I've just started a batch of bitter, from a kit. I used to do it about 15 years ago, and a friend convinced me to get back into it.|
I used a Burton Bridge extra strong bitter can (makes about 30 pints), a kilo of maize sugar, a small tin of golden syrup and a load of Sheffield's finest water... oh, and the yeast that came with the kit.
I've been reading a few sites, and it seems that malt extract in place of sugar is the way forward. So I'm going to prime it with malt crystals after fermentation, for bottling. But it's going into plastic barrels this time. Next time I'll try using a tin of malt extract instead of sugar, and I'll buy a specialised ale yeast. Bumps the price up but it maximises the taste.
I'm also a bit worried about oxidisation, seeing as the wort splashed about a bit when I was adding the cold water to the bin. Most of the time these kits are fool-proof though. If it goes well I might try mashing my own wort from grains... if the wife'll allow it. In fact I'd better get cleaning the kitchen down before she gets back.
Anyone got any tips, or success stories? If not, feel free to just post 'get a blog' or whatever.
Update: I actually got a blog. How's that for irony?
XBL: Banjo Fett