A Mild for my Old Man

So this post is no longer topical, being a Valentine’s post. I’ve returned from America and blame the jet lag.

With the help of my friend Bob, I brewed a mild, which happens to be Mr. Malting’s favourite kind of beer. I smuggled back a very large bottle of the Blackout Mild, swaddled in bubble wrap and tee shirts and I gave it to him on Valentine’s Day.

We drank it together and he said it was second only to his favourite, Harvey’s. On occasions like this I would really welcome hyperbole and maybe even some white lies (what do you mean it’s not the best thing you’ve ever tasted?) but he’s not that kind of guy. It was malty and smooth and at 3.5% it seemed really true to the style. The crisp carbonation, which I really enjoyed, seemed a slight departure.

Can I reproduce another successful beer without the help of my friend Bob? It remains to be seen. I still have to buy some basic equipment, most of which I can get from Wilkinson’s down the way. But those of you that do brew at home, would you recommend an online seller?

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12 Responses

  1. I’ve always found Paul at Barley Bottom to be both reasonably priced and friendly.

    The Hop and Grape up the road from me have an extensive range of kit too.

    There is a good thread here on hop and grain supplies

  2. Congratulations on your first brew!
    It sounds like it was really good. I prefer people to tell me the truth rather than saying it’s the best thing ever. In fairness being the second best to someone’s favourite beer with your first brew is pretty cool. My first brew tasted like vinegar mixed with cut grass so you’re doing well.

    I’m in Ireland so not much help on the home brew shop front.

  3. Hop and Grape in Darlington are brilliant. That’s who we get our stuff from.

  4. http://www.hopshopuk.com/ was always my favoured place. Friendly, prompy and reliable.

  5. Hi John– thanks for the advice– that’s two for the Hop and Grape!

  6. Hi Laura,

    I think the beer turned out soley because I had a great teacher! I hope my next beer is at least half as good.

    I guess I was just so proud of my first beer that I really, really wanted him to love it!

  7. Hi Bailey– Hop and Grape must be good then! Thank you for the tip, and for stopping by.

  8. Mr. Jack– thanks again for this. I look forward to consulting your awesome guide as well as consulting you at Whitby! I hope you take payment in pints?

  9. H&G have a great selection of kit but Wilco’s are fine for the basic plastics, almost identical to H&G plastics but a bit cheaper, though the buckets are not good for a boiler. H&G will put taps of your choice in and drill holes for elements. Elements can be sourced in £5 kettles at Tesco, they work fine.

  10. Hi Bigun,

    Thanks for this. When I went to Wilco’s they did have quite a lot of the basics, but the fermenters didn’t have holes drilled in them and there didn’t seem to be anyone around to help at all. I suppose if I had my own drill this would make things a lot easier. The Wilco’s near me is quite small though, maybe larger ones have more.

  11. No, Wilco’s don’t do kit with holes ready drilled, you have to get some hole saws from B&Q and do it yourself, taps and elements are different sizes. It is easier than it sounds but if you find that too daunting (I’v put the wrong size in a few times) the H&G will do it all for you but you have to ask.

    • Hi Bigun, I’ve whimped out and bought a fermenter with a tap and airlock holes already in…it was a bit more expensive but since I’m retail-challenged here (I don’t know where shops are and have no car to tote large things around)– it seemed the easiest.

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