with the occasional rant about tin openers...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fourth Brew: Hambleton Bard’s Bitter (Dry Kit, 40 pints, 3.8% ABV)

After a long weekend of drinking and so on (it was St. Patrick’s day on Wednesday), my Monday afternoon was spent making up the fourth brew. The home brew Pilsner went down exceptionally well on Wednesday, when we had everyone and their mothers round to help out with the carnival float. People from all over the world were here (Holland, France, Australia) and pretty much everybody tried the home brew, and everybody who did, loved it. Empty glasses all round! Also, empty bottles abound, so time to make another batch.

This was a dry kit, but made up in much the same way as the others. Once the dry ingredients (malt and sugar) were added to the bucket I poured on 2 gallons of hot water (boiled and cooled) and stirred thoroughly. Don’t worry about the dry ingredients clumping together; keep stirring and it’ll all dissolve. Once that’s done, follow the rest of the instructions and let the yeast do the rest.

This time I’ve opted for my first fermentation method, which is to keep it away from the radiator, but wrapped in as many blankets as I could spare. It’s a cold March, so we’re layered up in bed. I spared all I could.

It wasn’t strictly necessary to brew more, as I’ve about 70 pints worth maturing in the cupboard, but the Bards kit says that although the beer is drinkable in a matter of weeks, it can be improved if left for up to six months. I’ve started it now, so that when my parents come over in May, it’ll be very drinkable. I don’t want them to think I’m not doing anything with my life.


The beer has eventually turned out grand. Very tasty (and it got a thumbs up from Dad, who is partial to a Shopshire Gold). I’ve kept it in 2 litre bottles though, so I can’t have just the one glass, it always turns into a session. As a result of the quantity, or maybe the beer, I’ve had some bad hangovers on this stuff. It is nice though, and definitely benefits by being left alone for ages before drinking. As for the 70 pints I’d mentioned… I was having a tough old time getting through it all on my own, so I had some boys around after a band practice, and between the four of us we made light work of it. I’d post photos, but there weren’t any.

Thing of note: Don’t use bottles larger than 1 litre. You have to pour it all out at once, and if you’re on your own it’s quite intimidating, having 3 and ½ pints sat in front of you. Having said that, I never let it put me off.

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