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  1. darrellm


    Thought I got a whiff of TCP / phenols when bottling last weekend and, sure enough, it's in the beer - looks like I've got my first failed brew in a very long time. Bog-standard AG brew, British ale with Challenger and Goldings fermented with Gervin yeast, no change to my usual technique, the...
  2. darrellm

    Hi FG: specialist grains?

    Think I know the answer but just wanted to test this: just bottled an American Porter and the FG was higher than expected, 1020, with only 62% yeast attenuation. I didn't make a note of which yeast I used but it would have been one of my generic ones which usually attenuate much higher than...
  3. darrellm

    Willamette recipe?

    Anyone got a decent recipe that uses Willamette for bittering with another aroma hop? Just found an unopened 100g bag of Willamette in my hop stash that I need to use up. Got a few other hops hanging around: Cascade and Styrian Goldings, so hoping to make a use-up brew.
  4. darrellm

    And we worry about infection

    Channel surfing and the Hairy Bikers are in some commercial brewery, Manchester I think They're open fermenting They pull a sample of the fermenting beer to try, handling the vessel before pouring into glasses, then chuck the sampling vessel back in with no sanitsation The brewery guy takes a...
  5. darrellm

    Brewferm Belgian kits

    Any idea what's happened to Brewferm? Been making their kits for 8 or 9 years and love the Oud Vlaams Bruin in particular. They went through a re-branding exercise recently and now their kits seem really hard to get: a few of my regular suppliers have either stopped selling them or have very...
  6. darrellm

    Reduced-volume boils

    I've always done reduced-volume boils due to restrictions with my BIAB setup, typically a 10L boil then topped up in the FV to 17L. It's always produced good beer so I haven't given it any thought. However, came across the Brewer's Friend calculator and was a bit shocked at how many IBUs I'm...
  7. darrellm

    Yeast temp for British ales

    I tend to brew predominantly British ales - bitters, golden ales etc. with either Gervin or S-04 yeast. Despite doing over 160 brews I've always gone for the not-too-cold not-too-warm approach and fermented 18-21C. I've struggled to get fruitiness in things like a 5% dark ale. Reading around I...
  8. darrellm

    Dark fruity British ale

    I've been trying to produce a dark fruity British ale for some time now, in the manner of one of my favourite local brew Uley Old Spot I've just done one for the 4th attempt and each one has been better, but I'm not getting the fruitiness. I've tried a...
  9. darrellm

    Boil volume

    I started off brewing with BrewUK extract recipe packs, which make 20-23L brews using DME but with a reduced boil volume of 6-8L so you can make them on a stovetop with a stock pot. I've since moved onto AG and have employed the same method, a lower-volume boil (typically 10L) then topped up to...
  10. darrellm

    Sugar in AG brews

    I occasionally come across an AG recipe with sugar in it, either normal brewing sugar or dark brown muscavado - anything up to 10% of the fermentables? Why is this / what effect does it have? Tempted to try it but have bad memories of using brewing sugar with kits.
  11. darrellm

    Stout Colour

    I've always thought of Stouts as black beers but notice that some recipes have a range of colours. Juts bottled the GH Oatmeal Stout this morning and it's decidedly dark brown, I upped the original recipe colour a tad to 47 EBC and thought it looked a bit light, should've used some black malt I...
  12. darrellm

    Giving up with pressure barrels

    I'm at the end of my tether with pressure barrels and brews going off. Been brewing 8 years and using a mixture of bottles and pressure barrels since the start, they were initially fine but in the past 3 years I've been having issues with beers in the barrel going off. It's not the beer - I...
  13. darrellm

    Wheat beer

    Only ever brewed one Wheat beer before at that was with 100% wheat malt extract. Now AG these days. I knocked up a quick recipe after getting back from Belgium based on others I've read, but for some reason I didn't spot the mix of wheat malt and pale malt. So I made it with 100% wheat malt...
  14. darrellm

    Brewing Belgian beers

    So I made the mistake of going back to Belgium last week and I now realise how average my Brewferm Belgian kits are. I'm pretty happy with my AG brewing of British ales but I've never tried an AG Belgian, but have heard that it's a style that's quite hard to master. Anyone successfully brewed a...
  15. darrellm

    Keg woes

    I have 2 kegs, a budget and a King Keg, that keep getting infected. The beer that goes in is fine, and it's great for a week or two, then it looses any hoppiness and gets that horrible nail varnish / TCP taste. I know it's the kegs doing this as I half-bottle each batch and they're fine. Kegs...
  16. darrellm

    Adding different malts

    When I first started AG brewing I tried a few different malts added to the base malt, namely Wheat and Munich. And various crystal malts (inc Caramalt etc) of course. I've now gone to just base malt and some crystal. I guess I couldn't really tell what difference Wheat and Munich were making...
  17. darrellm

    Drying hops - how long?

    How long should hops be dried for? I put a batch of Styrian Goldings in the bottom of the airing cupboard early Sept expecting them to be ready mid-Oct. Last night I picked my Cascade, when I put them into the airing cupboard and checked the Golding they felt very dry already, almost paper-thin...
  18. darrellm

    Wilko Cerveza tweak

    This worked out really nice, so posting it on here. Bit of a use-up brew to get rid of some old grains and hops, plus didn't have time for an AG brew so it was a quick substitute brew to replenish stocks. 1.5kg tin Wilko Cerveza 1kg Muntons Brew Enhancer 225g Caramalt 25g Caraamber 68g...
  19. darrellm

    New Wilko kits

    Was browsing the Wilko website yesterday and spotted some new single-can 1.8kg kits I'm guessing you need extra beer enhancer / sugar to make these up as 1.8kg of liquid malt extract isn't...
  20. darrellm

    Gushers again

    Am I right in thinking that bottle gushers can only be due to infection or over-priming? Yesterday I opened a bottle from my latest batch and it gushed. Immediately cursed myself for brewing in June, thinking it was a wild yeast infection - but it tasted OK. It had definately finished...