Category: Home Brew Club

Spring Brew Challenge

It's Spring(ish) and time for our quarterly brewing challenge at Home Brew Club.

This season we're giving you near free reign. Brew a pale beer. The caveat is that it must be a sessionable beer. Sub 3.5% So, the more English definition of a session beer. That's it! Brew one (or more) 3.5% or less pale beer.

You got until June-ish kinda time. We'll announce the presentation date closer to the time.

Now. Some of you may be rolling your eyes going “ooooh that's booooring.” But we would like to remind you that this is a challenge! Brewing something that is actually tasty at that percentage isn't always easy! So we want good flavours but something that can be drunk all day long in the not-quite-summery sun shine.

This is just one example we have in stock at the moment;

kernel table beer brew bristol

Kernel - Table Beer


The Kernel are London based. I quite like writing about The Kernel, because they're not exactly up front about handing out information about themselves and their beer. IF you've ever seen one of their bottles you'll know what I'm talking about. I've lifted this from their website; "The brewery springs from the need to have more good beer. Beer deserving of a certain attention. Beer that forces you to confront and consider what you are drinking. Upfront hops, lingering bitternesses, warming alcohols, bodies of malt. Lengths and depths of flavour. We make Pale Ales, India Pale Ales and old school London Porters and Stouts towards these ends. Bottled alive, to give them time to grow." Bascially, I think they want you to think for your self when it comes to their beer.


Table beer or Sessionable IPA. Or just a pale/IPA (See above note about their lack of info giving.)

Basically pale in colour, and low in ABV.


Aroma: Pineapple, grapefruit, mandarin, earthy, herbal, pine, apricot, mango, citrus.

Taste: Basically the same as above.

Palate: Med carbonation, light body, medium bitterness.


ABV: 3.2%

ML: 500

£: 3.95

Winter Brew Challenge

So, for those of you in the know, we run a fortnightly Home Brew Club. We have a pretty awesome core of 6 or so members, and a further group of people who drop in as and when they’re able. Everybody’s welcome, although booking is necessary.

Our group is usually pretty focused on beer, improving our palettes and then a lotta home brew chat thrown in to the mix. We’re informal and chatty and all is good.

But, lately we’ve realised that for it to really be a Home Brew Club, we should probably do something more brewing focused from time to time!

Following the success of our Home Brew Competition that we ran for Bristol Beer Week, we are going to run a quarterly (or as near as damn it) Brew Challenge!


So, welcome to our Winter Brew Challenge.

Anyone can brew along. You’re welcome to brew and then bring the beers along to the Brew Challenge Tasting. We’ll be doing friendly judging, basically running it as a short, no-prizes, no entry etc competition.

This Challenge is based on the concept; “What would you like to drink after a autumnal/winter type stroll?” With the added caveat that you have to add something in to the beer other than the usual hops, malt, water, yeast.

Think, dark, malty, fruity, strong or boozy.


Here’s a couple of recipes to give you some ideas. (note: these don’t have the extra ingredients in ’em)


Old Ale

20L batch


8.85Kg Pale Ale Malt

300g Crystal

90g Black Malt


Bramling Cross 42g @ 60 mins


OG 1105

FG 1026

IBU 48

SRM 20

ABV 10.3%



Scotch Ale


20L Batch


7.5Kg Pale Ale Malt

250g Pale Crystal

250g Munich

215g Melanoidin

110g Extra Dark Crystal

110g Chocolate Malt


EKG 45g @ 60 mins

EKG 15g @ 10 mins


OG 1105

FG 1026

SRM 20

IBU 21

ABV 10%


Let us know if you want to get involved!  We’ll be announcing when the tasting session will be held later, but aim for the end of Feb, start of March.


Happy Brewing!

Single Hop Pale Ale Recipe

Our most recent Home Brew Club tasting session was as excellent as ever. Good people, good beers and good chat.

We decided to chuck in a Single Hop recipe to help our most excellent attendees along with making their own Single Hop brew if they felt the urge.

Here it is again, for reference, if you were there, and if you weren’t, then you can try it out anywho.


The hop used is just a guide. Aim for something with the same Alpha Acid content and you shouldn’t go far wrong. Galaxy is around 11-13% Alpha, but feel free to improvise.

Boring numbers first.

Original Gravity 1057
Final Gravity 1014
IBU 25
ABV 5.5

Grain and Hops for a 20 ltr brew.

4.75kg Maris Otter
225g Extra Pale Crystal

15g Galaxy @60 mins (You can substitute your favourite bittering hop if you want)
10g Galaxy and 1 protofloc tablet @15 mins
10g Galaxy @5 mins
10g Galaxy @1 min
25g Galaxy @ Flame out or Whirlpool
60g Galaxy split over 6 days dry hopping

Mash between 65 & 67 degrees for 60mins
Sparge water temp should be no hotter than 80 degrees.

Boil and follow the hop additions above.

Cool to between 15 and 20 degrees, pitch your yeast. I’d go with US05 or a similar neutral yeast. You really want the hops to be the main attraction so don’t go pitching a Belgian strain, well, you can obviously. It’s not North Korea, I’m just saying it won’t be as awesome.

Rack into secondary after fermentation is complete and dry hop. You can just chuck it all in in one go if you want, though, I’ve had pretty good results by dry hopping a small amount over the course of a few days.

After that it’s all about the bottling or kegging. Whatever your favoured method, I hope you give it a go and enjoy your labours.



Tasting Session – Weihenstephan & Schneider Weisse

As you may or may not know, we run a Home Brew Club in conjunction with Brewdog, and we recently re-started the club in 2015 as a fortnightly event on Wednesday evenings.

We’re kicking off each session with a tasting here in Brew Bristol.

We decided to start this one off with something that none of us are all that knowledgeable about! That is, after all, the point of our Brew Club. Learning new things about beer and brewing together. So we made a foray in to German wheat beers, but we picked some a-typical brews to try out.

Brew Bristol Tasting Glass

First up was Weihenstephan’s Kristall Weisse.

This is a pretty typical wheat beer in reality, but it’s been filtered to clarify it. This gives it a crisper and cleaner flavour as well as look.  First off, it’s a good clean bright gold in colour. Not much in the way of head retention, and the beer had a good light mouth feel. What you’d expect for a filtered wheat beer really. Moving on to aroma. You don’t get the same amount of banana and clove from this beer as your usual wheat beers, but it’s still there, getting more pronounced, especially the banana, as it warms. Added to the banana aroma, you can get a hint of something herbal and grassy. There’s also a nice subtle hint of citrus and lemon. The taste aspect of this beer; it’s certainly light and crisp. None of the cloying heaviness you tend to get in the standard wheat beer. You start with a hint of breadyness, moving on to the light lemon and citrus and rounding off with banana and clove, a sweetness that balances the lightness of body really well.

Overall, as a group, we decided we liked it. Not a mind blowing beer, but certainly excellent. We also decided it would be vastly improved by sitting in a beer garden in the sunshine, in 25°C+ heat with a nice breeze playing across our faces, and the prospect of ice cream.

Brew Bristol Tasdting Schneider Weisse

Next! Schneider Weisse’s Meine Hopfen-Weisse Tap 5

So, this beer veers a little further from your common-or-garden wheat beer. This one has been hopped – almost certainly dry hopped. I poured out the first measure and got knocked around the face by the most astounding aroma! All I could get initially was lemon. Pure and amazing lemon! And the single-mindedness of the aroma isn’t a bad thing. As I poured out beer for everyone else the aroma mutated to be more complex. The lemon took, if not a back seat, then one somewhere in the middle. In the mix we found some orange, apricot and honey primarily. Some other hints of something floral, clove, banana and cinnamon too. Looking at the beer, this one held it’s head well, and was a murky greeny-orange colour. The flavour mimicked the aroma well, adding a good level of bitterness which helped balance out all those sweet-ish flavours.

This beer certainly won our regard pretty thoroughly. Being the first hopped wheat beer any of us had had, I think the style has a small group of new fans. Complex, bitter, aromatic, tasty with a good hit of booze at 8.2%, it had us all wanting another.


Brew Bristol Tasting Group

This tasting session was awesome for trying a couple of new beers in a genre that non of us were too familiar with. Our response? To the Kristall wheat beer, a general “yeah, it was good, We’d drink that again if the weather was right and we were in the mood”. To the Tap 5, I think we’d all go with “This was a seriously good surprise! Glad we had this one 2nd as it’s astounding and way more complex. Give it a go. Go on! Really….”


If your interested in trying either of these two beers, better hurry as we only have very limited stocks remaining now!