Monday, 8 November 2010
A Surprising Post
And I was. At the weekend.
I've been brewing on my new equipment since September. I know it's only a couple of months, but I've managed five brews, with the sixth pencilled in for this week. That's quite a lot of beer at either five gallons or ten gallons a time. In truth, quite a lot of mediocre beer.
Regular readers will know I've had problems with the new brewery, and that's where most of the problems lie. That and being forced to brew with brown malt which, let's be quite frank about this, is never going to make a decent pint of beer. At least not to me.
On Saturday, whilst overseeing things in the kitchen, (three bean and wild mushroom stew if you must know) I was sipping on some home brew. As well as the one I had been quaffing all week (which had the misfortune of having a hint of brown), I'd run off a sample of another beer which was conditioning in a keg. I left the sample on the side to get to room temperature while pottering with the mushrooms for the stew.
Without thinking which, to be honest, could have been at any stage during the evening, I picked up the sample brew by mistake and took a good glug. And I thought to myself, 'Bloody hell. That's fantastic'. A stern look from the other half who was sat with our four-year-old made me realise I hadn't thought that at all. I had said it. Loudly.
I regained my composure, realising I had drunk from the wrong glass. But it was clearly so right - a dark beer, with hints of caramel and chocolate all coating my tongue. Immediately I paced off to get my brewing notes to see how I had crafted this particular beast. I prayed this was a ten gallon batch, not five. Surely there would be a second keg?
The good Lord had indeed blessed me with a decent beer. But not so blessed to give me eighty pints. Just forty. Oh well, at least I'd been surprised.
I guess people who craft good beers all the time don't get shocked like this. The fact my ales had been so damned poor of late made this recent brew thoroughly outstanding. Without the lows, you don't get to experience the highs. I think Will Young said that somewhere, and my wife is clearly responsible for me knowing something like that. So, before I ramble on any further it's time to get to the moral.
Don't be disheartened with mediocrity. So long as you strive to do better, when you finally get it right, the good stuff will taste so much better.