The beer pours a lovely reddish-brown colour, with a thick tan head. The aroma is full of sweet chocolate, raisins, burnt sugar and a hint of coffee. A great after dinner beer.
3kg Dark liquid malt
2kg Light liquid Malt
500g Light Dry malt
100g Carafa II
200g Brown Malt
200g Special B Malt
40g Columbus hops (15% AA) – 60min boil
1 x MJ Californian lager yeast or 2 x MJ Bohemian Lager yeast or 2 x S-23 Saflager yeast.
1. A day before, place 10‐15 litres of water in closed containers in a fridge and chill.
2. Steep Grains for 20‐30 mins with 2 litres of hot tap water (not boiling).
3. Strain liquid into a large saucepan. Rinse grain with another 1 Litre of hot tap water into the saucepan, and discard grain.
4. Add another 4 litres of water and 1 kg liquid light malt (approx.) to the saucepan, and bring to the boil whilst stirring.
5. Add 40g Columbus hops.
6. At the end of the 60 minutes, turn off the heat.
7. Add the rest of the malts and stir to dissolve. Place the saucepan in a sink of cool water for 10‐15 minutes.
9. Pour the contents of the saucepan into the fermenter, and top up to 23 litres with chilled and tap water to reach a starting temperature of 20‐22°C if using the Californian Lager yeast. Stir vigorously to aerate.
10. If using the MJ Californian lager ferment as close as possible to 20°C, if using the MJ Bohemian Lager or S-23 ferment as close to 12c as possible. Bottle or keg when gravity is consistent over two days.
Tips for temperature control:
-Use the chilled water to reach a satisfactory temperature and add yeast immediately.
-Maintain a cool even temperature in the fermenter.
-Place the fermenter in a tray and wrap it in a blanket with an end in a container of water.
-Placing the fermenter on a concrete slab can also help to keep the temperature constant.
–Use a Brewing Thermostat and a fridge for optimum brewing conditions all year round.
Equipment needed for mead making:
– 4 Litre Pot
– Medium Funnel
– 2 x 5L Demijohns
– Bored Bung
– Solid Bung
-To make oak spirit use a 4-5 Litre wide neck glass jar, use around 200-300g of oak blocks or chips and 1 litre of vodka/neutral spirit. Soak for at least 14 days but the flavour intensifies the longer you leave the oak soaking. When ready, strain the oak out by passing it through filter wool in a funnel.