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Showing posts from 2018

Guybrau - the best all year

It was a lesson in everything - a new style, new hops, getting a proper temperature control setup in place and a rush to get everything done to be ready for the feast that was Christmas Day.

But after all that, did we nearly manage to poison another family member with bitterness ala last time? 

One Helles of a brew for the brotherhood

My brother is joining me for Christmas and so my lovely wife suggested I brew up a small batch for his arrival. A brilliant idea! So I popped out the very handy Brewdog recipe book and decided (once again) to do a style I'm completely unfamiliar with complete with unfamiliar grains, yeast and hops!

In an echo of the great Jeremy Clarkson "What could possibly go wrong here?"

Hola Raspberry Cerveza! What you need after a heavy lawnmowing.

So my first ever adventures with an extract can are all done and unlike my all grain brews, this was one destined to be a lawnmower beer - namely something cool and refreshing to cool off with after a hot day toiling away in the sunshine.
It's not meant to win awards, just to hit the spot on a hot summers day.

We've just hit summer now here in Australia so did we manage to land on target?

One man, one can = half a plan

So since kicking off the home brewing thing earlier this year, I've been an all grain type of beer maker. Mash and sparge the grains, boil the wort, throw in some hops and hope for the best. The thought of using an extract can (where the mashing, boiling and sparging have been done already for you - you just add water, yeast and other bits and pieces to the goop in the tin) has never crossed my mind. 

Until one went on special for a ridiculous price... 

Red X Gone give it to ya (now it's not sadly..)

Grains, yeast and hops we've never used before. Oh and a broken hydrometer at the end of it. What could possibly go wrong here as we brew up our latest work: the Irish Red Ale we've 'Red X Gone give it to ya?'

The Bazweigan - bitter and dry like an angry desert

The color was gorgeous, the dextrose worked overtime to turn it into a bubbling delight.
But in the end it was three times as bitter as it should have been and tasted like a dry barren landscape. What the ###k happened with this one??

Gage Road Atomic American Pale Ale - some days are made for beer

Rise, shower, drive, grunt, work, lunch, swim, sleep, beer. That's the shortened version of my day ending with a bottle of Gage Road's American Pale Ale. Thankfully for my day and the brew, there's a little more to it than just that..

Making my brews just that little bit classier..

I came to drop off some clothes and bits and pieces that didn't even belong to me, I left with a couple of new vessels to add to my growing beer bits and pieces collection. Welcome to Wednesday!

Almigo brews a beer #3 - The Bazweigan

A visit to the local brew shop, secondary fermenting and learning to love some pink looking powder. It's all happening here in our latest brew, a blonde ale just in time for the visiting Father in law...(That's of course him in the funky head wear..)

Temp control to major Tom

Something a little different this weekend - playing around with some bits and pieces at home to make a small scale temp control container. The idea being that if small scale worked then I could work on building a bigger one as a place to store my fermenting carboy and keep it at constant temp.

AKA I don't have a spare fridge and let's see what we can build hey? #genius

The Midnight Pirate - okay, who decapitated my beer?

So we're a day early from tasting day - but it was one of those Saturday work shifts where time stood still and yet everything and anything happened at once. Coupled with a handful of hours worth of sleep and the kids wanting to play for hours as soon as I got home from work...well suddenly waiting one more day to taste your latest home brew doesn't seem to be that important.

But seconds into the pour, I did wonder exactly what happened had happened to the poor pirates head..

Needs more (brew)dog

I'm walking around this week echoing Netflix hero Luke Cage's favourite expression 'sweet Christmas.'

And it truly is a sweet (few months early) Christmas after discovering the Brewdog reicpe book.
Suddenly I've gone from having no idea what to brew next to far too many suggestions in what to brew next..(It's a tough problem to have really..)

Almigo brews a beer - Beer #2 The replicated/midnight pirate

It's been a while between (home)brews. After the thrilling success of the Citra Warrior IPA, this time I'm turning my attention to replicating a beer that went down an absolute storm when I tucked into it the first time - The Pirate Life Pale Ale.

But would my replicated pirate plunder proudly on the seven (beer) seas or sink before it even got out of the docks to cause mayhem up and down the coast? Let's find out!

Insert Bishop said to other person punchline here - Matso's Bishop's Best

I've heard some pretty good things about the brews coming out of Matso's (especially their Mango beer) but would my one on one with the Bishop here go down in as one of the best catch ups with someone in a big hat I've ever had? (Not that I can recall many conversations with anyone in a big hat, but you get my drift..)

Pop the lid your holiness and let's go!

One twisted bbq - Burleigh Brewing Twisted Palm

It's been quite a while between beer reviews, it truly has. I've been busy working my way through my very first home brew (and wasn't that a sad day when I drank the last one of the batch?) and I've also been turning my hand to attempting some home made sake! (More about that in a future post.)

But finally there was a Saturday night when the bbq got the dust blown off it, some pork rasher was sliced and diced into bbqable bites and while they and the sweet potato was sizzling away, I tucked into a mango.

I mean a Burleigh Brewing Twisted Palm Tropical Pale Ale.
Which had plenty of the aforementioned mango action going on.

Almigo brews a beer part 7 - Proud beer dad moment

Strike up the band and let fly the fanfare for the moment finally arrived - I got to open and rip into my very first brew from my very first batch.

But would it be be more watery than a rising tide or so on point that the major brewing industries couldn't help but stand up and take notice?

Almigo brews a beer part 6: Sticky messy satisfaction

Okay, you've had enough fermenting time there brew of mine, time to put you in bottles and like a fine wine let you age. For a couple of weeks at least.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen - Head for months!

Current status of my IPA? Still fermenting. It gets a nice little hop addition tomorrow for three days and then it's bottling time. So while I wait, let's rip into the beer with the longest lasting head I have ever experienced, the Paulaner Hefe-Weizen!

Almigo brews a beer part 5: A brew day dawning

Oh god, is is time? It's only forever to get here.
Ingredients assembled.
T-Minus a few hours before work.
Green light...
...brew time is go!

Red stripe - drink it or smoke it?

What do I know of Jamaica? Er...I have a vague idea of where it is. I have heard some Reggae. One of my show callers told me a great story about his trip there in the 70's and his adventures with a 16 paper spliff.
That's about it really.
So it'll come as absolute zero suprise that I know even less about Jamaican beer. Especially one that sounds like a brand of cigarette..

Bridge Road Chevalier Saison - down a different path

It's been a great opportunity over the last 12 and a bit months to try a few different styles of brew and see what I like. Things like IPAs and Hefeweizens are pretty high on the list (can't wait to get into a neipa) - but after trying a Saison for the first time ever, where does this now fit on the styles list?

It was an interesting experience..

Almigo brews a beer part 4 - a box of beery goodness appears

So just in time for my 38th celebration of roaming the planet, a magical box appears!

Fortitude Drifter Summer Ale - Hey I know that car...

Tonight we're back with another beer from the car loving brewers of Mt Tamborine. But does the Drifter have the engine power to keep up with the rubber laid down by it's Pacer brother? Let's turn the key and find out!*

*By turn the key I mean drink the damn thing.

Stone Go To IPA - an invitation from a pair of devils

Would you take a look at this cheeky little guy, just lazying back with his stein of frothy goodness, signalling that you too should get into one or maybe two (perhaps three even?) and nothing bad could possibly happen here.

Cheeky little git.

Gage Roads Sleeping Giant IPA - The giant came and went real quick..

IPA time! (It's been a while.) Can this sleeping giant stand tall in the shadows left by the previous India Pale Ales? (Discounting Tui of course). Or will the giant be hobbled before it hits the battlefield? Let's load up the beer sling and find out!

Oettinger - Enjoy it while stomping spiders..

Weekend work shift done, dinner finished, kids put to bed - time for a quick 500ml trip to Germany while we...mash some spiders in our dungeon?

Almigo brews a beer part 3 - Introducing Cappadonna

Okay I'm doing things an odd way around, buying stuff for the back end of the brewing process first instead of gear needed to get this batch actually started...but a bargain is a bargain. And I do love a bargain..

Karl Strauss Pintail Pale Ale - This line is starting to blur...

Could a special from San Diego get rid of the sour thoughts of our recent brush with Hollandia? There's was only one way to find out - fire up the bbq and get tasting!

Hollandia - Sweet price, sour taste

A pallet load of cheap beer near the exit of Dan Murpheys? How could I resist?

Note to self: Learn to resist.

Beer chat is good chat - the podcast is up!

Last year I mentioned having an incredible bang up chat with Balter head brewer Scott Hargrave. Today, you can now listen to it! (I know right, better late than never...)

Drove up a mountain, came face to face with Frankenstein

The title pretty much sums up our latest weekend adventure. Although I really wasn't expecting half the beer related goodies we found along the way..

One scotch, one beer, together at last..

Once again my wonderful wifey proves she's well and truly full of surprises. At Xmas I unwrapped a four pack of Fig Jam which made the time off from work even more enjoyable. Just in time for Valentine's Day? She's taken my drinking vessels to a completely new level..

Moon Dog Love Tap Lager - How much for the table?

I'm celebrating tonight - a morning jaunt through many a garage sale found us a glass topped dining table for a mere $10. Considering the glass seems to weigh as much as I do, this thing was a steal. So what am I celebrating with tonight you ask? The last brew in the fridge (until I stock up again) - A Moon Dog Love Tap Lager.

Hef wheat beer - the brew with the fine mustache

Now I remember drinking one of these many moons ago (it's difficult to forget that the bottle had a mustache on it) only I had no idea it was from Burleigh Brewing, makers of that damn fine Fig Jam IPA. Of course I only remembered the mo and nothing about the contents of the bottle so I'm happy it popped up Dan Murphey's ready for round two.

Almigo brews a beer part 2 - Hilarious lessons in what not to do

So I'm still a whiles away from boiling, pitching, waiting, bottling, drinking and possibly bragging. However in between pay days and drooling over which bit of kit I'm going to purchase next, I've been keeping myself busy with a bit of learning but more importantly, a bit of laughing...

Tui - hail to the bus driving man

I'm flashbacking tonight. Back we go ten years ago roughly when I trekked around the North Island of New Zealand on a bus full of strangers. The bus was pilotted by a guy called Kev. Or was it Steve? I think his name was Greg. Anyway Petey the bus driver gave me a can of Tui once but I can't remember why. Nor can I remember what it tasted like.
Boy this is off to a great start isn't it?

Zywiec - has it turned blue yet?

It's a miserable weekend weather wise here on the Gold Coast. Plenty of rain has ruled out mowing the lawn after far too long so that basically leaves plenty of wet weather activities, chugging down copious numbers of coffees and as the almost hidden sun descends, tucking into a new beer or two under the cover of the back deck.
First morsel on the tasting plate tonight? A trip to Poland with the buttery like goodness of a Zyweic...

Cascade Premium Light - I'm not going to be rude here..

So a meeting was called here at work. Nothing serious or job threatening, just a general update about where we're all at and what we're all up to - who joined the team, who got engaged, all that fun stuff. And at the end of it they whipped out the trays of party pies and sausage rolls, cakes and sweets in celebration. And they also opened the beer fridge.

I'd be rude if I didn't take part in this hospitality now wouldn't I? So far be it for me to be the one who bucked the trend, I grabbed a beer. A style that's been pretty under represented on this page since it kicked off, a light beer.

Almigo brews a beer part 1 - One man, half a plan

So I've talked the talk for long enough, time to walk the walk. Or in this case, get down and dirty in brewing my very first home brew. Before anything though, we're going to need a plan...

James Squire 150 Lashes pale ale - an experiment in pain relief

While perusing a craft beer Facebook group recently I stumbled over an article headline stating that two beers was just as if not even more effective for pain releif than a typical painkiller.
My knee hurts - let's give this a whirl then..

McCracken Amber Ale - I think I'm being watched..

I'm not one of those airline passengers who turns up with mere seconds to spare, bolts down the massive walkway in Terminal 4 at Tullermarine and throws themselves into a plane a split second before takeoff. No I turn up early. Sometimes way to early. But I figure it's a great opportunity to have a slightly expensive but relaxing brew or two at one of the bars and watch the planes come in. This time around I think though I'm also on that list of things intestering enough to keep tabs on..

Fat Yak original pale ale - diffuse it with a Yak.

Maybe I skipped my calling as a police negotiator because on Friday I managed to diffuse an angry situation with some beer chat. Okay so the situation wasn't that dramatic (the brother in law was getting grumpy at the service in the restaurant) but I quickly took his mind off things with a couple of quick fire questions about the Great Northern he was drinking. 
'I like the taste' was the best I got out of that conversation with no further detail about what in the taste of the GN he liked so much. There was more talk about how if you look at the back end of the fish on the label and squint hard enough, you can sort of see a bird...
'What do you like about that one then?' he asked pointing at my Fat Yak.
I launched into a few things I was enjoying about the brew that got met with blank looks. Especially when I raved on about nice beers with a decent hit of hops. That got even more of a blank look so I quit the beer chat early and focussed instead on the impending steak…

Balter Pilsner - enjoy it without the airport tax

One of the first thing I promised myself to help celebrate the first few hours of my two week holiday was a good feed and a cold beer while I waited at the airport. The fine dining came from Scales Seafood on the Tweed (amazing flake and chips) while the cold brew came from the airport bar where I paid a premium for a premium. Well actually a Pilsner but you get what I mean.

Lucky Buddha - hey that's a nice mantle ornament

Did you know that if you spray paint an empty bottle of Lucky Budda beer with a nice flat colour (a light grey or stone colour works well) you end up with a great mantle piece ornament and conversation starter? You won't be talking about the beer inside of it though, because that's terrible..

Tiger Lager - Come set this kitchen on fire with me

While the wife and kids are away for the week...I finally get to cook things with a bit of a kick to them. Tonight, it's my first foray into using Chili Shrimp paste and figuring I'd need something to wash it down with (or possibly tame the flames) I bought myself a Tiger..

Monteith's radler - One fat hen, couple of duck..

...and on this Contiki bus trip around New Zealand a certain 27 year old with no plan whatsoever took each day as it came...and needed a week to recover once it was all over.
Midway through though he discovered radler and fast forward roughly ten years to now, it's time to try it again and reminisce.
But would it bring back memories of hungi dinners, bays full of islands and fond memories of a cute librarian? Let's find out!

Beers for the beer god. And a good start to the home brew setup.

Once again Uncle Dan comes up with a another couple of reasons to swing by and say hi...