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  • Russell Brown,

    NB: This all seems like a while ago and I didn’t take any notes, so hopefully, I got the details right.

    Also, for beer nerds, this is the recipe Hamish used:

    NZ Best Bitter
    OG 1.041
    IBU 27

    NZ Ale malt
    Toffee malt
    Dark Crystal
    Pale Crystal
    Black malt

    Pacific Jade bittering
    Hops at 30 mins and 0
    Nelson Sauvin
    Cascade
    Kohatu

    Fermenting with Wyeast 1318 London Ale III

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Brown,

    Mmm Deep Creek Brewing, a home away from home !

    Long Bay • Since Sep 2013 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Waugh,

    Hmm I dunno, there are heaps of sesh beers around these days, pretty much every brewery (except Epic) has at least one.
    Nice looking recipe though. :)
    Was the NZ Ale malt Gladfeilds or Malteurope?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish Ward,

    Malteurop.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Looking forward to tasting this! In the meantime, off to Eden Park to see some real football (I hope...)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    That looks really tasty. I think you're a couple of years behind the times in terms of local session beers though, they're all over the place now. Brothers even held a sessionable beer festival early this year with about 18 beers on tap, and the strongest one there was the homebrewer group effort at a bit over 5%.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I have put aside a 10x10m square of land down on the farm to grow barley (and hops) to turn into beer in a paddock to pitcher experiment.

    I expect some potential issues with the malting and kilning cos I don’t (yet) possess a barley roller and a kiln, but I have made my own tun from some instructions I found on instructables.com and I have on standby 3 hives/squadrons (I name my bee hives after famous squadrons – “617 hive, the Jam Busters”, “487 Hive, the Manuka Mosquitoes” and “No. 75 Hive, the Sugarhawks”) of honey bees so I can use my own honey from my own honey bees as the sugar. Anyway, it is a lot of effort to produce 50 or so litres of beer but it is the fun of it all, really.

    If it all works out I might post on it. Otherwise, I will never speak of it again.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • jasonhighet,

    If its any consolation Russell, I believe beer-hipsters are moving away from over-hopped IPAs, and on to sour beers now.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2012 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    A friend of mine was recently pressed to try a salt water and seaweed beer. Now that's stunt.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    my fave session beer, when available (at Hopsctoch etc) is Cassels Dunkel, a old style dark lager - mmm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    As someone who lives out in the sticks and primarily drinks at home (to avoid the drink/drive scenario) I tend to stick to the beers Russell fulminates against - the strong uber-hoppy numbers that excite my palate. Drinking at home doesn't devolve into 'sessions' so I am happy to drink something with a reasonably hefty alcohol content.

    No chance I'll get to Beervana, so slim-to-no chance I'll ever get to taste this delicious-sounding brew.

    Anyone 'out west' in the Auckland area could do worse than check out the range at 'blanc' on Lincoln Rd (used to be Lincoln Wines). Beers (and wines & spirits) for all occasions.

    [I am not being paid for this advertising...]

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Sounds delicious. And just the thing to help wash down some nice whisky as well, if it's one of those sessions.

    I do like hoppy IPA/APA style beers, but totally agree that some go way too far. Some people must like them.

    Not fond of the bitter style in general myself, and I can't say I've ever had a lager I'd call "nice" (although some are good for lagers). Like a good pilsener, though. And stout.

    Funny how tastes vary. I'm sure one day we'll learn there is some genetic complement to how we taste things individually. Beyond the more obvious ones like "coriander = delicious" vs "coriander = soap/stink bugs" (I'm in the latter category, unfortunately).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I don't mind bitterness. It's the hops that get me, being unpleasantly sedative. It is quite like mixing alcohol and marijuana, feeling utterly dazed and slightly nauseous. Body-hopped, if you will.*

    It seems to have got slightly better around Wellington in recent months, but if I'm in a craft beer bar I'll usually ask for a beer which is low on the hops.

    *I don't own a car, but I do wonder if the effect on others is sufficient to increase their risk, even at low levels of consumption.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    so I can use my own honey from my own honey bees as the sugar

    You have to be careful when using honey in brews; too much and it can taste pretty horrible. I learnt my lesson in this regard when I made a true ginger ale (i.e. an ale using root ginger instead hops) and used far more honey than the recipe called for (it's honey so it's got to taste good right?). The problem is once the yeast has gobbled up all the sugar in the honey, what's left can make the brew quite sour. You just have to use it in moderation.

    I can’t say I’ve ever had a lager I’d call “nice” (although some are good for lagers). Like a good pilsener, though. And stout.

    Lagers are funny things for the home brewer. For what is probably the most popular style of beer in the world and which lacks much in the way of taste (decently hopped Pilseners exempted) they are actually quite difficult to make well. Also, for a style of beer best drunk in hot weather, you can only really make them in winter (unless you have a way of chilling down your fermenter) and then you have to "lager" it for weeks on end (conditioning at a low temperature of around 4 - 6 c) before bottling / kegging.

    Stouts on the other hand are great for the home-brewer; you can use just one hop and simply boil the hell out of it without having to worry about the timing of additions. Here's a great Chocolate Milk Stout recipe if anyone wants to try it. It's a partial-mash so is a good first step for those who want to move up from "kit and a kilo" brewing but not as complicated as doing a full-mash.

    Chocolate Milk Stout

    1 x 1.7kg tin Black Rock dark liquid malt extract
    1 x 1.7kg tin Black Rock light liquid malt extract
    500g Lactose
    100g good quality Dutch cocoa powder
    200g of Black Patent grain crushed
    250g of English Chocolate grain crushed
    70 grams of Fuggles hops
    1 packet good quality English ale yeast (e.g. Safale S-04)

    Any decent home-brew shop should have all of this.

    1) Heat 10 litres of water in a 15 litre stock-pot to 70 c degrees. Add the crushed patent and chocolate malt grains in a grain bag or muslin. Hold the 70c temperature for 25 minutes.
    2) Remove the grain bag and bring the pot to a boil.
    3) When boiling, add the 70 grams fuggles hops, malt extracts and lactose. Boil for 90 minutes. Apologize to your other-half for the smell enveloping the house.
    4) Add the cocoa powder 10 minutes before the end of the boil.
    5) At the end of 90 minutes cool the pot in an bath of water. Pour into sanitised fermenter and top up with cold water to 23 L.
    7) When temperature is down to c.20 c, sprinkle over yeast and ferment at 18 - 20c for as long as it takes (normally about 7 - 10 days or so)
    8) Bottle or keg as usual when the specific gravity has been stable for 48 hours.

    OK to drink after a couple of weeks in the bottle but longer is better.

    That will give you 23 litres of damn fine stout for about $50 worth of ingredients

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    Also, for a style of beer best drunk in hot weather, you can only really make them in winter (unless you have a way of chilling down your fermenter)

    Professional brewers use heat exchangers, I learned last week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Lagers are funny things for the home brewer. For what is probably the most popular style of beer in the world and which lacks much in the way of taste (decently hopped Pilseners exempted) they are actually quite difficult to make well. Also, for a style of beer best drunk in hot weather, you can only really make them in winter (unless you have a way of chilling down your fermenter) and then you have to “lager” it for weeks on end (conditioning at a low temperature of around 4 – 6 c) before bottling / kegging.

    Sage words. I stick to the more forgiving golden ales, which are still a fine drink in the summer. I have given a lager a go and as you say, the biggest issue for lagers is temerature control. You can use a heat exchanger - they are a piece of cake to knock up at home, you can make one using a chilly bin, copper piping, an acquarium water pump and a modified fermenter. Of course, you have to be on your toes 24x7 to keep the chilly bin topped up with ice and water gets everywhere. All in all, it is an almighty rigmarole of specialist yeasts and anxious thermometer watching. Because I make my own cheese (the neighbours have a couple of obliging cows, unpasteurised milk from happy heifers = cheese win!) I now have a second hand and ancient food display chiller which would probably do nicely for lager, but lager is one of those things like tomato ketchup and peanut butter - you can make it at home, but why bother?

    Nice stout recipe. I like to add a 250ml cup of cold filtered coffee to my stout, and I use a lot more sugar than you - my last stout had 500ml molasses, 500ml dark muscovy sugar and 500g lactose. Mind you, it is a quite alcoholic wee drop.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Professional brewers use heat exchangers, I learned last week.

    The penny dropped when I discovered that commercial breweries add the co2, after filtering the sediment out. They can also control Alcohol content, which is of interest to me, because I am an alcoholic, but I like to drink beer. I drank a lot of tasty alcohol free beer when I traveled around the United States recently. The good stuff comes from Europe. If one of the local craft brewers could get their beer under 1.5 percent (legally, not an alcohol drink) I would be happy to support their label.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Russell you lucky, lucky bastard…

    The penny dropped when I discovered that commercial breweries add the co2,

    Yes, and unbelievably they don’t capture and re-use CO2 from the fermenting stage but they actually use fossil CO2 stripped from natural gas. I know it’s completely insignificant in terms of our CO2 emissions but for fuck’s sake…

    Hence my refusal to drink that fizzy Steinlager stuff under any circumstances – unless, of course, no other beer is available (and also because it tastes hardly different from L & P).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I drank a lot of tasty alcohol free beer

    A low alcohol beer is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman, in reply to David Haywood,

    Yup, most, if not all, commercial and industrial CO2 is taken from the natural gas fields – e.g. Kapuni is around 40% CO2. This is stripped out at the production station(s), and processed for industrial supply at some (e.g. Kapuni and Oaonui from memory). Otherwise would be released at the production station, or when the gas is burnt at power stations, petrochemical plants (who often can’t use gas with CO2), gas-fired boilers/heaters (e.g. dairy factories, breweries, swimming pools, schools, universities and hospitals in the NI), restaurants and residential gas heating and cooking.

    Is it better to (re)use an effluent stream in an industrial process, or just release to the environment without making use of it, aside the from the arguments over which industries/end users should use gas as an energy supply or commodity?

    Cheers,
    FM

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Fooman,

    Is it better to (re)use an effluent stream in an industrial process, or just release to the environment without making use of it, aside the from the arguments over which industries/end users should use gas as an energy supply or commodity?

    Well, yes, you’re absolutely correct that it’s better to make use of an effluent stream – and, of course, some of the CO2 production systems actually burn hydrocarbons solely for the purpose of making CO2.

    But hell it’s frustrating that they produce CO2 right there in the fermentation process (in the same building) and then chuck it into the atmosphere and bring in fossil CO2 all the way from the Naki. Couldn’t they just leave the CO2 in the beer in the first place (like you do when you’re making it at home) or – failing that – capture it and reuse it for carbonation.

    No doubt someone has worked out that (excluding the environmental costs) it’s cheaper to use fossil CO2 than to capture it from fermentation – but it seems so inelegant from an engineering point of view.

    Maybe I just don’t like fizzy beer.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I'm pretty sure they do this with carbonated ginger beer too. It's hard to find one in shops that gets its fizz from the fermentation rather than added gas. but without knowing much about the process beyond a few ventures into making my own, I suspect it's because natural fermentation is harder to control. You don't want your product exploding because it's stored in the backroom of a hot dairy, and temperature control from production to consumption is expensive.

    I wonder if the same logic dictates when yoghurt is thickened with gelatin. It's not as efficient, but it's more stable, and stability is useful thing in a consumable product.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to B Jones,

    Harringtons, the brewery, make a ginger beer which if my ability to detect natural from artificial is up to scratch make a very good example of a brewed ginger beer.
    Probably not wise to let the kids snarf it down on a hot summer day as it's around 5% alcohol.

    My Wife reckons it's the business taste wise.
    I'm more an over hopped IPA man myself although current inclemency is inclining me towards the stout/porter end of the spectrum at the moment.
    Went to hopscotch Mt Eden this arvo for my weekend top up.

    Since Apr 2010 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rob S,

    Went to hopscotch Mt Eden this arvo for my weekend top up.

    Heh, went to the bowser at the breakfast bar in the kitchen. Available all day everyday. onto a new Light Ale at the mo. (chilled naturally in kegs on dirt floor in what will be the cellar someday but for now, outdoor under house :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    In Wellington over the weekend, the Malthouse and Hashigo were stacked with IPA's (from the West Coast challenge), it was hard to find one under 6.5%, in fact they were advertising 6-6.4% ones as their lighter drinking beers. I get the feeling there's an expectation people should be able to knock 3 or more pints of this beer back, but it's a bit too strong for my fortitude.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

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