News, Nuggets & Longreads 21/11/2015

These are the beer- and pub-related blog posts and articles that we’ve found most interesting, entertaining or amusing in the past week.

→ For Draft Magazine Joe Stange has compiled a list of recipes for ‘hot beer drinks’ from lambswool to Cornish shenagrum. (The latter being our contribution.)

Devilled ale in cups.

→ Justin Mason provides notes and observations on a pretty serious-sounding home brew beer festival in Essex:

I don’t think any of us actually brew in our sheds… I’ve been home brewing for about four years, and I took it up as a way of saving money. I started brewing from kits at first but soon moved on to all-grain brewing with some interesting results in the beginning.

→ Steve ‘Beers I’ve Known’ Lamond reflects on the increasing number of strong, hoppy double IPAs being brewed in Ireland, with input from the brewers themselves.

Continue reading “News, Nuggets & Longreads 21/11/2015”

Devilled Ale

Researching something completely different, we came across this recipe for devilled ale in an 1855 household management guide:

1855 devilled ale recipe.

How could we resist giving that a go?

For our base beer, we used the latest Fuller’s Past Masters 1914 Strong X. We found it very sweet in its own right, so figured it wouldn’t become too acrid when warmed, and it certainly sits squarely in the ale tradition, being more about malt than hops.

Buttered, spiced toast rounds.For the sake of completeness, in case, for some reason, you want to exactly replicate our approach, the bread was 7% rye flour, and the butter was salted. We used ground ginger.

With the ale warmed, and the toast buttered and spiced, we put it all together in Ye Olde Halfe-Pinte Pottes, and got stuck in.

Things we liked: the toast floating on the surface smelled like grains mashing on brew-day; the cayenne gave a really pleasant kick which accentuated the spirituous booziness of the ale; the ritual was fun; and, on a cold night, a mug of warm ale sits nicely in the hands.

Things we didn’t: even this rather sugary beer was too bitter when warm; it got cold quickly, and lukewarm ale is no fun at all.

If we do this again — we probably won’t — it will be with the most sickly sweet ale we can find, and we’ll warm the cups properly first. We’ll also use more ginger, which got rather drowned out by the cayenne, or maybe even use finely chopped fresh ginger, or the stuff that comes preserved and sweetened in jars.

If you try it at home, let us know how you get on.

Mulled beer (2)

We still had some undrinkable Belgian homebrew left so we mulled a pint of it with around two tablespoons of honey, a satsuma (cut in half), a cinnamon stick and some cloves.

This was very nice — the trick seems to be to add the honey, bit at a time, until the harshness disappears. The hotter you want to drink it, the more honey you need.  I think this beer worked well because it didn’t have much bitterness to start with.