Consumed commercial beer

After a week the gravity is 1.018 / 8 brix. I hope there’s still a little to more to ferment but looking at the top, the yeast isn’t that active.

Ferm temp was highish at the beginning – pitch about 30, then dropped throughout the week from early 20s, to late 10’s, and finally yesterday to early 10’s – another indication that the yeast isn’t active much now, because the yeast would be warming the fermentation chamber.

Taste is sharp bitterness with slight citrus aroma. Flavour dominated by creamy biscuit, like a creamy baby rusk. I don’t taste distinct hoppiness but I can feel it is there blending the bitterness and creaminess. I like it and maybe should leave like this, but I still have the memories of my second Swan Lake Amber last week which was too much, so I want some extra hops in the aftertaste – also to balance out the bitterness more.

Added 30g Amarillo and 28g Centennial. The Centennial seems very genki but the Amarillo… I don’t get a great aroma from it, so I’m not sure it’s the very best condition. Hence going for 2oz between the two hops, which might be a tad excessive otherwise for a 13-14L. I’ll need to watch this over the next few days.

I’m leaving 509 out of the fermentation chamber today to raise the temp a little bit – hopefully give the yeast a final boost and allow it to do some cleanup, perhaps get down a few points. I’ll put it back in the chamber tonight.


Up at 6:30am for a brew with the new equipment (mill, kettle, chiller). If you look at the pictures, it all looks like it went swimmingly. Did it b#ll#cks.





Apart from screwing up the first hop addition with almost double the bittering hops and having to recalculate the recipe, and apart from the little one getting up and throwing up half way through the brew (thankfully not in the brew), I ended up 5 1/2 litres short from the boil. Over 25% short of the intended 20L.


A combination of collecting a little bit less from the mash+sparge than intended, a very vigorous boil from the new kettle, and underestimating the amount of water the hops would absorb contribute… ut I can still barely believe it was 5 1/2 litres short.

The 14 1/2L was stronger than anticipated, but after calculating how much I could water down to reach the planned final gravity (1 1/2L) I decided not to bother – 14 1/2L will fit in a mini-keg with a few bottle to spare.

So clearly I have some homework to do. But sod that, I have beer brewing and it’s Sunday night. Time for curry.



Very nice those Parrot Pale & IPA’s. From NZ but they use Maris Otter, which gives a subtle bread/biscuit taste. And co-incidentally, bread and biscuit flavours were the aim of today’s brew, with a Amber (Biscuit) malt, Munich (II – Dark), and Maris Otter.

509: New Equipment Crack-of-dawn Amber

Intended recipe below, recalculated after screwing up the first addition. Result was 14.5L fermentation at 1.057.

IBU 113
Alc 5.1%
OG 1.052
FG 1.013

70% efficiency
23.28L Boil
20L Fermentation

3.2kg Maris Otter
1.0kg Munich II
0.5kg Amber
0.16kg Carared
0.15kg Crystal 60L

27g Zeus (17.5% AA, FWH + 60 min)
15g Amarillo (8.9% AA, 15 min)
15g Centennial (10.5% AA, 15 min)
15g Chinook (14.2% AA, 15 min)
32g Amarillo (8.9% AA, 5 min)
32g Centennial (10.5% AA, 5 min)
32g Chinook (14.2% AA, 5 min)
32g Amarillo (aroma)
32g Centennial (aroma)
32g Chinook (aroma)


Best pils I have had in a long time. I made damn similar with my first ever pils (the beer which actually made me appreciate pils). Have never been able to replicate it again.

I was hit by tax – 1400yen – in some calculation which I can’t even pretend to understand. What I do know is that 200yen of that was the Japan Post fee. Had this been in the UK, the Parcelfarce fee would have been 2000yen by itself. Probably more.

So I’m the proud owner of some hops, from Freshops. Here they are:


Centennial – 16oz
Simcoe – 16oz
Citra – 8oz
Mosaic – 8oz
NB – 4oz
Golding – 2oz
Amarillo – 16oz
Chinook – 16oz
Zeus – 12oz
Magnum – 16oz
Saaz – 16oz

A total cost of $255, including $70 delivery.

Here they are from another angle:


And in the freezer:


Ooops, not enough room there. Better use the small freezer too:


All those hops are making me thirsty. Here is one of the best imports that’s come into Japan for a while – Lagunitas Little Sumptin.


All in all, it works out about 770yen per 100g for these hops, with postage and tax included. In comparison, 100g of Pellet hops from Sakeland works out at 500yen (when you buy 500g) – which makes Sakeland’s price look damn good. An equivalent 100g of Pellet hops from Advanced Brewing is about 800yen. But these are leaf, not pellet (pellet would be cheaper to ship). And they are varieties you can’t get in Japan.

I can’t wait to get brewing with these. It’s an absurd amount of hops. And I intend to make some IPA’s and Pale Ales with absurd amounts of hops in them.

Stone’s Matt’s Burning Rosids – WOW. Amazing beer. Love smoked.


Soon to be followed by Brewdog’s Hello My Name Is Vladimir at Extreme Bar Stone (Asagaya)


Scottish Brewdog and Beerbear in Japan

Scottish Brewdog and Beerbear in Japan

It’s no secret that my first encounter with Brewdog wasn’t a pleasant one – as I wrote here, I disliked Storm so much that it became one of the few beers I’ve thrown down the sink. But then I’m not fan of whisky cask aged beers – I didn’t like the Harviestoun Ola Dubh either.

Since then I’ve been following the company – and researching about British beers more, driven on by the fact that I’ll be visiting Scotland again later in the year and want to visit some breweries and make sure I can get decent beer there, and also after discovering that Greene King’s 3.6% IPA is “Britain’s favourite cask ale.” Coca-cola has more hops than Greene King.

The more research I do into British beers, the more I start to admire Brewdog. I’ve been shocked to see most of the UK craft IPAs I stumble across are under the 4% mark, which is really just a pale ale. I know there’s better out there – this article mentions a few – but I’ve yet to find one in Scotland other than Brewdog (I’m still looking). Brewdog are in some way making craft beers interesting to the masses again – which is a good thing.

A few weeks back I tried the Punk IPA and Rip Tide. Punk IPA is a respectable 6%, and while it’s not a hop monster like Stone IPA, it had nice citrus tones and it compares well against Japanese IPAs. I could down a few in the summer heat. I’d love to get my hands on some Hardcore IPA at 150+ IBUS and Chaos Theory IPA, though that will need to wait until I get to the UK because they are not coming to Japan.

What is coming to Japan is the controversial Tokyo*. It will be arriving in Japan in October, finally. Tokyo* is 18.2% and brewed with Jasmine and Cranberries. Sounds like a beer to be savoured slowly.

If you live in the UK, be sure to check this offer from Brewdog.

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