Yeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa its started bubbling

This was the mail of relief I got from my brother last night when finally about 36 hours his first homebrew started bubbling though the airlock.

This is the kit I bought him, from Brew UK:

Woodfordes Microbrewery Premium 40 Pint Starter Set

Woodfordes Microbrewery Premium 40 Pint Starter Set

Oh how I would have loved to have started out racking straight to a keg instead of bottling!

The kit comes with Woodforde’s Wherry Best Bitter – a so called “premium” kit beer which doesn’t require any sugar or DME or LME to be added. It’s the reputation of this kit that swung my choice away from the famous Coopers kit – I really want my brother’s first beer to be good, unlike the crap I made. I’ve never seen a bad review of this Wherry kit, or a review where people needed to add hops or steeping grain to make it taste good.

The overall package only has one disadvantage as I see it: you need to syphon, and the instructions say to start the syphon by sucking – but he can always get an autosyphon later, if it turns out to be a hassle. The fact that the beer is a real ale instead of a lager means he wont need to keep the finished keg in the fridge.

I could be seriously be corrupting my brother by sending him this kit – he’s already made murmurs of running an electric line to the outside shed and sticking a fridge in there to maintain fermentation temperatures. Once he finds out how easy it is to make beer, he may get as addicted as I am.

Who knows, we may end up opening that brewery I’ve been thinking of together!

Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA and It's Alight!

Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA and It's Alight!

Last night I tried Mikkeller’s Simcoe Single Hop IPA, imported from Denmark. It was actually pretty good – nice smooth bittering, even until the end. I did notice slight undertones of the “taste I don’t like in an IPA” but it was well hidden. It did make me wonder whether Simcoe is responsible for that taste though, but Green Flash Imperial IPA is Summit and Nugget so I’m no closer. Can’t find the hops for Big Daddy Speakeasy but some do refer to it as “citrus and piney”.. could “piney” be the description I’m looking for? I need to meet with some other beer guys to discuss this.

On the right is It’s Alight!, a Belgian Ale I had a few weeks ago from the same company. The post-it on top says it all – like “Orval”. It has the Orval yeast taste, but without the strong alcohol (4.5% vs  5.2~7.2%). I’m not a huge Orval fan – I don’t like the harsh yeast taste – but I keep trying it every now and then to see whether it sneaks up on me like mushroom, Guinness, and green tea ice-cream did. So while I couldn’t say It’s Alight! was more than It’s Alright (sorry, you knew that was coming!), I can see that some people – Orval lovers – might like it a lot, unless they miss the alcohol strength.

I do like the way Mikkeller list the ingredients – even though it isn’t in English – including which hops and malts they used. I wish other beer companies would do that.