, a.k.a. David Gordon Kirkpatrick (Order of Australia & MBE) was born 13 June 1927 & died 19 September 2003. He was an Australian country music singer-songwriter & had a No. 1 hit (No. 3 in the UK) in 1957 with Gordon Parsons’ “A Pub With No Beer”, backed by Dick Carr & His Bushlanders.


Two Slim Dusty stamps were released in January 2001.

Another record by Slim can be found on my Music Page.

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