Bath of Beer 2: FOOM.

It’s just over a year since the last experiment with making Porter resulted in an “over lively” beer that fountained over the top a bit.

Over the last couple of months, I decided to retry this experiment. I bought a kit for “Pernickety Porter” and something else from Brew Craft Beer, with the intention of playing with this one and then some kind of photo-essay review of the other one. When it came to the bottling of the beer, I happened to have made some simple syrup (for cocktails and coffee) that morning, so instead of the weak sugar solution, I used that.

This, it turns out, wasn’t my greatest idea ever. The first glass I tried this evening, I opened the bottle over the sink, because occasionally I learn from my mistakes. It bubbled over a bit… well, a lot… and I ended up with a half-litre glass like this out of a 330ml bottle:

Funny. Ha ha. So I waited for the bubbles to go down, got most of the bottle of beer into the glass, and thought “What would be funny is if I took a video of opening the bottle, with the bottle in the glass, so it fills up the glass, and I can make a joke about the world’s first self-pouring beer!”

Nah. Not so much.

Second bottle, followed by second bottle in full “oh fuck” x8 slow motion:

Now, of course, I had one bottle that fizzed a bit, and another that did the volcano thing. What this required was SCIENCE. So, science. Note, under “sometimes I learn from my mistakes” above, the new addition to my method: Experiment is now done in a baking tray with a teatowel underneath it.

This weekend, I’m going to attempt the Grubby Teapot Brown Ale from the same place.

This time, I think I’ll follow the recipe more carefully.

Now, however, I need to clean the kitchen floor a bit.

food Personal

The saga of Aquarion and the second bath of beer.

The title is not a typo.

As part of my attempt to vary the kinds of geek that I am, I’ve taken up Interesting Alcohol. I’ve been playing with vodka infusions for a while, mostly to delight and disturb fellow larpers, and coffee/rum liquors to make you see though time though a sparking haze. But last year I got some home brew equipment and started playing with stuff from the Brooklyn Beer Shop. First their Brewdog-licenced Punk IPA pack, which tasted close enough to the real thing to impress, and latterly with their Chocolate Maple Porter, a beer whose style I’m a fan of. Dutifully I Sanitized, Mashed and Sparged, Boiled, Fermented, Waited, Bottled and Waited a bit more.

Today, we were playing D&D over Google Hangouts, and our characters chanced upon an inn, and ordered some beer. A player needed to take five, so we took a time out, and I – inspired by my character’s actions – decided beer was a fine idea, and got a bottle of the new home-brew. Now, this was not the first bottle I’d opened, and last night’s, while a little lively, mostly lulled me into a false sense of security for what was about to happen:

I have created a beer volcano.

I think I must have oversugared the bottling process a bit, because once the cap was off it leapt half a foot in the air. I tried to get as much in the glass as possible, but in the end my desk was awash, and the floor below a spreading puddle of porter. Thank general deities for laminate floors, is all I can say.

I quit the chat channel – my collegues were tremendously amused – cleaned it up, changed trousers and shirt, and – like an idiot – decided that must have been a fluke and got another bottle from the cupboard.

Being a wiser man, I opened this one carefully over the sink. This helped somewhat, in that most of the beer went down the plughole, but sadly it did so via my shirt, glasses, hair, and also the walls, cupboards ceiling, and yay unto the window beside me.

I gave up and went to get, in short order, a shower, a glasses cloth, a new set of clothes and a moderate glass of whisky.

I’ll deal with the other bottles when I have waterproofs and it’s not raining outside.


BrewDogged Determination: The 2012 Brewdog AGM & Birthday

The event can be divided into four bits without much difficulty, those being the AGM, the Bars, the Shop and the Music.

Late into the night the stage was host to several bands, ranging from a somewhat lonely singer/songwriter though to the semifamous and quite good Kassidy. The building being a great concrete barn of a place, the acoustics left something to be desired, but the bands were quite good and the sound did the best they could in the space, I think. As it filled up, the echoing chasm effect wore off.

To some extent the music and sound-checks drove the shop situation worse. For whatever reason – I assume ease of stock-checking – the order-for-later-delivery bulk-beer shop was running orders by taking them down, finding all the stuff, filling and addressing the boxes there and then, and then sending them off for later postage. This meant that every order took ages, and with only five or six people taking the orders on thirty feet of counterspace, queues to place orders went though a joke into epic failure. The two hours it took to actually get my order though are the least fun I’ve ever had whilst at a festival celebrating decent beer.

The bars too suffered a little from having vast amount of queuing space to limited serving spots, and could have done with more pumps, but the token system (Since they weren’t licensed for a cash bar, you had to buy tokens worth 1 or 1/2 pint, depending on the beer) sped up the ordering process (because change is annoying and fiddly). It’s hard to complain too much when pints of BrewDog’s as yet unnamed Pale Ale are going for a couple of quid a pint, as are their more famous 5am Saint and Punk IPA brews. So good beer, served at a high quality. Queues got a little silly during some periods, but that’s not really avoidable completely when you have 1500 beer fans and two bars.

I missed the actual AGM bit because of queuing for the shop, but the reports I heard were all very positive. The second London Brewdog has a site (in Shoreditch), they hope to start issuing dividends soon, the new brewery provides an 8-fold increase in yield for them, although they’re going to need to spend a few months after it comes up doing quality and consistancy control on beers previously created at the old factory. 66% of their output goes overseas, they’re looking at international bars, Sweden likes BrewDog.

Then on to the aforementioned music and more beer. I managed to track most of what I was drinking on Untappd (Where I am “Aquarion”), and probably need to play with some of the Stone breweries beers, as the ones I’ve tried I’ve liked a lot.

Aberdeen is nice enough, though how the exhibition centre managed to get two different Holiday Inns built next to it beggers belief a bit (and nobody warned either of the massive influx for this weekend, something they didn’t cope with perfectly).

When I booked the train back, I knew I was going to consider 9:30 the next morning too early, but I can only imagine past-me was attempting to get some kind of vengence. It worked. I am quite tired.