So, there I was....nice long summer holiday, what to do?
I had tried homebrewing years ago, and it kind of worked. There was a little taint, probably from crap Southampton water, but drinkable none the less.
Time moves on, and, thanks to the internet all the bits and bobs are easy to get. Last time, finding a cask was a nightmare. Now...easy peasy. Thanks to those nice folk at Hop and Grape and Graham Wheeler's revamped book from CAMRA, it all seeemd so much easier than I remember. So, I set off, and started to brew a beer based upon Wheeler's Batham's Best Bitter recipe:
Pale Dried Malt Extract (1130g), was boiled for 90 mins with 11g of Fuggles and 6g of Northdown hops. The post boil had 3g of Goldings. The 9 litre brew length (I only brew small volumes as only I drink it, and I wasn't confident it would work!!), started at a gravity of 1044. I had also added some irish moss for clearing the beer.
Fermentation was relatively rapid, the whole thing getting reaertaed after 2 days. After a week or so, the gravity steadied out at 1012, and it was casked. Added a pack of Beer Brite after 3 days, and left the whole thing for 4 weeks.
The results were really NOT that bad...I had drunk worse in pubs. The start was malty, but as I worked my way down the barrel, the beer became bell clear and much better balanced. The carbon dioxide sparked keg kept the whole batch in condition for a month.....
Convinced, I felt it was time to start another brew...