Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Simonds 1880 Bitter

The broken pump means I'm on my gravity based stockpot brewery in the kitchen today. This recipe will push my mash tun to the max, so I've restricted the brew length to 20 litres.

My back's killing me before we start. I blame position 10 of that book my wife got for Christmas. Not a good idea at my age, but hell, beer needs to be brewed so I'll pop a few anti-inflammatory's and soldier on for the cause.

The recipe is very simple. 84% Pale Malt, the balance made up of Amber Malt with an expected gravity of 1062. Bittered with Fuggles and late hopped with Goldings, then a handful of dry hops and left to mature for 3 months.

While I have a sack of pre-crushed pale malt to use up, I purchased the amber malt whole, so I could try out my new mill...

Although I've not liked the beers I've brewed with amber in the past, the smell of the malt being crushed was divine. A bit like a ground coffee aroma.

I'll update this post as the brewday unfolds....

Oh, and as well as brewing the beer, I'm having a crack at making some scotch eggs, inspired by This Post. I've got plenty of eggs laid by our girls and I've just de-skinned some Piri-Piri sausages. A spicy, hot, scotch egg with a bit of homebrew, as today's beer gets on the boil - what could be better?

I'm just starting the sparge, and here's a picture of the wort going into the copper.

With nearly all my beers, I like to use 50% of the bittering hops as First Wort Hops (FWH), so they're the green blits you can see floating about. I'll add the other half once I put the heating elements on and the wort reaches the boil.

Damn. First mistake - I forgot to adjust the sparge liqour for the smaller batch size. I've ended up with too much wort at too low a gravity, so I'm going to have to boil the bejeezus out of it...

The boil is ongoing, but I think I'm going to get there. In the meantime, I've been making my scotch eggs, and it's time to eat.

I might have overdone the sausage meat, as they're huge. And VERY spicy. Still, there's plenty of beer to wash them down. 

Todays beer all finished. Overdid the boil in the end, the kitchen was swamped in condensation and ended up with 18 litres at 1065. I couldn't be bothered to liquor back any further, as everyone else has returned from school/work by then, and I just wanted to put it to bed. It's now in the fermenting fridge at 20deg.


  1. I love Scotch eggs, though I've never made my own. I've left you an award on my blog. Don't feel under any pressure to accept it if you don't wish to do so, I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Sounds an interesting beer, over sparged or not. I have contemplated brewing historic beers but never really got round to it.

  3. I'm going to make these! Never heard of them but they look delicous:') I'll let you know how they turn out.

  4. @Jo Thank you so much.

    @Rob This beer wouldn't have been my first choice, but all of us at our little homebrew group should be doing it, so it will be interesting to sample the same recipe from different brewers.

    @Julia No offence, but, you cook? I didn't have you down as a domestic godesss :) Let me know how it turns out.