The perfect pint? Let’s be honest, it’s impossible, with one man’s passion being another man’s poison and all that. Even personally. What I might consider a belter in the high summer, may not be what floats my boat in the autumn.
But even if there’s no perfect pint, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to craft the very best beer that I can, and I have a particular soft spot for one of mine. It was the first recipe I devised when going all-grain and it’s one I always like to brew, a few times a year.
I like to tinker with it, to make it the beer I’d always imagined and it’s next on my list to brew. There’s nothing special about it, just a simple house bitter, copper coloured, around 4%abv with a nice balance of malt and hops.Previously the grist has been made up of pale malt and crystal, but this time I’m going to replace the crystal with carahell, as the last time I brewed I found the sweetness of the crystal a bit too much. This will be my first time with carahell, so I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.
I’m keeping the hops as they’ve always been, bitterness provided by Progress and WGV, with late additions of Styrian Goldings for flavour and aroma, although I may up these late hops a little more than before, as they didn’t come through as much as I hoped in the last brew.
I was impressed with WLP051 when I tried it for the first time last month, so I’ll use that yeast again and I’ll get a starter going shortly. I found it relatively neutral in that it didn’t add much yeast character to the beer and it dropped bright very quickly.
This week’s pretty busy with work and end of year accounts to get done, but I’m cancelling some jobs next week, so after Monday, the rest of the week will be mine. I can spend some time with the wife and kids as it’s half term, and indulge in a brewday. The perfect pint? Probably not, but I’m looking forward to having a crack.