Up north? Drink beer (part 1)


I’ve Mug Club status at but one brewery right now, and it’s nowhere near my house. 4 1/2 hours from home, and here I am at Beard’s Brewery. Technically, it’s the Coaster Club here, because they dont have space to store mugs for folk. The mug I bring from home.
We only make it up here a few times per year, so this might be my last time here before they move to their new digs around the corner. 

This is a Scotch/Scottish ale, called The Dogman, and is pretty solid. 

The Boulevardier that followed is what happens when a beer and a Manhattan made love. Quite good, and quite boozy.

Of swag and safe carboy handling

I’ve sold a fair few Brew Haulers. Before we moved, I never had to move carboys very far, so when buying gear, it wasn’t something I ever grabbed from the shop. 

What have I been doing with my life?!

Tom and Beth came into the shop this weekend to check up on us, and hand out some product. Last night, I put it to use carrying Tessie’s beer up and down the stairs. These weren’t designed for the 3 gallon carboys, but work well anyways. 

I’ve seen some nasty injuries from carboy mishaps. Get yourself a BrewHauler

New barrel!


This is a barrel given to me by homebrewer-turned-Pro Matt Becker of Brewery Becker, Brighton Michigan. 

It’s long neglected, having its last batch of Flemish ale added to it before I started homebrewing. There’s about 3 gallons left in there now (The angels have been drinking heavily), but it’s unpalatable. 

However! There’s hardly any hint of acetobacter, the vinegar causing bacteria, so the barrel should be recoverable. It will need to continue to be a sour barrel, there’s no getting away from that. I think the first batch in withbe a flanders red. Tessie particularly likes that style. Whether we switch it up or use it as a solera is up for debate. 

First steps will be emptying, and spraying out with hot water.

I’ll be using the keg washing machine for that, so I’ll close this post out, and get started with one about that poiece of equipment before anything elae. 

Happy Burns’ Night!

It’s the birthday of Robert Burns today, so I give you, the Ballad of John Barleycorn, which tells the story of whisky being made! 

There was three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
QAnd they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the chearful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong,
His head weel arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show’d he began to fail.

His colour sicken’d more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.

They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then ty’d him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell’d him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn’d him o’er and o’er.

They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim;
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim.

They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him farther woe;
And still, as signs of life appear’d,
They toss’d him to and fro.

They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us’d him worst of all,
For he crush’d him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy;
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

Better late than never…

I said on January 1st that I would be brewing a very large Burton ale. I never got around to it that day, which happens around here. Tessie was brewing, there was cleaning to be done, plus there’s a toddler about.

Me and TheLittlestHomebrewer got to it today, though! This is TheLittlestHomebrewer helping stir the mashing grains. Note the lack of anything to stir with. I snapped this JUST after he dropped the spoon into the pot. He’d been doing pretty well before that, though.

A 2.5 year old in a striped sweater with a hand over a kettle of hot grains

There is no spoon…

I’ve not really the time to do all grain brewing all the time right now, so we did this as a partial mash. There’s 7lbs of Golden Promise in that mesh bag, to which we’ll add another 13lbs of pale malt extract.

This beer gets an entire pound of East Kent Golding hops (at 5.1% Alpha Acids), and I’ll be using the Mangrove Jack M79 Burton Union yeast, because I’ve got an entire pound of the stuff in dry form and it’s appropriate for the style. I quite like this yeast, but it’s sadly been discontinued by the manufacturer. Before I run out of this bag, I’ll need to grow some and put it in the private yeast bank, unless I can figure out if it really is the same as White Labs WLP023, Burton Ale yeast.

Here’s the recipe: http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/1382341