Yesterday was bottling day for my latest home brew, a Best Bitter which I named Ring of Gold - I used only East Kent Golding hops in the boil and fermented it with the Ringwood Ale yeast and thought "Ring of Gold" sounded better than "Golden Ring".
Since my disaster with the Copper Head Pale Ale, which I plan to make properly some time in the summer, I have gone back to using the Wyeast smack packs instead of vials from White Labs and have had consistently good fermentation as a result. I also brew quite small batches, only about 2.5 gallons a time, because I don't have much storage space in my cellar and I would rather have a broad selection of beers to choose from instead of filling the cellar with 2 batches, it also means I get to brew more regularly. I find the brewing process quite relaxing, so the more I do, the happier I am.
From a technical standpoint Ring of Gold performed exactly as I expected, going from an original gravity of 1.040 to a terminal gravity of 1.008, giving the beer an ABV of 4.3%. According to Beer Tools, the beer has an IBU rating of 28, which is on the lower end of the scale for a Best Bitter.
Next up in the brewing queue is another batch of LimeLight, a wheat beer I made last summer using lime peel instead of the more common curacao orange. The recipe for LimeLight was made available to Czech home brewers through Homebrewing.cz - unless you speak Czech don't bother - and seems to have gone down well with people who have made it. Of my own version, Ireland's venerable Beer Nut described it thus:
"The carbonation is spot-on and I've got a nice, lasting layer of froth on the top. I'm tasting a sweet biscuity base, and then there's the sharp and tangy citric fruitiness. Topped with the froth, the whole thing is remarkably like drinking lemon meringue pie. A genuinely excellent beer, well done"
Taking on board some comments from The Beer Nut, I have decided to add some ginger into the mix for this version and see where that takes the beer.
As ever with my home brewing, every prospect pleases.
PS - there is only one day left to vote on the base beer style for the International Homebrew Project, and as things stand we have equal votes for three of the four beer styles. If they are still tied when the poll closes, I will pull the winner out of a hat.