Saturday, 23 June 2012


Well, I have bee  a little slack with updates but I've brewed a new brew.
With this one, I wanted something cheap, just to see if it was possible.

I settled on a Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) but decided to throw some Jack Daniels barrel chips. I soaked the chips in Jack Daniels for a week before dumping them in the fermenter.

Hadn't got my new pot, I was brewing alone and I had a 2 year old in the lounge amusing herself, so off I went. Note to self, 23 litres of water and 8kgs of grains makes for a VERY full pot. Once I finally get rid of the bag, it'll be better.

After sparging and just about loosing the grain bag on the floor on more than one occasion, I finally got a boil going.
Rolling boil with hop bag
I hit the OG of 1.072, pretty stoked about that, so off she went into the fermenter. A week later and in goes 50g of Jack Daniels barrel chips and about 150ml of Jack Daniels.

As you can see its pretty pale. I think that's due to the nature of it being a single malt. It was 8kg of Marris Otter, a pale malt, so the beer will be pale. I wasn't expecting it to be this pale though. Note that this pic is also after the chips and Jack Daniels were added. Not much colour has leaked as yet, but it was only three days.

FG was off a bit, aim was 1.015, I hit 1.020, so comes in at 6.8% not 7& abv. Suppose that's not really an issue right, only 0.5%.

I'll keep checking it, maybe every second day to see how the flavours develop. Last test, there was some distinguishable bourbon and vanilla flavours, quite nice.

Might brew again, but I'll use a darker beer, like a porter.

Watch this space in about 3 weeks for a taster :-)

Pale Ale show down

So, I finally got around to testing/tasting my Epic Pale Ale clone vs the real deal.

First off, I only used New Zealand Cascade. Epic used US Cascade only. I think this is a massive difference in the beer. I am a self confessed hop head. I like hoppy beer, I love the smell and taste of hops. Therefore I brewed my favourite Pale Ale.

First off you'll notice the haze in the clone (one the left). I'm not 100% sure why there is a haze and I'm not really worried by it. Second is the head on the clone. Its big and its lasts, all the way through. On the Epic, it doesn't.


Next is the aroma. This is where the NZ Cascade comes into its own. Biggest thing I noticed was more passion and tropical fruits from the US Cascade. NZ Cascade was more citrus and was much more dominant. Taste is very much the same. Epic have done an amazing job with their Pale Ale and I still rate it as one of my favourite beers, but, I think if they were to use NZ Cascade, it'd be MUCH better.

I guess it comes down to why you brew. I brew because I enjoy beer. I brew because I enjoy brewing. I brew for myself and SWMBO, but mainly for me. I enjoyed it and I will brew it again and again. House Ale I feel.

 On a side note, I managed to score a cheap pot. Its a 30L so a little smaller than my current brewpot, but it'd make a good mash tun. Just need to buy a weldless dial thermometer, sight glass and a false bottom, then we'll be good. Other thing to, got a 2 ring burner, so outside to brew now, not longer on the stove top stinking out the house.