lördag 24 maj 2014

Recipe for English-style light ale

A classic English pale ale with a heavy hop content. Quantities are for 10 litres thus this has 2.5 times the normal hops. If you have brewed beer before these instructions give you enough information to give you a drinkable beer at the first attempt. If not, then research the subject more deeply if you do not want to be disappointed. If you want an even more bitter flavour then you might replace hops (A) with a high-alpha type such as Galaxy.

         1500 g    crushed malt grain
  200 g    crystal malt grain
    50 g    hops (Goldings A)
    25 g    hops (Goldings B)
    10 g    hops (Goldings C)
    10 g    hops (Goldings D)
      5 g    hops (Goldings E)

2 tsp gypsum
Copper finings (Irish moss)

Mix yeast with dilute malt solution and leave in warm place. If no activity after 3 hours add extra dried yeast pellets.

Boil seaweed gently until it becomes a jelly.

Fill bucket with cold water and place in freezer

Fill large pan with water sufficient to cover malt grains (do not add malt grains yet). Add gypsum and heat to 60°C. Remove from heat and add malt grains. Temperature should be 55°C.Then slowly warm to 65°C and remove from heat
Leave for 2 hours. Add boiling water until temperature is 67°C.Leave for a further 20 minutes, then bring temperature to 75°C to terminate the mash process. Leave for 10 minutes.

Prepare boiling water for sparging

Put grain residue in strainer and arrange to make a saucer-shaped filter bed. Then pour hot liquid through and collect the wort in a bucket.
Put the grain residue back in the mash pan, pour hot water on and re-filter. Repeat (3 or 4 times) until the filtrate is no longer sweet. Alternatively, use a boiling pan with a tap and a perforated false bottom made for the purpose.

Place the liquid into 11 L boiling pan (or boil down until the volume is sufficiently reduced). When volume is reduced to less than 8 litres, add hops A. Boil for a further 45 minutes.

Add copper finings and hops B and boil for a further 15 minutes, then hops C and boil for a further one minute, then and transfer to bucket.
Cool quickly by adding ice prepared previously.

When cool, siphon into fermentation vessel leaving residue behind. This should be done in such a way as to make as much splash as possible to get air into the wort, to enable the yeast to work effectively. Make up to 10 litres.

The fermentation vessel should be placed in the room where the fermentation will take place. If required, fit heating band round bucket (or aquarium heater) and plug in to electricity supply. Temperature must be at least 15°C and preferably less than 25°C

Check SG with hydrometer. It should be around 1.035, if lower, add 300g - 500g sugar. Add hops D in a net bag with something heavy in it so that it sinks to the bottom of the fermentation bucket.

When the temperature has fallen to 35°C the active yeast starter can be added “pitched” to the wort. A small quantity (a “splash”) of CocaCola can be added to provide necessary phosphorus for the fast-growing yeast. Check daily. Initial action will be very vigorous. When the yeast has formed a cake on the surface, skim off together with other debris, to prevent a bad flavour that can occur if the yeast cells start to decompose.

When activity has subsided, check the SG with hydrometer. It should be less than 1.020. Use syphon to transfer to a closed vessel fitted with an air lock, Add 50g sugar.

Add hops E in a small net bag. Allow to settle for at least 2 weeks, draw off into open container, then add gelatine finings, 60 g priming sugar, then transfer to container or bottles for final conditioning. The ale can be drunk about one month after bottling.

Govia gets Thameslink franchise

Govia's award of the Thameslink franchise and the introduction of a new fleet of rolling stock will not solve the problems that have affected this service since it was introduced in 1988.

Thameslink reinstated a service which had last run in 1916. British Rail had been reluctant to re-open the route, arguing that there was no demand. When, in 1986, Chris Green took over what was then the London and South East Sector and re-christened it Network South East, he pursued the re-opening of the route. The trains were packed from day one, showing that it satisfied a long-standing suppressed demand.

However, it has always been a problematic route.The difficulties are inherent in running a long distance service through the middle of London. It is consequently vulnerable to disruptions on both of the main lines over which it runs ie a points failure at Haywards Heath will cause delays in the Bedford area a couple of hours later.

A further difficulty is that the rolling stock has to be designed to inner suburban standards with relatively few seats and plenty of space for standing and circulation. This means that passengers can spend an hour in an uncomfortable seat and may have to stand most of the way. On top of this are the crowds of passengers travelling to and from Gatwick with their luggage. Standing is a shiny new train is no more comfortable than standing in an old one, and in fact the new trains will be little different fundamentally than those they will replace.

The Thameslink (and Crossrail) concepts in the present form are flawed. These routes should be cut back to operate roughly within the area enclosed by the M25. Destinations further from London should be served by dedicated services operating from the London terminals.

Ricardo’s Law in brief