with the occasional rant about tin openers...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Irish Stout

Happy St. Guin Patrick's Day!

It’s St. Patrick’s Day again. I wouldn’t normally spend three weeks preparing for a party, but it’d be a poor show if I hadn’t made enough beer to satisfy at least four Irishfolk. I’m not pandering to a stereotype here, by the way, just going by the last two years. The Tiger Beer will remain a secret, hidden from drunken, lecherous eyes; Kindleweisse is practically undrinkable, thanks to it tasting of cloves and nothing else. But a Golden Ale* will be available to reward paradees (people who do the parade).

But, because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, it’s only right I should brew a stout... even if only to thin out the feckin’ Guinness. I’ve only made two gallons for reasons better, but not entirely, known to myself. It’s a sweet stout, with crystal and chocolate malt in place of flaked and roasted barley (no it’s not a porter). From the bottling leftovers, it’s very, very nice. But it only has 6 days to condition. Will it be long enough? Not satisfied that secondary fermentation is going to be sufficient (bottling gravity was 1015, OG was only 1042!) I put them in the bed with the electric blanket on. It didn’t work. I’m still tiling the fireplace**; so with no proper heat for a couple of days, it may be very sweet, very flat stout! Never mind. I’ve no doubt it’ll go down well after a mile long parade.

Having homebrew on St. Paddy’s day is a flimsy tradition for me, seeing how I forgot last year, but it’s nice to have a house full of people and homebrew at the same time. They’re usually mutually exclusive. I’ve made pretty labels, bottled them in glass, and there’s at least some sort of beer to please everyone, and some Carlsberg to disappoint. So with any luck I’ll have a captive audience to test out my recipes. I'm placing listening devices down the back of the sofa so I can hear what people really think. Let's face it, noone's going to tell me bad things when I'm giving away free beer!

Now then, on with the rest of the preparations to people-proof the house. Nail everything down, hide the ornaments, light candles and bake bread. Oh yeah, and finish that fireplace!

* The post below mentions the Golden Ale, and I think it also says something like “at least make a passable pale ale”. Well, it’s a very good Pale Ale, but not a particularly good example of a Golden. Back to the drawing board with that recipe, I think. I’m not short of recipes for Pales.

** Last year’s promise was to get the stove in by St. Parick’s Day. This year’s promise is to tile around it.