Thursday, August 28, 2008

My little cellar

As noted in a previous post, I bought a couple of bottles of Belgian Trappist ales the other day, what I hadn't bargained for was the serving instructions on the label for the bottle of Orval. According to our enlightened friends at the Abbaye D'Orval their beer should be enjoyed at between 12 and 15 degrees Centigrade - 53 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually when I get hold of ales, I chuck them in the fridge a few hours before I want to drink them, so I can bring them down to a standard cellar temperature of about 8 degrees Centigrade. But with these ales, I read that it is recommended to store them at the same temperature as that recommended for drinking.

Thus it was I stubbled across my little cellar. Just under the window of my flat is a heater, which is always turned off - I am not sure which genius came up with the idea of installing radiators under windows but you can imagine it is fairly useless when winter comes and all the heat drifts up and out of the window. So we have a moveable heater, which at the moment is sitting in front of the static one as it is not cold enough to justify using it, even by Mrs Velkyal's standards. For various reasons there are a couple of boxes either side of the heater, creating a little darkened area next to the outside wall of the apartment - effect? My little cellar, which is currently playing host to said bottle of Orval and Rochefort, at an almost perfect 15 degrees centigrade. Now safe in the knowledge that I can store the beers in the right conditions, I intend to stock up on the Trappist ales and simply enjoy myself with Belgian ales, and traditional Belgian food - unfortunately that won't be moules et frites.

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