Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

23 October 2005

Brewing Old Peculiar or The Hop Shop Part II

During the brewing of Bitter Porter, Tom and I discussed our next homebrews. Our plan is to keep the brew kettle rolling all winter and thus avoid paying for commercial beer all year. It is only the faintest hope, but the challenge will be worthwhile. It will also force us to brew a wide variety of beer styles. Tom already has the ingredients for a continental dark, his so-called Dayside Dark. That is a beer we ought to save for later. The next truly winter beer is a version of Old Peculiar, by Theakston, copied from the excellent tome "Clone Brews." We both love Old Peculiar making this a nearly ideal deep winter beer.

I was dispatched to the truly great beer store in Gray: The Hop Shop. The last time I went to The Hop Shop I was a newly anointed home brewer having successfully created Triple Hop IPA; next on my list was a serious wheat beer. Flush with an inflated sense of my own greatness, I ignored the proprietor's kind advice and went all grain. Tom and I normally work with no more than 2-3lbs of grain where the balance of the malt is crystal or syrup. When I returned from The Hop Shop with 9lbs of grain Tom looked aghast. We made a go of it anyway and produced a solid malt pudding which gelled overnight and went into the compost looking more like canned chowder than wort.

I was determined to learn from my mistakes and listen carefully this time! I told the proprietor the tale of woe from last time. He had a good laugh reflecting that he too had made many similar mistakes in his learning process. I handed over the recipe for Old Peculiar and we collected the ingredients:

Steep in 1gal of water for 20min
  • 12oz of British crystal malt
  • 4oz of torrified wheat
  • 3oz British chocolate malt
Strain the liquid from this steeping into the brewpot
Sparge the grains with 1/2gal of hot water and put that liquid into the brewpot
Add these ingredients and boil for 45min:
  • 3lbs Muntons Light DME (dried malt extract)
  • 3.3lbs Muntons Light malt extract (syrup)
  • 1lb Laaglander Light DME
  • 1lb amber candy sugar
    • Neither Tom nor I have any idea how to use this...
  • 1oz Northern Brewer (bittering hops)
  • 2.5gal of additional water
Add these ingredients and boil for 13min:
  • 1/2 oz Fuggles (flavor hops)
  • 1tsp Irish Moss (a clarifying agent)
Add these ingredients and boil for 2min:
  • 1/2oz Fuggles (aroma hops)
Allow this to cool a bit, then strain it into the primary fermenter. Then add water to level at 5gal total volume.
When the mixture has cooled, often overnight for us, pitch the yeast:
  • Wyeast's 1084 Irish ale yeast
Allow to ferment for 5-7 days then add this and ferment until exhausted:
  • 1/2oz Fuggles (dry hop)
Bottle with 1 1/4 cup of priming sugar or M&F extra light DME
Finally we wait patiently while this turns into something similar to the famous Old Peculiar. As you can probably imagine I am looking forward to it. I do believe I will have to buy a six pack of Old Peculiar to enjoy as we brew this beer.


At 03 February, 2009 12:07 , Anonymous Beers Yorkshire said...

Hi there beer makers,

I just thought you might like to try
a Yorkshire beer starter kit from The Black Sheep Brewery;


I bought this for my sister for Christmas and we have had loads of fun and successful beer making.

Good Luck.


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