homebrewing recipes

Update on extract brew "Old Malty" – plus recipe!

We posted yesterday on our stuck fermentation problems, and how we’re trying an experimental batch with a kit to try and identify where in the process it’s all going wrong.

Obviously, having tried all-grain mashes, there was no way we were just going to follow the recipe – we had to tinker. Because we love the open-source ideal, here’s our recipe;

  • 2 cans of Muntons Gold – Old English Bitter (hopped extract)
  • 1lb carapils & 1 lb Munich malt, steeped in sub-boiling water for 20 minutes
  • 2lbs of light malt extract
  • Hops: 0.5 oz East Kent Goldings (5.6%) for 60 minutes (at boil), 0.5 oz East Kent Goldings (5.6%) for 20 minutes, 0.5 oz Cascades – 5 minutes
  • Gervins English ale yeast (sachet, re-hydrated)

Instructions follow after the jump.


Brewing again – trying to solve the stuck fermentation problem

We haven’t brewed for a while. Since moving to all-grain brewing last year, we’ve had a couple of successes – a tasty mild and a blackberry wheatbeer, for example, as well as some drinkable if unremarkable bitters. However, we’ve suffered stuck fermentations in the last couple of brews, and it’s been rather depressing. All that effort, and you end up with sugary water.

(Note – a stuck fermentation is where it starts off fine, but stops fermenting before it reaches the expected final gravity. Final gravity should be around 25-30% of the original gravity. So our last brew had O.G of 1053, but only got down to 1025, i.e. 45%)

This has happened twice (and in fact, our third-from-last brew only got down to 35%), and we can’t understand why this has started happening – we’re not doing anything different with the yeast or aeration, which seem to be the usual culprits for stuck fermentation.

We consulted all our books, and searched the internet, and came up with the following theories (and counter-arguments).


Go to the Pembury Tavern beer festival

If you’re in London or within a train ride of London between now and Saturday, go to the Pembury Tavern beer festival in Hackney.

Stonch has kindly posted all the details here.

We can echo his recommendation for Cairngorm “Trade Winds” – it has a fantastic aroma (probably due to the elderflowers) and a complex finish. As they say.

We also loved Milton brewery’s Elysium – a very smoky stout. In fact, we loved almost all of the ten or so beers we tried. And they do good food too. Go on. What are you waiting for?

breweries News

Meantime at Large?

This just in, courtesy of Marketing magazine: Adnams have just acquired the rights to distribute and sell Meantime draught beers in the UK, and the sales rights to all of their bottled beers.

I’m taking this as good news — if it means we start to see their London Porter or IPA in more pubs, I’ll be a very happy chap.

The same magazine also brings us news that German brewery Flensburger is launching a draft beer in the UK.

breweries Environmental stuff News

Ochakovo Brewery Pollution Scandal


We posted enthusiastically on the subject of Ochakovo a few weeks ago, so this story from the Russian News and Information Agency caught my eye.

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and its watchdog accused Ochakovo of spilling unfiltered industrial sewage, possibly containing malt into the offshoots of the Moskva River in the west of the city in early July.

Mmmmm. Industrial sewage — with added malt. Gargle.

But that’s not the whole story. There’s a suggestion that there might be some corruption at the top of the Russian environment agency:

“We cannot consider the test results objective, knowing the originally prejudiced attitude by a senior environmental official against Ochakovo,” Yury Lobanov, vice president and chief engineer of the company, said in an apparent reference to Oleg Mitvol, deputy chief of the environmental regulator.

It’s a nice beer, but clearly pumping rubbish into the environment isn’t a good thing. Perhaps they could do to learn a few lesson from Adnams.