bookmark_borderBuchwider Bräu β₂

Beta 2
Buchwider Bräu ??, a photo by viralbus on Flickr.
My first Belgian witbier was full of ginger, coriander and orange peel, and although the result was unpleasant it didn’t really taste like my favourite witbier, Korenwolf.

This time I managed to find some recipes on Dutch home-brewing forums (sometimes it’s useful to be able to read Dutch!), and I used them as a basis, adding interesting ingredients such as spelt malt, curação orange peel and elderflowers.

The result — Buchwider Bräu ?? — is quite nice, but it’s still not right. I need to add more orange peel and elderflowers, but there’s something else that isn’t right yet. The Dutch recipes called for the addition of flour (yes, real, normal flour), and perhaps this is the missing ingredient?

I need to get hold of some more Korenwolf bottles, however — my memories of it are becoming too hazy for precise flavour comparisons.

bookmark_borderBuchwider Bräu λ₁

Buchwider Bräu ??
Buchwider Bräu ??, a photo by viralbus on Flickr.
I wanted to brew something different for a change, and I opted for a real, alcoholic ginger beer.

It was very simple and cheap to make, but the result is extremely dry — you have to be a real ginger beer lover to enjoy it without adding something to it.

However, a dash of lime cordial turns it into a pleasant and refreshing drink, although at 6% it’s not something you should drink too fast!

bookmark_borderBuchwider Bräu κ₁

??, a photo by viralbus on Flickr.
I brewed Buchwider Bräu ?? on 7th February. It’s a Berliner Weiße clone, and it’s only just becoming drinkable now, which is completely normal for that type of beer — it’s recommended to leave six months between brewing and drinking. (For the first three months after bottling, it had a horrible sulphuric smell.)

I brewed it used Wyeast’s Activator 3191-PC Berliner-Weisse Blend, and although many people recommend using separate yeast and lactobacillus, this blend seemed to do the trick. Contact me if you’re interested in the recipe!

Berliner Weiße is a sour beer, very similar to a Belgian lambic. Some people like it on its own, but most will want to drink it mit Schuss, i.e., with fruit syrup. On the photo, I’ve added rhubarb syrup, but I can also recommend woodruff syrup, which produces a brilliant green colour and a unique taste!

The beer is extremely weak (only 2.7%), so it’s great for drinking in the sun when you don’t really want to get drunk.

bookmark_borderBuchwider Bräu α₂

Buchwider Bräu ??
Buchwider Bräu ??
The first beer I ever tried to brew in Scotland was a German Weißbier, ??.

Although I was pleased at the time, I later came to view it as a bit of a failure — it wasn’t really pleasant enough to be enjoyed on its own.

I therefore decided I would try again. I more or less used the same recipe before, but I used a different yeast (Wyeast Bavarian Wheat Blend instead of Wyeast Bavarian Wheat).

I’ve tried one bottle so far, and although it’s somewhat better than my first Weißbier, it’s still not quite right. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it lacks a certain fruitiness.

I guess I’ll need to try again next year!

bookmark_borderBuchwider Bräu ι₁

Buchwider Bräu ??
Buchwider Bräu ??.
I completely forgot to blog Buchwider Bräu ?? back in January when I starting drinking it. I’ve just opened my second last bottle (apart from the ones in my “archive”), so it’s high time to write about it.

My ?? is a clone of Caledonian Deuchars IPA, using a recipe from CAMRA’s Brew Your Own British Real Ale.

I think it’s a very pleasant beer, and my dad praised it highly when he and my mum visited us two weeks ago. Unfortunately I haven’t got a chance to compare it directly with the real Caledonian Deuchars IPA — I must do that with my last bottle!

bookmark_borderFlying with home brew

When I visited Denmark a few days ago (together with Léon, Anna and Amaia, but that’s another story), I wanted to take a few bottles of my home-brewed beer to inflict on old friends, so I wrapped eight bottles up in my best clothes and handed the suitcase over to Norwegian (they fly Edinburgh-Copenhagen, even during winter).

When we finally got to Århus, I unwrapped the bottles, and apart from one (which had leaked a little), they seemed to have survived the trip.

The next day I met up with an old friend of mine, Jes, who also happens to be a home-brewer, and I proudly poured him a glass of my fine brew. Or so I thought.

The beer was producing much more foam than it does here, and the taste had deteriorated. Jes was being very polite about it, but I was disappointed.

The next day I was visiting another old friend, Thomas Mailund, and I brought him a couple of bottles, too. I was hoping that the problems had perhaps been resolved by letting the bottles rest a little longer, but unfortunately it tasted even worse than the day before, not just yeasty but also sour.

So I have to conclude that my home brew doesn’t travel. If you want to taste it, you have to visit me here in Scotland! 🙂

bookmark_borderFour varieties of Kölsch

Beer tasting competition
Originally uploaded by PhylB

My sister recently visited us together with her husband and their daughter for a few days.

Bjørn’s mum is originally from Cologne, so he was very interested when he heard I had brewed a Kölsch clone, given that Kölsch is Cologne’s own type of beer.

They therefore brought me a bottle and a can of real Kölsch, and together with a bottle that Phyllis’s old friend Shona brought back from Cologne recently, we were able to conduct a scientific tasting of four varieties of Kölsch:

  1. Gaffel Kölsch
  2. Reissdorf Kölsch
  3. Küppers Kölsch
  4. Buchwider Bräu ??

The winner was the Küppers, but my ?? gave it a run for its money, whereas both Bjørn and I agreed that the Reissdorf and especially the Gaffel were much worse.

Technically speaking, mine is a “Wieß”, i.e., a cloudy Kölsch, so it was easy to recognise it from the way it looked, but otherwise the main difference between it and the Küppers was a slight hint of banana on the nose.

For a first attempt at brewing Kölsch, I must say I’m very happy to have beaten two out of three real ones.