Brewing in the Moonlight Cottage

Yesterday was bottling day– all the Cold Moon Pale Ale has been bottled, quite neatly, thanks to a spigot-bottling stick.  No more sticky wrasslin’ with the siphon tubing! The Cold Moon was all about using up what I had– some light spray malt, crystal malt grains and cascade hops and calling it a Pale Ale. It was my first experiment in dry hopping as well.  Thanks to Simon, Oblivious and Zak for the pointers!

Today I’m brewing more of an experiment– I’ve had a notion to brew something akin to my favourite candy– chocolate-covered orange peel.  I hit a snag when I went to the local brew shop looking for some spray malt that wasn’t extra-light, and that’s all the unpleasant shop owner had.  He was too busy endlessly chatting to some punter about his range of kits to help.  Despite my patience– waiting a good 10+ minutes to be noticed, and then some polite inquiries which were met with barking and vague pointing.  Why, in the day of hot competition from internet vendors, do brick-and-mortar places not get their customer service in order?  If it’s easier and more pleasant for me to shop online, that’s what I’m going to do, despite the sticker on the door of the shop that insists I should “Shop Local.”

I dropped thirty pounds in this place, feeling like a chump, leaving with the wrong stuff entirely.  But, I’m brewing with it anyway.  Generic ale yeast & extra-light spray malt will hopefully be tempered by chocolate and black malts for steeping and loads of cascade and Amarillo hops which will be added late in the boil, and later to the fermenter (dry hopping).

One of the best things about brew day– the hops and boiling wort make the kitchen smell like some bacchanalian garden of plenty. Oh, and it’s a good excuse to make a dent in the stash– in the name of research.  I’ve had a bit of Dogfish Head 60 minute and Meantime Coffee porter.  Oh, by some sympathetic magic that I might make a melding of the two!

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6 Responses

  1. I love the idea of orange-chocolate in beer! I’m a big fan of creating flavors that are evocative of other food or drink with natural beer ingredients (as opposed to adding food and flavorings to beer). I find that Hallertau Mittlfruh hops have a very orange-y flavor, if you have access to them.

    And I don’t know why homebrew shops are like that. There are so many crappy ones stateside, the good ones are the exception to the rule it seems.

    • Thanks for the tip on the hops– I will have to try to find them. I never shopped for brewing supplies while I lived in the US– I had a friend that worked at a store here. I used to think it was just a lack of customer service in the UK in general but if the beer supply shops in the US are like that too then maybe it’s something else!

  2. You should’ve blended the DFH and Meantime! :P

    Whilst I love the smell too, the steam of the boil is actually the worst part of my brew day. Brewing in a small kitchen means that it just condenses everywhere and leaves me with wet walls, cupboards and everything else in between.

    BeerBirraBier.

    • I know what you mean– I had to open the doors and windows. Also, this house has an electric hob which takes FOREVER to boil. I’ve had to boil with less water and add more to the fermenter. Not ideal!

  3. Time for an outdoor propane cooker. No swampy kitchen and you boil like the devil in a fraction of the time of a stovetop. Downsides are windy days and nosy neighbors. But it’s worth it.

    • Hey Bob! That is an awesome idea. We do have the space outside now to do that, too.

      The last two batches I’ve brewed have turned out amazing, probably because I had the best brewing teacher! I have an IPA in the fermenter now, too.

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