Secret Santa

I must have been a very very good boy this year. Not only did I receive a one hundred Pound present from mu mum,but I got all sorts of beer too. Most from friends,but some from ex-students.
One beer in particular excited my so much that I fell to my nees in front of all of my subordinates and my boss.
It was the gift I received in our work secret Santa. The way it works with us is that we know who we must buy for. Hence I,having been given a fellow brewer, gave him a badleebrewed beer kit.
The person buying for me, just happened to be Paulus Maximus, a guy I taught to teach.
The beer I got from him was a beet I had been longing to try so badly that it hurt me in all of my limbs.
A beer that some might say defines a style.
A beet that is not only going to be heaven to drink, but also will aide my in the brewing of my sour beers via it’s dregs.
A beer that I hav wantd to try since my discovery of sour beers about 4years ago. A beer that simply cannot be found over here in Thailand.

Thank you soooooo much Paul. Tje wait of a few weeks before I drink this is a joy. Just knowing that I not only get to drink this Cantillon but also use it makes ig even better still.
I hope with all my heart that you all had a great Christmas.


Baltic Porter the badleebrewed way

ImageThis, meine liebe freunde, is my first “proper” lager and the first proper tasting thereof.

I say the first proper tasting because I had a bottle 2 weeks ago and couldn’t taste anything at all outside of dates.

Much to my smug glee, things have changed in the last two weeks,just in time to have a bottle or two on Christmas day when I get home from work.

Appearance: Deep red brown,plenty of chill haze. Intense blood orange red tint at the edges.

Big three finger head that soon becomes but a rough layer that doggedly sticks to the sides of the glass all the way down.

Aroma: Note: my nose was a little blocked,but I did my best.

            Dark chocolate and Turkish coffee with a hint of alcohol. Plums and dates with snatches of brandy and burnt Christmas pudding.

Flavour: I know that this just screams of not making sense,but it tastes n=very much dark and mysterious. Malty sweetness to start with and a grainy/warm bread taste that must come from the Munich malt.

It’s sweet and make no mistake about it, but the 1oz of Saaz(which I do not like if I can taste them) and the alcohol warmth combine to cut through the sweetness and balance the beer perfectly.

Chocolate coated nuts( no Southpark thank you very much, and no bloody sniggering), more Turkish coffee followed by dates, figs, plumbs and burnt toffee( in a good way).

The coffee and to a lesser extent the chocolate come back on the aftertaste to coat the palate,but it is quite brief. This beer has very good carbonation and it is that which seems to help clean the palate.

Overall: this Baltic Porter weighs in at 8.9% alcohol and 35 IBUs(Tinseth) and is 33 SRM.


It is my first real lager and I cannot, other than wishing that I had brewed more, find fault with it. It is big and chewy/filling with a whole new world of darkness creating a vortex in your mouth, it’s like a black hole, slowly consuming you, as you do it. And, not much of a surprise, find myself musing over what it would be like with a little oak and some Brett, because I feel this would be the only way to improve upon this.

Recipe notes:

5 litre batch

615gr each of Munich and Vienna

125gr crystal 60

100gr Dark brown sugar

50gr caraHell

30gr Carafa II special

15gr black malt with 15 minutes left in the mash

1oz of Saaz@ FWH

Saflager S-23: primary 2 weeks,secondary 3 weeks( all at 12c, bottle 3 weeks.


Brettanomyces Custersianus Stout

ImageIt has taken me WAY too long to do a write up of this beer. In BrewMate I called it “Mike and Me” as this was a batch brewed for the birthday of a guy I work with and I got to keep half of it AND cover my costs.

Appearance: I put this right on the line between brown and black. If held up to the light some small deep red hints can  be seen. The head starts big but after about 5 minutes comes down to a compact half finger of tan/cream, which leaves suds all the way down the pint pot.

Aroma: I never thought that I would hear something like this, let alone say it myself. The beer smells of new books( yes I did just say new bloody books) and dried fruit of the kind you may well find in your muesli. Apples,pears and peach/nectarine, but all very subtle.

Taste: Hops up front, the 30gr of Northdown FWH in 10 litres of beer shine through. Roasted malt coming through a close second with Custersianus bringing up 3rd with a beautiful mouth coating feel of dried fruits which not so much give way, as meld with coffee in 4th and a slight hint of tartness that leaves the briefest of tingles.

The beer has a mouth filling sensation that doesn’t come from carbonation, which is low. After a few minutes of not having a sup, the after taste could be the younger more interesting brother of that greatest of Irish beers, with slightly restrained dark malts which come back every time you salivate.

Overall: Great body for a beer so low in alcohol,great, silky smooth. I am very sorry indeed that this was the last bottle, but will be looking forward to re-brewing this with a few small tweaks. Next time I shall go for a slightly higher percentage of flaked oats and a slightly higher OG.

Brettanomyces Custersianus, in my opinion, is great for dark beers. It does not fight for superiority in the flavour tables,it acts instead as a mediator.

Again, thank you very much Derek.


Recipe Specs

Original Gravity Final Gravity

Colour (SRM / EBC)

Bitterness Alcohol by Volume
1.039 1.008 36.0 / 70.9 39.1 IBU 4.0%

Brewhouse Specs

Recipe Type Batch Size Boil Time Efficiency
All Grain 10.0 Litres / 2.6 Gal 60.0 min 75.0%


Name Type SRM Percentage Amount
Pilsner Grain 1.7 80.00 % 1.40 Kg / 3.09 Lbs
Flaked Oats Adjunct 1.0 8.00 % 0.14 Kg / 0.31 Lbs
Dark roasted barley Grain 690.0 6.29 % 0.11 Kg / 0.24 Lbs
Black Roasted Barley Grain 500.0 2.86 % 0.05 Kg / 0.11 Lbs
Carafa II malt Grain 415.0 2.86 % 0.05 Kg / 0.11 Lbs


Name AA% Amount Use Time
Northdown 5.0% 30.00 g / 1.06 oz First Wort 60 mins


CPC: the day the gas failed

Not too may pictures from this brew day,9th of December. I became VERY miffed first at myself and then with things in general.

Firstly, I had an experience entirely new to me. Not only once,but twice on this brew session did I have a stuck sparge. This added at least 35 minutes to the total time used up.

Then was my wort’s seeming reluctance to come to a boil,seemed to take bloody well ages. And when it did come to the boil, I just had the hot break and then the “boil” retreated into the realm of “simmer”.


This lack of combustion lead to another problem, the kind of which I often have the opposite of, too little boil off and too much wort. I was aiming at 19 litres and came out with 22. I was looking for an OG of 1038 and got 1034.

I had gone into this batch with high hopes and high hops. Five ounces going into the boil,2 Cascade, 2 Palisade( my first time) and one Chinook. In this regard it is a very typical Badleebrewed ale,not enough alcohol for most and FAR too much bitterness for most. But this is my style, I love beers at about 4% or 4.5% and 60 IBUs.

The recipe formulation is very typical of me, as I < for my “English” style beers at least, tend to go for 80-10-10%. That is 80% base malt, 10% crystal malt and 10% sugar. It works very well for me and seldom change it.


So, with a feeling of nothing to loose, I opted for an impromptu “hop stand” to get the most out of my 5oz, as I probably got poor utilization from the “simmer” I left her for a good half hour before cooling in the usual ice bath. The smell in my little house was mind blowing and even yesterday,5 days later, the air was filled with hop aroma. It was yesterday that I also went ahead and dry hopped with another oz of Chinook.

So, the grain bill and hops looked like this.

3kg Joe White Australian something or other pale ale malt

300gr CaraMunich

300gr dogs bollox maple syrup

Mash was one hour at 67c

hops: FWH 1oz of Cascade

         @ 20 1oz of Palisade

         @ 15 whirlflock and 9gr each of Cascade/Palisade and Chinook

        @ 10 9gr each of Cascade/Palisade and Chinook

        @ 5 9gr each of Cascade/Palisade and Chinook

I calculated the IBUs at 67 Tinseth


after the hop stand, she was cooled and pitched with 2pcs of Safale US-05 ( also a first for me)

And there we have it. I am going to bottle this batch, as I tend to do,after about 12-13 days, next weekend and will be having the first pint after 3 days in the bottle.

I will go for a gentle carbonation level this time,just in case the bitterness is over the top.