A huge array of beers this month. Some intentionally bad, some intentionally soured, some hoppy, some dark, some wonderfully weird and some spiced! We had the lot.
Welcome New People
Alex (@AFCBeer) from Rochdale joined us at this meetup. Hes been brewing for sometime but has finally found enough time to join us. He brought along a great example of an IPA. A well balanced hoppy 5.6% IPA with Cascade, Summit, Mosaic and Centennial hops! We would all be happy to pay for this at a bar.
Colin managed to pop in for a flying visit. Hes hasn't brewed for a while now so just popped by to say hello and explained hes been looking for inspiration. There's no better place than at your local homebrew group to get back into the hobby!
Rich brought in a two base beer which were spiked to represent two different off flavours. The purpose of this experiment was to help us detect and name a couple of the most common off flavours in homebrewing. Both were hard to detect as the base beer was Speckled Hen so made it a little tricky to pick up the subtle off flavours.
- Acetic acid - Spiked with White Vinegar the beer gave scents of apple and a slight sour taste. This off flavour is typically caused by a bacterial byproduct or wild yeast. If you experience this off flavour you might want to review you sanitising routine. A non-rinse steriliser such as Star San would help.
- Chlorophenol - Spiked with a chloraseptic throat spray the beer gave a plastic like taste but no real unusual aroma. This off flavour is usually caused by chlorinated tap water. Manchester water is extremely good but we can all suffer from unusual spikes in our water supply. Although boiling and leaving water to stand can help it's probably best to buy some Campden tablets and de-chlorinate your brewing water before use. Typically you need 1/2 table per 5 gallons so its only a small investment to significantly reduce the chance of this off flavour.
This was a good helpful exercise which most people seem to enjoy. Sometime next we might look to self fund a beer off flavour kit to learn even more about off flavours depending upon interest.
Much to everyones supprise apparently theres only one commercial copper left in the country (or at least a very low number of them)! Dave (@YesAleBlog) recently bought himself a barrel to age his beers in. He advised us that a brand new barrel will set you back about £90 for a 30L French oak and £120 for a 30L English oak barrel. Obviously a used barrel is cheaper but often hard to come by.
No Meetup in Dec
We don't normally have a meetup in December given the number Christmas festivities (aka parties). See you all in January 15th 2017!
The Great Northwest Homebrew Competition - 2017 TBC
Steve and Rich are still planning The Great Northern Homebrew Competition. The competition is highly likely to in March/April next year. Plans are starting to come together and Rich is looking to publish some details soon on this blog.
Stockport Beer & Cider Festival Homebrew Competition 2017
Stockport & South Manchester Branch is again launching a competition among local home brewers to find up to five beers for Bar Nouveau at next year's Stockport Beer & Cider Festival.
Full details can be found here: http://www.ssmcamra.co.uk/HomeBrew.htm
Top Tip Of The Month
Not all bittering hops are equal. Some have a harsher bitterness and some have a smoother bitterness. Its about the proportions of humulone, cohumulone and adhumulone.
The compounds in hops that are responsible for bitterness in beer are the alpha
acids. They are humulone, cohumulone and adhumulone. All three are bitter, and occur in varying proportions depending on the hop variety. Hops high in cohumulone have a harsher bitter character than those with low cohumulone levels. Before choosing your hops you might want to look at the proportions given the style of beer you are making.
Other Beers In Attendance
- @BeerNouveau - Marx - An easy drinking oak smoked wheat beer. Brewed with maris otter, oak smoked wheat and saaz hops.
- Aaron - Milk Stout - A really nice smooth sweetness coming through with this stout. 5% brewed with Maris, Chocolate, Crystal, Flaked Oats, Roasted Barley, Lactose (300g) and Goldings.
- Aaron - Chocolate Stout - Same recipe above (I think) but with the addition of a cocoa nibs soaked in vodka. After some testing Aaron wasn't picking up the flavour so pitched the vodka into just two bottles. Although still a good beer the vodka was noticeable and certainly gave the beer some punch.
- Stu - Pumpkin Beer - A scotch ale 7% base beer with american pumpkin spice added into the secondary. Lots of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg flavours.
- Stu - Belgian Strong with dark fruits and chilli - Around 9-10% and brewed with a Chimay yeast. Not much of the chilli coming through but will be a great beer for aging.
- Dave (@YesAleBlog) - Barrel aged farmhouse saison.
- Keith (@jamesksowerby) - Rubarb Sour with anise. 5.5% kettle soured and fermented with his house brett.
- Rob - (@DrRobsBrew) - 5.8% American IPA called FLAM
- Aron - Dunkelweizen - 5.6% brewed with 50% Wheat, 40% Munich and fermented high with Safale WB-06 yeast. A really nice Dunkelweizen. Craig really wants to brew one!
- Keith (@jamesksowerby) - Prunes & Sweet Potatoe - Used lactobacillus, brett and a Belgium yeast.
- Keith (@jamesksowerby) - Lactobacillus, Seville orange, quince and pomegranate.
- Dave (@YesAleBlog) - ESB brewed with Vic Secret.
- Dave (@YesAleBlog) - Imperial Smoked Stout - Rauch Malt, maris otter etc. 8.5% using safale S-04 yeast.
You can also find us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/mancshomebrew/
**As always there may be inaccuracies in this article as beer was consumed on the day and whilst writing the article.