Before I tell you this quick little story, let me preface it by saying that I am not claiming this idea as my own. One of my brew club members pushed me in the right direction after I called out for help…and its bloody genius!!!
So, if you are a first time reader…welcome, but if you have read some of my other posts you will know by now that I am an ex-big brewery marketer and I have been having a crack at all-grain home brewing in my big green shed at home.
I mentioned in my last post that I have had my share of issues while learning the craft of brewing great beer, this is yet another example, but I am glad to say I overcame this one with some help from my friends.
I love sharing my enthusiasm for craft beer and have invited a few people over to brew with me. I brewed a beer with one of my best mates (who knows a bit about beer) that promised so much, but turned out a dud due to infection. I invited my Dad over who used to home brew some very ordinary specimens back in the day and we brewed an absolutely cracking Porter together – The Dark Knight (see what I did there).
The art of brewing means that you brew a beer you like and then tweak it until you get something you REALLY like, and then stick with it. On this particular brew day I decided I would re-brew the Porter in an attempt to make it even better, this time pulling back a bit on the carbonation.
The brew day went beautifully, I had four hours of “me time” to hang out in my shed listening to some 90’s rock, and not some of the crap that my kids are in to…what kind of a name is Silento and what the f##k is a NaeNae anyway.
But I digress…I tend to do that. With a stellar playlist of Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and some Stone Temple Pilots thrown in for good measure, I made a great beer…well so I thought. You see, keeping in mind that last time the beer was a little over carbonated, when I bottled this one I went a little too far the other way, which resulted in a very under carbonated beer.
How can I describe the mouth feel of the two beers…the first one was like putting pop rocks and Pepsi in your mouth (no you don’t die from this) at the same time, fizzy as hell. The second one was like drinking 3 day old Coke when you are hung-over….you still get all the flavour, but you get no joy and it sure as hell won’t clear your foggy head.
Ready to tip an entire 20 litre batch of The Dark Knight Rises (logical name for the next iteration of this brew), I put a call in to my home brew club on Facey and one of them told me about this…The Ghetto Pump.
For under $10, this little beast allowed me to save my entire batch and even improve on the beer! You basically tip the entire bottle of beer into the pump, pump it like there is no tomorrow, put the tube into the bottom of the glass and press the trigger.
It is bloody unbelievable how it changes the beer…it went from drinking like flat coke to something that resembled the mouth feel of Guinness…and we all know how well that beer goes down our throats.
Oh one last calculation that I got wrong on this beer was its ABV. I didn’t hit my OG target during the brew so I tipped in a little extra Dextrose (Sugar) to pump it up a few points. Consequently, the Dark Knight Rises weighed in significantly higher than its predecessor…significantly! I think this was the reason why after testing out the Ghetto Pump a few times I went to bed in a very chirpy mood that night. It was also the reason why I woke up with a hangover the next morning when my kids told me to get out of bed to get their breakfast…how rude!
So why does it work?
It’s not that scientific…basically the pressure built up in the pump aerates the beer when it’s released via the pouring mechanism. This aeration releases the aroma and adds some body to the head. Okay, so that’s a pretty crap explanation but it’s all I have…other than it makes the beer taste great!
Crap science lesson over. But if you want to make your own, find the instructions here. Thanks Alex!
All of the version 2.0 beer has been drunk now…my Father and my brother-in-laws Father (no, not my father-in-law, my sisters husband’s Dad) did their best to put a dent in my stocks one night…they also went to bed quite chirpy! Might be time to brew version 3 of this recipe…no clever name for this one, sorry.
Cheers to great beers!