Real ale

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a layer of chips
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Re: Real ale

Post by a layer of chips » Fri Jan 15, 2010 09:16

I was in the Wellington in Birmingham this week, and there was a poster in there for a cheese festival, which said: "Bring your own exciting cheeses!"

I've never thought of cheese being exciting before, but this has opened my eyes a little.

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Re: Real ale

Post by Concrete » Mon Jan 18, 2010 19:29

Uncle Ants wrote:In my experience it doesn't make a whole lot of difference as to when it's ready to drink, bottled or pressure barreled. It's drinkable a week or so after bottling/barreling (but only just). 2 weeks and it's good either way. A barrel won't keep for months but bottles will if you have the willpower and they just get better for up to six months, but you do have to have a strong will. Pet bottles, like what fizzy water comes in are quite good, because with 2 ltr ones you only have about a dozen to sort out, but you do lose a good quarter pint to the sludge each bottle*.
What's your view on "secondary fermentation", in the sense of transferring the brew to another vessel between the initial fermentation and bottling? Some people seem to think it's bobbins and you'll die because you're doubling the risk of bacteria getting in your brew, but other people swear by it, saying your bottles will otherwise be full of yeast, such that you'll have to eat it with a spoon... or something. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but they can't both be right.

I got a Woodforde's Wherry kit for Christmas, though not from Pete Green, funnily enough. I'm intending to make it soon, but obviously want to be clear exactly what I'm doing first.

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Re: Real ale

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:59

a layer of chips wrote:I was in the Wellington in Birmingham this week, and there was a poster in there for a cheese festival, which said: "Bring your own exciting cheeses!"

I've never thought of cheese being exciting before, but this has opened my eyes a little.

I thought that was every Wednesday (or Thursday)? It's a socialist CHEESE NIGHT. As opposed to the Broad Street sort of CHEESE NIGHT.
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Re: Real ale

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:55

Concrete wrote:What's your view on "secondary fermentation", in the sense of transferring the brew to another vessel between the initial fermentation and bottling? Some people seem to think it's bobbins and you'll die because you're doubling the risk of bacteria getting in your brew, but other people swear by it, saying your bottles will otherwise be full of yeast, such that you'll have to eat it with a spoon... or something. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but they can't both be right.
Secondary fermentation is always required, it's what gives your beer sparkle, it happens in whatever vessel the beer ends up second from last, assuming it winds up inside you last of all ie. it happens in the pressure barrel or the bottles.

The transferring to another vessel to settle out before transferring again to the bottle or pressure barrel for the secondary ferment is called racking and I think that's what you mean here. There are plus sides and down sides to it.

On the plus side your bottles, if you are bottling, will have less sediment in the bottom (not such an issue with a pressure barrel), also some say that if you leave the beer too long sitting on top of all that yeast from the first ferment it takes on a homebrew tang (I'm not convinced though, I'm fairly sure that comes from using sugar in the primary ferment).

The downside is that you do increase the risk of infection and also transferring the beer twice, you may lose a couple of pints.

Good luck with the kit btw.
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Re: Real ale

Post by Concrete » Tue Jan 19, 2010 19:07

Uncle Ants wrote:The transferring to another vessel to settle out before transferring again to the bottle or pressure barrel for the secondary ferment is called racking and I think that's what you mean here.
That's the one, yes. Some people on homebrew forums call that bit "secondary fermentation"; it's all very confusing.
On the plus side your bottles, if you are bottling, will have less sediment in the bottom (not such an issue with a pressure barrel), also some say that if you leave the beer too long sitting on top of all that yeast from the first ferment it takes on a homebrew tang (I'm not convinced though, I'm fairly sure that comes from using sugar in the primary ferment).

The downside is that you do increase the risk of infection and also transferring the beer twice, you may lose a couple of pints.
So it's down to how fussy I am about each of those things, then. I'll let you know which I choose. The other bit of advice I'm after is related to temperature. I could do the fermenting indoors, which would be nice and stable as it's a good, warm terraced house which we don't very often need to heat. The downside of that is that my other half might not like having the smell of beer in the dining room for several days. I also have a pretty usable attic, an unheated utility room and a shed, but these might get pretty cold during the night. Are any of the affordable heating systems any good, do you know? I've not checked, but I might be able to fit the fermenter in the spare fridge, which would help to hold the temperature. Or is fermenting beer in fact not very smelly at all, such that I should just do it in the house given that Sarah's probably going to be back at work next week?

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Re: Real ale

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Jan 19, 2010 22:15

It's not that smelly really and a good warm room is best. The electric belts work, but it's hard to keep the temperature stable - it goes too high and then too low and ... it can be a pain until you get practised at it. Anything with a thermostat is better, but a nice warm room is best.
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Re: Real ale

Post by Concrete » Wed Jan 20, 2010 21:28

Uncle Ants wrote:It's not that smelly really and a good warm room is best. The electric belts work, but it's hard to keep the temperature stable - it goes too high and then too low and ... it can be a pain until you get practised at it. Anything with a thermostat is better, but a nice warm room is best.
Cheers for your help. I'll look into whether it fits in the spare fridge just so I know, then probably try it indoors anyway.

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Re: Real ale

Post by PopSocks » Wed Jan 20, 2010 21:36

if you decide to barrel instead of bottle, should you use gas, don't do what I did and put the gas on when the barrel is clearly pressurised.......... resulting emergency requirement to drink large quantities of porter type beer and buy new flooring for the utility...hey it was fun

barrel is useful as you don't get so much waste with sediment in the bottles, but means you need to drink jugs of ale....lovely

Also never used belts always a nice warm room, airing cupboard was always fine and second fermentation important for clarity and flavour
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Re: Real ale

Post by Woodbine » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:43

Had a pint of 'Funny Bones' at the weekend. Went back for another the next day and it had sold out. It was bloody gorgeous which is probably why.

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Re: Real ale

Post by Uncle Ants » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:40

Look at this ... nice idea :) Real ale with a vinyl record theme.

http://www.revolutionsbrewing.co.uk/
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Re: Real ale

Post by humblebee » Mon Nov 15, 2010 22:03

Uncle Ants wrote:Look at this ... nice idea :) Real ale with a vinyl record theme.

http://www.revolutionsbrewing.co.uk/
The whole thing looks kind of pretentious to me, really.

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Re: Real ale

Post by moopind » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:59

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Re: Real ale

Post by graysonscolumn » Sun Nov 21, 2010 18:24

As published in my trade paper this morning. Oddly, Wincanton doesn't feature in the list, despite being bankrolled by Badger Ales since the year dot and long since regarded as the benchmark course for ale at the races. Maybe CAMRA just assumed all's still well there. Or the prospects of venturing into deepest, darkest Zummerzet just scared them a bit.

They also can't have been to the new track in Ffos Las, near Llanelli, as yet. I went there last summer and it was easier to get a pint of Brains than a glass of water. Good!

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Sixteen racecourses praised in real ale survey
Racing Post, 21 NOV 2010

"SIXTEEN British racecourses have been commended by the Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) for their support of the cause, following a survey of tracks examining availability of real ale over the last two years.

Jockey Club Racecourses supply six of the nominations - Carlisle, Epsom, Exeter, Kempton, Newmarket and Sandown - while Arena Leisure is responsible for credits at Doncaster, Folkestone and Lingfield, and Northern Racing for Plumpton, Uttoxeter and Yarmouth.

Independents complete the list through Ascot, Fakenham, Newbury and York.

John Holland, chairman of Camra's clubs committee, who concedes that other courses might have come on stream since the survey was carried out, is anxious that more racegoers, rather than just Camra members who go racing, should be aware of which racecourses sell real ale.

He is also keen to get a message across to the racecourses, saying: "Racegoers represent a growing market for real ale, and I believe more racecourses should investigate meeting it, particularly in these straightened times."

Ascot, which has a permanent Fuller's bar and hosted a beer festival for the third time this year, featuring 150 real ales, and York, which sold over 350 gallons of John Smith's and Theakston's real ales over two days in July, are singled out for special mention.

Other courses that received good reports include Doncaster, which has a choice of three ales in one grandstand bar, Uttoxeter, with "regular real ale tents," and Yarmouth, which "sells Blackfriars beers at a very sensible price."

More news from Camra is available online at camra.org.uk".
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Re: Real ale

Post by Damian » Sun Nov 21, 2010 18:39

I keep forgetting to do this but I had an amazing pint (or 3) in the Lincolnshire Poacher a couple of months ago. It's simply called Boggart Rum Porter (as it comes from the Boggart brewery in manchester). Its bloody wonderful, tastes of rum and raisin, with a really nice and smooth porter finish. Well worth tasting if you ever see it on at a bar.

Here's a list of what they do http://www.boggart-brewery.co.uk/list-r ... ewery.html

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Re: Real ale

Post by graysonscolumn » Sun Nov 21, 2010 18:42

Epic win, sir. They had Boggart in the Bath Hotel up here a few weeks back. It was all me and Moopind could do not to raid the bar and drink it straight from the tap.

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Re: Real ale

Post by humblebee » Sun Nov 21, 2010 23:43

Oooh, I've had that rum porter lately as well. I think it was in the Gardeners Rest. Bloody lush, it was.

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Re: Real ale

Post by Silver Girl » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:03

I went to the Boggart stall on the Arndale market in Manchester just to get some of that porter in bottles to save for Christmas. But they were too lame to have ANY of their own beers for sale. Duh.
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Re: Real ale

Post by carney » Mon Nov 22, 2010 13:09

Boggart Hole Sundial is one of the best beers I've ever had. I like that the brewery does handmade pump clips, too.

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Re: Real ale

Post by moopind » Mon Nov 22, 2010 17:52

Damian wrote:I keep forgetting to do this but I had an amazing pint (or 3) in the Lincolnshire Poacher a couple of months ago. It's simply called Boggart Rum Porter (as it comes from the Boggart brewery in manchester). Its bloody wonderful, tastes of rum and raisin, with a really nice and smooth porter finish. Well worth tasting if you ever see it on at a bar.

Here's a list of what they do http://www.boggart-brewery.co.uk/list-r ... ewery.html
Yeah, it's funny you mention that one. As other Sheffields have said, it was on in our lovely Bath and Gardeners Rest pubs and I kept thinking about it once I'd had it. It's like beery crack cocaine. Seriously though, they may have achieved a 'cult beer' there. Not often a brew gets people talking quite so much (last one I remember was when Thornbridge Jaipur came out and then when they started doing limited edition tweaked versions). Luckily Rum Porter doesn't send you mad like Jaipur does.

I'll look out for Sundial, Carney.
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Re: Real ale

Post by humblebee » Mon Nov 22, 2010 22:47

moopind wrote:doesn't send you mad like Jaipur does.
Are you suggesting Jaipur might be a sort of real ale cover version of Stella Artois?

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