Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bread and Bitter Pudding

How good is English beer?

I dunno if I've mentioned it before but I love English beer, Timothy Taylor's Landlord (or Timmy T's) is by far one of my favourite beers ever.

Also, how good is bread and butter pudding?

Picture credit to

How good is drinking English beer and eating bread and butter pudding on a cold winters night?


Can you see what I'm getting at here?

Bread and Bitter Pudding. A sweet English Strong Ale that tastes like bread and butter pudding.

So first things first, the base beer. A bready, sweet English Strong Ale to replicate that creamy buttery goodness of the great bread and butter pudding. I chose to use Maris Otter as my base malt (there's no other way to make an English beer) with a bit of wheat and carawheat to help get that breadiness, a good amount of English light crystal malt for the sweetness and a small amount of Gladfields Toffee malt for the butteriness. For yeast I used Wyeast Thames Valley II because it sounds amazing and perfect, estery, fruity and generous with malt.

The Malt Bill:

4kg Simpsons Maris Otter
350g Simpsons Crystal 40L
200g Joe White Wheat Malt
120g Gladfields Toffee Malt
100g Wayermann Carawheat
90g Flaked Wheat

Mash went well, I was pretty happy with the colour of the first runnings. Nice and golden, like the crust of a good bread and butter pudding.

Time for a beer!

What's this? This is the Cookie Brown Ale from the last post.

This was interesting, on one hand it was quite delicious, on the other hand it was pretty average. Up front it is a dry, roasty brown ale that is maybe a little over-carbonated (still getting used to the kegging setup) but with a big milkshakey mouthfeel. Then you get the diacetyl, and that paired with the opaqueness, isn't very appealing. I blame this on me being impatient and forgetting to ramp up the temperature near the end of fermentation and just chucking it straight into the keg. This beer actually finished a bit higher than expected too, which is totally normal for English yeasts. They usually require a bit of convincing to get to a reasonable FG and I didn't allow it, paying the price.

The delicious price...

I think next time I will add a bit more crystal malt - or cut down on the brown malt, that stuff is pretty invasive (and I mean that in the most delicious way). Massive coffee and bread notes but it was just a little too dry for my taste.

Back to our pudding! Mash is over, got the wort on the stovetop, time for some hops! What hops?

I used all East Kent Goldings because of their spicy sweet English vibes, I'll be damned if they aren't delicious and perfect for this beer. A workmate would probably be pretty upset that I didn't use any Fuggles, but I think they're just a little too earthy.

The hop schedule was:

40g EKG @ 60 mins
35g EKG @ 10 mins

After the boil, before cubing for no chill, I took some of the wort to make a RWS (real wort starter), one of the benefits of no chilling. 

Got the beer in the cube, got almost exactly the amount I had planned, with an OG of 1.058. HI FIVE!

The next day my yeast starter was looking hungry so I pitched it.

But not before having to defrost my refrigerator. One of the downsides to have a fermenting fridge that seconds as a keg fridge... help please send space

After about 4 or 5 days the fermenting seemed to slow down a bit, hitting 1.018 and stalling. Aha! Learn from my mistakes, I ramped the temperature from 18*C to 22 and roused the beer a little, hoping to get some of that high flocculating yeast back into suspension.

Didn't work so I did it again the next day.

The next day, gravity had dropped to 1.014, perfect!

I let the beer sit for another week, letting the yeast rest up for what was going to come next!

What is a bread and butter pudding without raisins, marmalade and most importantly, brandy?

I soaked oak, raisins and orange peel in brandy for a week to add to the beer. I wish you could smell it, it was unbelievably good.

Also that Pirate Life IPA is pretty good, if you are in Australia and haven't tried Pirate Life before WHY ARE YOU READING MY BLOG GO AND GET ONE OR SIX OR TWENTY FOUR NOW

So that brings us to now, I've just kegged the beer, removing the bag of orange peel and raisins, they don't look so appealing anymore...

And all I can think about is that I should have used these to make a bread and butter pudding...

Maybe next time.

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