Archive for December, 2012

Sambrook’s Brewery Beer Tasting

December 24, 2012 Comments off

From Sambrook’s I’ve had Wandle, Powerhouse Porter and Junction Ale before, served as God intended (ie. dispensed through a sparkler) and liked them a lot. These are the kind of beers I prefer to brew and drink.

First up is Wandle at 4.2 per cent abv. Small head that disappears quickly, low to medium carbonation. Aroma is some toffee, then malt and citrus. Taste is dusty hop bitterness and caramel maltiness. Perhaps some butter too. Balanced and smooth with good body for a beer its strength. As the beer gets warmer there’s clearly more butter and hop bitterness hitting the throat.

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Next one is Pale Ale, also at 4.2 per cent abv. More resistant head and more carbonation. Aroma is malt, taste is citrus and vague tropical fruits. Nice bitterness but could use more of it.  Again, quite balanced but also a bit unremarkable. Not a bad beer by any means, very refreshing but given the choice between this and Wandle there is no contest. Wandle it is and a pint of Pale Ale for someone who doesn’t like “brown beers”. But still…as the beer goes down and gets a tad warmer, there is some piny resin somewhere. Nice one but I prefer Wandle.

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Third is Junction at 4.5 per cent abv. Near perfect colour for my money. Head disappears quite quickly but leaves a nice lacing. Certainly looks like a proper pint. Aroma is malty caramel. Somehow tastes drier than Wandle and it’s very difficult to find anything to write because it just feels so balanced: not particularly hoppy or malty. Reminds me of Pilgrim Brewery’s Progress (now THAT’S a proper pint and I could wax lyrical for pages and pages about their beers and The Riser (RIP) in Epsom) albeit less malty. Similar kind of balance.

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The beers had a solid mouthfeel for their strength. These beers won’t set the beer nerd/ticker’s world on fire but especially Wandle and Junction should rack up good interest and sales where ever beards and sandals are present.


The Kernel Brewery Bonanza – Introduction

December 21, 2012 Comments off

In the coming weeks I’ll be jotting down some tasting impressions of some Kernel Brewery beers I just received by post – perfectly timed for Christmas. What a treat! Mostly for me. This hopefully will prevent me from drinking them all at one go and will extend the pleasure.

The beers will be Porter, Export Stout London 1890, Pale Ale Ahtanum Citra Cascade, Imperial Brown Stout, India Brown Ale, Motueka Pacific Jade, Export India Porter, India Pale Ale Nelson Sauvin, Pale Ale Columbus Tomahawk Zeus, Pale Ale Galaxy Stella Topaz.

Brew #35: Bitter 1046

December 9, 2012 Comments off

Bog standard pale ale. The ready-crushed pale malt was too finely crushed, lots of flour in the mix and thus Braumeister circulated the wort very slowly and it took ages to clear. Such a difference to the quality of the wheat malt from the same company (Viking Malt). Also, the pale malt has a lemony sour smell to it. No problems with the OG though and the smell disappears when it gets wet. With this crushed pale malt I need to increase the mash times and pause the mash schedule a few times in order to stir and loosen it up.

name Bitter 1046
“style” Pale Ale
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 42
EBC 19
OG 1046
brewing date 9-Dec-12
yeast Safale S-04
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 4.200 90.3%
grain 2 Crystal 0.250 5.4%
grain 3 Wheat 0.200 4.3%
total 4.650 100%
hops gram minutes ibu
Target 10.7% 30 60 32
EKG 5.49% 35 15 10
EKG Aroma Oil 2ml 5 0
total 65 42
mash schedule minutes degC
step 1 mash in 48
step 2 70 67
Categories: Brewing

Brew #34: Sancho’s Sleep Burton Ale

December 5, 2012 Comments off

The idea for this beer came from the Burton Ale chapter in Martyn Cornell’s book Amber, Gold & Black. I recently reread that chapter because of this.

Some key words lifted from the book: strong ale, slightly roasted malts, darker, fuller flavour, prolonged cellar treatment, dry-hopped, stored for some weeks, darker and sweeter than bitter, hard Burton water, pale malt, Kentish hops, 6 per cent alcohol by volume, soft water, comforting brew, winey, rather sweet taste, bitter-sweet flavour, dark, sweet beers, sweet, darkish beer, dark sugars, crystal malt, fruity, slightly sweet, with caramel…seems perfect for cold winter months (-21 degC last night).

I roasted some pale ale malt in the oven at 180 degC for half an hour and found the aroma very toasty a few days later while crushing them. The sugar used is 200g of white table sugar and 50g of dark Demerara sugar boiled into a syrup. The wort during the mash, dark already without the sugars:



During the boil it looked like the OG would fall short so I quickly looked up “Burton Ale” tag under Ron Pattinson’s website to see what kind of sugar amounts would still be appropriate and saw some brewing tables with ~13% in them so decided to use the whole contents of the treacle tin. This brew recipe may not be that authentic to any Burton Ale brewed at any time but it does have Martyn Cornell’s seal of approval and it will be a winter warmer.

name Sancho’s Sleep
“style” Burton Ale
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 31
EBC 35+
OG 1059
brewing date 5-Dec-12
yeast Safale S-04
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 5.000 79.6%
grain 2 Roasted Pale Ale 0.280 4.5%
grain 3 Crystal 0.300 4.8%
fermentable 1 Sugar 0.250 4.0%
fermentable 2 Lyle’s black treacle 0.450 7.2%
total 6.280 100%
hops gram minutes ibu
EKG 5.49% 65 60 31
dry hop EKG Aroma Oil 2.5ml into FV
total 65 31
mash schedule minutes degC
step 1 mash in 48
step 2 80 70
Categories: Brewing