A battle is one through stern preparation, yes, but it is also the valance of a warrior during a heroic final melee which steers the course of times to come. Our heroes have journeyed far, they have ensured that they are able to stand upon the backs of giants, but if they do not muster courage now, if their strength and potency flees their bodies, they will be left broken and bloody. Harnessing the power of Satan himself for good ends comes with the risk of death… will they pin down the metalliferous one and bend him, and all he is, to their will. Or will his blackened seed fill their essence with decay and despair… the brewdyssey marches on!
Luckily after the initially frighteningly fierce fermentation furore everything calmed down nicely for the slightly longer than two weeks it took for the process to finish and us to get ourselves into gear enough to cram the resulting liquid into bottles.
Bottling day came and we had managed to source a shit load of 330ml beer bottles (both by drinking lots of beer and from some nice bar staff at the Catford constitutional) these were duly sterilise and the dark goodness that is our Porter was siphoned in, after a good amount of sugar being added to the mix just before bottling, just to make sure that the J is truly fizzy.
And my oh my, my brothers and sister what a dark brew it was. It flowed into the bottles like fast flowing crude oil, seeming to suck in all ambient light like some kind of liquid black hole…This was easily our biggest brew and we managed to fill over 60 bottles of the stuff! Soooo much booze to consume!
On a slightly disappointing note; we failed to achieve the ABV we were after, we got close though. We were aiming for a mammoth 10% but only managed a mighty 8.5 – 8.9% (ish… maths = bad). Still with the delicious smells emanating from the brew it should taste good enough to persuade me to drink plenty. More beer, more alcohol, less problems.
Bottles filled, capped and stacked we stared at the mess we had created (I’d spilt a distressing amount of beer around the place whilst bottling) and in the middle sat nearly three whole boxes of Satan’s Fizzy J.
Next step? Wait. After that? Tasting… Oh yes. This remains my favourite part of brewing, the worry it will taste like bilge water, the anticipation as you pick up the first bottle to open and (in this case) the immensely satisfying hiss of escaping fizz as the cap is ripped from the bottle and the first glasses poured.
So how was it? Good. Damn good. Hats of to Dwalin for this one, this recipe was his very own design. The beer was smooth with a good head. The taste was a good, strong and heady Porter taste. The smokiness was definitely present but not overwhelming. I am really looking forward to drinking this over and over again.
Our first tasting was at room temperature but since then I have also tried the Fizzy J of Satan cooled in a refrigeration unit (blasphemy I hear you say? Yeah, probably. But we made the beer and can do what we like with it…)and it was still good, the flavours changed when it was cold and again as it slowly heated to near room temperature, each sip was nearly a new drink.
We are planning on laying one case down to age like a fine wine, that’s twenty odd bottles being locked away in the cool dark of a disused mineshaft to mature. We’ll give them at least a couple of months and then try them every now and again, just to see what effect aging has on the brew. With any luck we’ll save a couple of bottles for at least a year, some maybe longer. Twenty year old porter you say? How does it taste? Maybe we’ll find out in a couple of decades…
As I write this we have just started a new year (2016, just in case you, dear reader, are an anthropologist from the far future; studying the behaviours of turn of the century man) we’ve already been discussing new and adventurous plans for brewing (Fugus brew barley wine, a heady wheat beer, new mead recipes from the hedgerows and who knows what else) but there are further adventures to have. Mr Esspressoshield is now a proud father and this is likely to soak up some of his precious and rare free time. So who knows what we’ll actually get done but you can be sure anything that happens will get written down and posted here for you to peruse (especially if you are the aforementioned anthropologist. Did you know that in the early part of the 21st century it was common for men to walk the streets of the metropolis dressed only in loincloths and large top hats? It’s true…)
Freud Judges those who attempt satanic rituals using beer