I've managed to make some beer my humulophobic brother likes! There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent!
Sorry about going all biblical there. I certainly don't know my brother biblically, we're not that sort of family. I am excited though. As regular readers of this blog may remember I made an unhopped ale flavoured with honey, spices and pine back in May in the hope that he might like it. The ale had a pretty rank taste for many months but has recently matured into something I find quite pleasant, if slightly odd.
At a family get together at the weekend I shared a bottle with my brother and though he was a bit unsure about it he managed to drink it.
The real surprise came when he then dug out a celebration ale I'd made on the birth of his daughter Phoebe. Now this beer is a bit of an abomination, as another beer blogger might put it. I'd tried making a strong barley wine that would mature over many years but on the brew day the mashing was not ideal as the display on my thermometer packed up. Fermentation stopped far too soon and adding champagne yeast didn't do much to help. As the old saying goes, if at first you don't succeed cheat. So I added some dry beer enzyme (presumably amyloglucosidase or pullulanase for those of you that care about such things) and the fermentation was soon going well. In fact rather too well. When it finally stopped the gravity was less than 1.000 (which means it had fermented much further than any normal beer for those of you that don't care about such things). It also meant the ABV was over 16%.
What sort of person would want to drink such a thing? People who normally drink spirits seems to be the answer as my brother actually likes this beer. You can read his full report here.