It seems an awfully long times since I last blogged.
I am now at the end of the TMS 2013 - an amalgam of English and Kiwi hops to celebrate the early season Test Series between England and NZ. It was an overwhelming victory for England.
Wish I could say the same for this beer. It's nice; in fact I really like it, and a friend who usually drinks lager quite liked it to. But, as ever, it wasn't what was in my head when I started the brew. Where were those great late hop hints from the Pacifica? The addition of the mild malt over Maris Otter meant that this shifted from a crisp golden ale, to a dark golden, just a little sweet brew - what it really reminded me of was a pint of Banks's Mild from back home.
Not that that is a bad thing; it has been a long time since I tasted a pint of this back home. But, perhaps, this is why my lager drinking friend liked it - it was lightly bittered and easy drinking in the end.
I would definitely brew this again. My only issue was, in the heat we have just had, getting the pressure barrel down to cellar temperature is well nigh impossible.
And so, the summer really kicks off. Well, to be honest, its been and gone weather wise. Braving the high temperatures (Hey, I quite like estery beer!) I thought I would try a nice pale ale. This time, I wasn't messing, and decided to use some Cascade against some Magnum I had left over (a great bittering hop). I have also kept the malt bill nice and clean with a mix of MO and Pilsner, with a bit of wheat for some body.
Technique wise, not a lot has changed, but I do have two new sites that helped me. Firstly, I was becoming concerned that my efficiencies were not great, so I started to look at mash pH, and the effects my malt bill might impact on water chemistry. Up until know, I had just been concerned on the water only - now I started to look elsewhere. This great site let me work out water chemistry and mash pH all at the same time. Finally, the old site I used for recipe storage has moved, here's my new recipe, archived at BrewToad.