The Idiot Gardener

WARNING: This site contains information on gardening, brewing, curing meat,

building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

feeble-minded, the weak and lame, those of a nervous disposition, vegans and

vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

The Homebrew stock list

Ask many homebrewers the secret to ensuring that your beer ages well, and they’ll tell you that you need to build up some stock! It’s hard to let a stout sit for three or four months if you’re suffering a thirst and it’s all you have! I believe in building up homebrew stock. I also do it with meat – I have three upright freezers; one for game, one for pork and one for other meats.

In the past I kept the homebrew on shelves in a back bedroom that is used as an occasional office/brewery/curing/banjo frenzy room. Then on one hot afternoon an explosion happened. It was my first ever (and so far thankfully my only) bottle bomb. After that, the homebrew went into crates in the shed.

Things are fine in Autumn, Winter and Spring, but having used the shed as an office a few years back, I can attest to the fact that it gets bastarding hot in there during the summer. As I am hopeful for a hot summer, I have been considering the options open to me.

I was loathe to bring the beer back into the house, mainly because the shelves it used to live on have now become a place for my wine! I couldn’t even consider the idea of running down the stock levels, as it would take some effort to build them back up. In the end I decided to get some larder fridges.

The cheapest I could find on-line was £199, so I decided to go the fleabay route. I also realised that even a clapped out one would be okay, because I don’t make lagers. Indeed, many of the darker beers would be fine at 15 or 20 degrees. I bought a fridge, and a day later acquired a second one. I now need a third. I think – I really do – that three will be the right number of fridges.

Current stock includes:
Breakfast IPApe – a 3.5% hoppy beer specifically brewed as a early daytime beer, or for drinking whilst using dangerous machinery or working at heights.
Simcoe Baboon – a 6% Simcoe SMaSH beer.
Manky Mandrill – a 7% dry and sharp pale ale, made in an attempt to capture the spirit of White Shield.
Dunkel Affe – a 9.5% dark wheat beer; it wasn’t meant to be that strong, but I cocked up the grain calculations somewhere along the line and ended up with this head-splitter!
Dirty Chimp – a 6% oatmeal stout, and probably the only recipe I no longer tweak.
Vanilla Chimp – a 5.5% vanilla-infused stout; one for the ladies (which I won’t bother making again).
Smokey Chimp – a version of Dirty Chimp which also included 1kg of grain that I bagged up and put in the smoker when I was making some bacon.
Nutty Chimp – a 6.5% hazelnut stout; I toasted a bag of hazelnuts and infused them in a jar of vodka for 10 weeks, before adding the vodka during bottling.

Currently the back bedroom also contains 40 pints of Weiss Affe, a 5.5% wheat beer and 40 pints of Gibbon, a 6% IPA made with Maris Otter and Vienna grain, and Green Bullet and Moteuka hopping. These are in the house to allow carbonation to finish, and then I either have to drink 80 bottles of beer pretty sharpish, or buy that necessary third fridge.

Back to fleabay, I suppose!

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