It’s been such a long time since there’s been a brew on in the keg and now that we’ve got all that moving house stuff out the way last weekend was a great time to start a new beer.
So far as amateur brewers we’ve had mixed successes with the St Peter’s kit being my favourite with a lovely well rounded flavour and the Milestone Raspberry beer being the worst with its horrible synthetic flavouring! In fact the flavouring was so bad it’s really put me off brewing any more fruit based beers.
This time round we went with a local kit the York brewery’s Yorkshire Terrier Bitter. I wouldn’t recommend this one for the first time brewer since it contains a lot of unusual ingredients and instructions. This is the first one can kit I’ve tried, instead of the second can of wort it comes with a bag of spraymalt and hop pellets. To complete the beer you’ll actually need a second bag of spraymalt which doesn’t come with the kit.
The hop pellets have a really grassy aroma and will eventually define the extremely bitter taste of this beer. Spraymalt is also something I’ve read about but never previously used, many brewers use it as an alternative to adding sugar at the second stage of fermentation to add body to their beer. Spraymalt itself contains sugar and you could think of it as ‘yeast food’.
Yorkshire Terrier needs to be aerated daily which is also a bit of a hassle surprisingly, having to sterilise a spoon everyday is a task a bit difficult to squeeze in at the end of a busy day. Unusually the first stage fermentation takes only 7 days to complete which is really super fast but I often find keeping the barrel at a constant temperature quite difficult so it’ll be trial and error getting the gravity of this beer correct.
At this point I’m really just hoping that I’ve followed the instructions correctly and I’ll turn out with something drinkable!