Posts Tagged ‘Boxshed Dark garden’

Just a quick update of various movements of beers between different buckets, kegs and bottles. It may not look much but then you didn’t have to clean the stone out of the bottles and kegs with a pipe brush and a hosepipe…

The Boxshed Top Secret Autumn Ale finished secondary fermentation, dropping nice and clear. We put 25L into a primed King Keg, which was kept in the warm to build up some pressure and to allow venting of oxygen before being transferred to my bruv’s house down country lanes in the passenger seat of an ageing hatchback. A further 19L filled a cornie for the Boxshed, while several bottles were primed and filled as testers and treats. All are now in cold conditioning, in one shed or another!

The Boxshed Dark Garden ’09 finished primary fermentation and has been siphoned into clean FVs for 5-7 days of secondary in readiness for racking off to a similar selection of kegs and bottles to the Autumn Ale, which has by the way now been given a (hopefully) beguilingly dull name.

*Hopefully there will be news of another brewday later in the week – watch this space*

A few grainy pictures of various transfers:

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The plan for this brew was to produce a mild with all of the characteristics of a complex porter. My favourite commercial dark beer is probably Darkstar Over The Moon, and so I wanted to brew something with the same layered malt texture and hoppy profile. I realised this wouldn’t strictly result in a Mild, but the ABV certainly would as I wanted this to be a drinker, not a rare treat.

The only other essential ingredient for this brew was to use my own garden grown Fuggles hops in the copper. I was quite excited about using hops I’d planted, harvested and dried myself, and so was extra careful to get this one right. What made this a little tricky was the fact I’d never actually brewed a dark beer before, and simple things like black as oil first runnings and not being able to just clarity very easily at any stage were all things I hadn;t really considered.

As far as the recipe goes, I settled on six different malts, including two pales, three coloured and some wheat for head retention. On the hop front, Fuggles were a given, and East Kent Goldings made a natural partner, with a decent aroma guaranteed from a nice chunk in to steep. Here it is:


Boxshed Dark Garden

Mashing (90mins, 66 – sparge at 75)
MO Pale Malt, 2.7Kg (70%) 
Munich Malt, 400g  (10.5%) 
Crystal Malt, 200g  (5.2%) 
Wheat Malt, 200g  (5.2%) 
Chocolate Malt, 180g  (4.7%) 
Roasted Barley, 170g  (4.4%) 

Boiling (90mins)
Fuggles 4%AA, 45g, 90mins
East Kent Goldings, 30g, 15mins
East Kent Goldings 30g, Flameout steep

Other bits
SafAle S-04 rehydrated

Facts & Figures
Est. Brew length: 23L
Est. OG: 1.040
Est. FG: 1.010
Est. Bitterness: 30.6 IBU
Est. ABV: 3.8%


The mash and sparge all went very smoothly. Doing the returns was a bit weird because I’ve never brewed a beer as dark as this, so I simply did six litres in jugs and rinsed the grit each time rather than go by clarity. Check out the gallery to see more – sorry the photos are so gloomy but it was a grim, cold night, our fuses had blown on that lighting circuit, and the steam was pretty dense!



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