Irish Beer Snob Podcast – Episode 4 – Brewdog Russian Doll

In this the 4th episode of the Irish Beer Snob Podcast, our intrepid duo take on the very impressive Brewdog Russian Doll four pack.

Big thanks to Ian from that arranged the pack for us as this is going to be difficult to source in Ireland due to the limited quantity that came over from Scotland. There are a few in Dublin and Cork who have it – get on to your local indie to see if they can hook you up.

In the news this week.

1: Brew Dock, one of our favourite bars in Ireland, has received international recognition as one of the best 21 Beer Bars in the world according to the link is here and there are now more pubs to add to the beer bucket list!!

2: Galway Bay Brewery have announced their 6th bar in Dublin, this will be called The 108, in Rathgar Dublin 6 – Scheduled to open in Early November. Shane from Against the Grain will be heading up the venture – so best of luck to everyone involved. Great to see expansion from a native Irish Brewery

3: White Hag from Sligo have announced the bottles of their beers which will be available nationwide shortly – whats more they will be coming in handy four packs of 330ml bottles.

4: Royal County Brewers now established in Meath – we held the first meeting in The Central Bar in Navan, and if you’re a home brewer in Meath who wants to come along, our meetings will be first week of each month at a different venue. If you’re looking for more info – there is a twitter account @RoyalCountyHBC and email – Look forward to seeing you there.
Please see our home on National Homebrew Club’s website – here

The link to the mp3 is here

The podcast is also available through iTunes, and Stitcher Radio.

Talk the Talk? Walk the Walk? Irish Beer Snob tries his hand at homebrew part 1

Those who know me, or those who’ve met me know, I love a good old natter. I’m also something of a procrastinator, i’ve talked about starting home brew now for a long time. Idly wasted time browsing the various online shops, forums, talked to people, while never actually committing. 

This all changed, I asked my family to buy me vouchers for an Online Brew Store, The Home Brew Company was the place I asked them to go to, and low and behold at Christmas I was very grateful that I got a nice sum of vouchers to get me started. I also get 5% off as a Beoir member (another reason to join – link is —–> that way) and free delivery on purchases over €65

One of the things I love about the craft beer scene is that sense of community and that i’m glad to say flows over to the Homebrew fraternity too. After all most craft brewers start out making their own beers before graduating on to a bigger kit. 

I’ve started to chronicle my brew on National Homebrew Club’s Forum (Link here) where as you can see people are lining up to help.

So why homebrew? Well as I like to cook, I also like craft beer, Duh, I figured it was a logical step to brew my own.

I’m starting with “Kit” so that basically means i’m buying concetrated brewers wort, adding water, and other fermentables to make a beer. From there its mixed with sugar to carbonate and left in bottles to condition and improve over time.

The next steps, will eventually to move to extract, and all grain brewing, but as the saying goes, you need to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. 

The Equipment (This is what I got)
2 x 33 Ltr Food Grade Plastic Fermenters
Taps on Both
Airlock and Bung for 1
Syphon with Bottling Stick
Hyrdometer with trial jar
Thermometer (Both spirit one, and those LCD Aquarium ones)
Bottle Caps / Bottle Capper
Bottle Brush

I chose a Coopers English Style Bitter kit to start, and on advice of countless people, replaced the recipe calling for 1kg of sugar, with 1kg of Dry Malt Extract, and 200g of Sugar to bump up ABV.

I will dry hop with cascade, or summit, but more on that in Part 2

Anyway, one thing that is critical to a good brew is sanitisation, basically anything that will come into contact with the beer needs to be sanitized. I used a mix of 30ml white spirit vinegar mixed with 20l of water and a further 30ml of thin unscented bleach. This is a no rinse sanitiser which as you guess means you can leave it in there. I put everything in to sterilise. Like so

                 (L-R Sterilise,                 Drain Fermenter             Adding Dry Malt Extract)

So you also need a reliable kettle for boiling water, a can opener and scissors. When everything is soaking, you will let your can of extract sit in hot/off the boil water to soften the extract inside. With the Dry Malt Extract you should swirl it in 2l of off the boil water and add any other fermentables eg sugar, glucose etc. Like so.

                 (L-R Stir, Stir, Stir           The extract going in        Taking off the lid)

Once you’ve stirred in for a good five to ten minutes, you top off with 20 Litres of cold water, check the temperature at this point and adjust with hot or cold water as you’re aiming for a temp between 18C & 24C approx to pitch your yeast into. Before you do that you take your first hydrometer reading, this is important as it helps you know what your approximate ABV will be. Some rehydrate the yeast however I didn’t this time, I just cut the corner off and sprinkled it evenly over the surface.

Pitching the yeast

Once the yeast is pitched, put the lid on and make sure its locked down and air tight. Move your fermenter to an area where a constant temperature can be maintained, i’ve a snug corner in the living room where the beer can rest comfortably at 20c. As I don’t have a heat belt I improvised and used a blanket. Once its settled attach the airlock and put water in it, the only think that will go through the bubbler is CO2. 

Snug as a bug

So thank you to all the people of National Homebrew Club, and I can’t wait to get this into bottles and move on to my next kit.

For the record my original gravity (OG) was 1.052

Blacks of Kinsale – Indiegogo Campaign – Update

We’ve seen crowdsourcing before haven’t we. Well in these austere times they are becoming more common due to lack of available finance from traditional avenues.

It is common sense. Try to attain your funding from your ultimate end consumer, or people who have a vast interest in what you are trying to do.

With this in mind, i’m thinking of Blacks of Kinsale ( / @kinsalebrewery) founded by Sam & Maudeline Black. Currently producing Kinsale Pale Ale, which is being contract brewed by 8 Degrees in Cork.

So to get to the next step they have gone out to seek finance through indiegogo ( and at the time of writing they have €1525 obtained. 

Now for the uplifting bit, the thing about the Craft Beer scene in Ireland is that sense of community, people aiming for a common goal, whether its members of Beoir, or home brew enthusiasts of the National Home Brew Club, people want more choice, but more importantly are willing to put their money where their mouth is. 

First up, the National Home Brew Club and its members on its forum have clubbed together with enough to name a fermentor. For a small donation each member has helped with one of the goals of Blacks. Beoir’s members have also stepped in, and clubbed together to raise enough to brew a batch at the brewery. For avid beer enthusiasts the opportunity to spend a day in a brewery with people who know what they’re doing and having a custom batch made, and enjoy the company of fellow beer lovers. Sam and Maudeline will undoubtedly look after everyone handsomely. Hopefully the 20 Beoir members are easily handled! 

What has been extremely heartening is the actual pace at which both of these clubs got it together. Beoir was done within days, and at this time taking names for a potential second wave. 

I look forward to my day in Kinsale, a fishing town myself and Mrs Irishbeersnob have been to many times, but this time being there to make a brew! I am also extremely proud to be able to help another brewery get up and running, and of my fellow donors. 

So for as little as a fiver you too can help, and have your name etched on the wall in the brewery. It also gives you an excuse (not that you should need one) to visit the best Seafood town in Ireland.

Sam & Maudeline with a pint – pretty sure thats in the Folk House in Kinsale – Top Pub in Kinsale in my opinion