Brewdyssey- from the abyss into the light of a golden eternity…

Warriors and adventurers may be called upon to plunge into the unending bleakness of the soul; satanic rites and the presence of the absurd nature of existence can be where the glorious fight. This is so, and will always be so as darkness harbours it’s mighty name within their beings as much as in the dark places of the facticity within which they have been cast, and in which they must search… but this does not always have to be the case. Sometimes they may live within the golden essence of infinity, after all, this is for which they truly fight…. not only this but, often times, adventurers quest not only for themselves but at the behest of others.


Welcome one and all to another Brewdyssey!

Following the gargantuan task of brewing a heavy duty porter (which, by the way, we fucking bossed!) Bif and I brewed a beer in double quick time… now, you may say to yourselves, ‘Bif and Dwalin never do anything in double quick time- what on earth were they up to?’. Well folks, the answer is simple… our buddy Gandalf the Flat White needed some beer for his new years festivities and he approached us, having consumed some #1, to brew him up a light, golden, ale.

Now, of course we said yes, because:


Now, we have a good idea of where Gandalf’s beer hat lands (I want a beer hat… – Bifur); he likes his ale focussing a little less on the hop and a little more on the malt. We know, for example, that he’s a big fan of old speckled hen and bishops finger… the issue is, these are not beers one can hammer like Thor swinging mighty blows upon a raging army of traitor berserkers. They’re too heavy, too boozy… the notion of unleashing 40 pints of such a tipple on a new years eve party, to us and to Gandalf, sounded too dangerous. Vomit was not an option.

What was needed was something which kept hoppiness to a nice, subtle level, had a pleasant sweetness but also had a crispness, a certain dryness, which avoided any cloying tones or after tastes; it also needed to be a quaffable level of alcohol (So,not asking to much then? – Bifur). Gandalf posed the idea of us provisioning something akin to a Green King IPA… now, that’s not a terribly good beer (and it really isnt an IPA) BUT it does have that ‘refreshing’ aspect we were thinking was necessary. Looking at the malts they use it was easy to see what helped keep the sweetness at bay; firstly there’s not a hell of a lot of crystal malt in the mix, but secondly they also use a bit of black malt. That black malt idea seemed like a good one to me- so we nicked it.

Recipe wise, then, I took our #1 and lowered the maris otter, lowered the crystal, threw in a smidge of black malt and reduced hops by a fuck load. Hop wise we decided to use the stuff we had left; we’ve been so impressed by the combination that we felt it was a no brainer for the golden ale. In terms of the balance of the malts, this is where a huge amount of thought went in from me- Gandalf really wanted a bright golden hue to the beer and, well to be honest, so did we. As such I spent hours messing with brewers friend looking to get the right colour… nerdy as fuck, but, well… I need not say more.

Finally, we went bigger with the protofloc than we have previously; we really needed to get this beer to both be crystal clear and heady…

Unicorn Sweat homebrew recipe

Brewing went without a hitch; so did fermentation. In fact fermentation was probably the best for this brew due to the protofoc addition being so forceful; all of the trub coagulated nicely, leaving some pretty disgusting gookiness all over the beer, giving us major hope that less of it would reach the final beverage (not that we’re really bothered by cloudy beer, we just wanted this one to match the challenge of the commission).

kegsThe big difference to a lot of our brews though was that we didn’t bottle a single drop; parties need kegs, right? Now we had screwed up using a mini keg before, so we were a little worried that New Years would arrive and some horrible, non fizzy, beer would emerge…  Unfortunately friends, this is where I must leave you… as you should know, from Bifur’s excellent post, fatherhood has recently claimed me and, unfortunately, my child’s arrival was too close to the event. As such I have consumed, nor seen, none of this beer.


I will give you one more piece of information, though, before bif takes over…

The party had a ‘denim and leather’ theme; this meant the beer needed a suitably epic (should that be #EPIC) moniker. Something that carefully walks the line between metal-as-fuck and homoerotic-as-fuck; this beer needed to be the Rob Halford of beer… Bif and I were struggling to find the right name, but with input from Gandalf we truly hit something astounding.

Ladies and Gentlemen; this beer is entitled:unicorn based beer


… you know that shit is epic.

My turn then? Bifur here and ready to give you the info you’ve been waiting for – was the unicorn sweat justifiably epic? What do you think? Damn right it was… I transported the kegs to Gandalfs dwelling where they settled overnight in readiness for the event, quietly sitting with a subtle trepidation inducing  menace. On the night the first pint was pulled, this first pint was not of beer but of foam… lots of foam. After much fucking about with the tap and the seal at the top we actually managed to produce pint after pint of Kegs, wonderful kegs...delicious, light and tasty beer. As you can see from the pictures the beer was beautifully clear with a good strong head. The taste was like a clean and crisp IPA but with just a hint of hops that added a lovely finish. That night we drank our way through nearly three kegs of the stuff and enjoyed each one, many of Gandalfs distinguished guests partook and all agreed, albeit slightly drunkenly, that they all agreed we were onto a winner. Of th rest of the night I have vague memories of drunken dancing, drunken games of Twister and much drinking of alcoholic beverages…

Sigmund Freud judges all those that do not bow down before the glory of Rob Halford.