I’ve had worse…
May 17, 2009

(Let’s face it, this year’s Norway was no Lordi)

So, yesterday our flat was full of friends and really crap pop music on the telly.  It was the Eurovision song contest and my Black Heart Stout went over well, I think. (I didn’t have the forethought to line up an international range of beers, as suggested by Mark at Pencil and Spoon.)  I figured a really camp evening involving drinking games and bizarre pop acts in the name of European harmony (oh, and Israel) would be a good environment to debut my stout.

Initially J said, “I’ve had worse.”  I took it on the chin and stuck several brew dog beers in the fridge to chill as back up.  But then when E tried it, she kept sipping saying it reminded her of Christmas.  As the night wore on I noticed that for those drinking beer, well, it was the beer they were drinking. (Save one person who couldn’t be disuaded from Fosters in cans).  J later said, “the bubbles are very tiny.” I don’t know if this is good or bad in a drinking-game beer, and I didn’t press it.

Every time a contortionist showed up, or pyrotechics were used,  cleavage heaved or gazes lingered on the camera too long, we drank my stout.   And it was good enough.

Stout Showers
April 18, 2009

heartPerhaps this is what I get for naming the Black Heart Stout after such a volatile organ.  Have you ever seen an arterial spray of beer?  I have.  After a rather Withnail and I style afternoon, I find myself covered in the stout I brewed three weeks ago.  I taste and smell awesome!  If it survives my bottling antics, I have high hopes for the 43 bottles.  (I blame a dodgy stick filler for the mess.)

Luckily this time I took an OG reading.  (Every time I say OG I want to throw down my I M hand signs I’ve been working on.)  This baby is 5.08% ABV, which is right on.  I’m also happy to report that it tastes pretty darn good and has a nice full body, unlike the first beer I brewed solo which is tasty but kind of thin.  It still has that mineral tang. I’m just guessing that’s from the hard London water as well as perhaps being from the DME (according to my friend Bob that’s a common issue).  There is a faint hop character showing up here which makes me excited about perhaps brewing a hoppier stout.  The lovely, generous dudes at Brew Dog have sent me some hops– (Warrior, Chinook and some out-of-sight Nelson Sauvin which I will probably save for a single hop lighter ale maybe?) so the choice will be which one to add to the next stout.

The end-all is a have a f*ckton of beer.  Come on over.

(in about three weeks.)

A Stout as Black as my Heart
March 29, 2009


Today I decided to use up the 6 pounds of dark spray malt I had laying around (don’t ask me how I ended up with so much). I steeped a 1/2 pound of chocolate malt which in hindsight maybe wasn’t the best idea as the charred flavor might take over everything. It did make the wort blacker than black. \m/

It’s in the fermenter now. I remembered to take a gravity reading this time. Wooo. 1.049. Hopefully this is OK. The recipe says the gravity should be at 1.054. I was pretty fast and lose with this recipe which I found in How to Brew. It will be curious to see how it turns out.

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