A big 2014

Posted: January 8, 2015 in Brew Blog

It’s been too long, I know…but there’s just not as much to write about these days.  And it’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t even know if anyone’s reading!

It has been a big year though, I became the inaugural President of a new home brew club in my local area.  We’ve grown quickly from a dozen or so blokes to around 40 members in our first year.  We’ve brewed beer in an ex-prison during a beer festival, which went on to win an award at the Australian Home Brew Conference in Canberra.  And we’re planning to start our own annual home brew competition in mid-2015, based on the new (still in draft) BJCP IPA style guidelines.

On my own brewing front, I’m regularly making beer that I really enjoy drinking, with Citra and Centennial joining Amarillo as my hops of preference.  I’ve also started experimenting with sour beer, using (rather unsuccessfully) a commercial Lactobacillus culture for my first Berliner Weisse, and more recently the “Sour Worting” or “Turbo Sour” process for my latest version, which seems to have worked a lot better.  I’ve racked beer onto fruit, and very soon will be trying to make something remotely in the style of La Sirene’s Praline, by racking a Belgian Chocolate Ale onto organic vanilla pods, cacao nibs and hazelnuts.

I also brewed my biggest beer yet, a 9.8% abv Russian Imperial Stout.  I did this brew with a mate, and we quickly discovered just how much your efficiency suffers when trying to produce such a massive beer.  Expecting mid/high 60’s, we were surprised to have achieved more like 55%.  We had to use sugar to make up the shortfall, as it’s all we had on hand, but the result was less than spectacular, so lesson learned!

And the other “brew” I’ve been churning out regularly is my “Shagwell” ginger beer.  It’s proved to be a huge hit with my missus, her mum, and especially my own mum.  So it’s found its way into high rotation, with me having to churn out a batch every couple of months to keep up supply.  It’s nothing too fancy, just a 4%ish kit ginger beer topped up with various combinations of brown sugar, raw sugar and DME…but the ladies love it!

  1. Keatch says:

    Hey pres, glad to see you back behind the keyboard! Hoping to see many more posts from yo this year. I’m pretty excited to hear how this Praline clone comes along and there had better be a bottle put aside for me 😉

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