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.

Mulled beer attempt 1

We fol­lowed the Wik­i­how advice for our first exper­i­ment, egg yolk and all. We took a bot­tle of Lon­don Pride, added spices, gin­ger, hon­ey and warmed it up. We then added an egg yolk & sug­ar mix­ture.

The result looked like tea, smelled like mulled wine and tast­ed like a hot cross bun with hops. Drink­able, but would be bet­ter with a less hop­py beer.

Mulled beer again

We had mulled beer in Dres­den a week or so back and we’ve mused on mulling beer in the past.

Well, now the mighty life­hack­er has point­ed us towards this “how to” on mulling beer.

Com­ment­ing on Adep­tus’ blog a few days back, Tan­dle­man said “I would rather push nee­dles into my eyes than drink mulled beer”, so I’m not sure what he’ll think about chuck­ing an egg yolk in too…

We’ll try this approach when we car­ry out our mulling exper­i­ments in the next few weeks and let you know how it goes.