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  1. The first supply of Christmas Ales arrived today with the delviery of the Santas Winter Warmer, Dasher the Flasher and the Brewferm Grand Cru. I am still waiting for Ritchies to release the latest batch of Bah Humbug stout, but expect that it will be available around Mid October. I haven't ordered in any of the Milestones Donner and Blitzed, but will order a box in if anybody would like some.

  2. Ritchies have announced the release of a brand new range of premium quality, two can kits which will contain 3kgs of Malt Extract, Genuine brewers yeast strains to match the beer style and packs of hop pellets to allow home brewers to boost the aroma and flavour of their brews.The new range will be marketed under the "Festival Premium Ales" brand and will initially comprise six varietal beer kits that aim to match well known beer styles and allow you to create your own mini Beer Festival at home.

  3. We had a bit of excitement yesterday when the whole of Severalls Business Park, including the part in which we are based, was brought to a standstill becasue of a mystery chemical/fume release. A group of council workers in one of the nearby buildings reported feeling unwell as a result of inhaling fumes and before we knew it, the estate was cordoned off and a 400m exclusion zone had been created. At one point we had numerous police cars, 6 fire engines and 12 ambulances in the area and even the BBC Look East news crew.

    Fortunately, nobody was seriously affected and we even managed to get a nice advert on prime time TV as one of the shots showed two of the firemen walking back towards the control post:

    chs on look east news

    The estate returned to normal about 7.00pm last night and we have been allowed to open as normal this morning.

  4. Woodfordes and Muntons have finally released the Sundew Ale kit that has been created as a replacement for the withdrawn Great Eastern Ale.

    We received our first batch on our delivery after the Bank Holiday weekend. I requisitioned one pack to put on as a taster, but as both of my fermenters were in use (making all grain brews of Hop Back Summer Lightning and a Ruddles County) my kit didn't go on until this weekend. It is described as a cross between a lager and a pale ale

  5. Hambleton Bard have recently introduced a brand new range of floppy pouch beer kits that contain between 1.8 and 2.1kgs of malt extract and make 40 pints of Lager, Pilsner, IPA, Yorkshire Bitter, Brown Ale, Mild or Stout. Each kit is made up of specially selected Malt Extracts from a variety of specialist malsters (ie these are not Munton's Kits) and matched with an appropriate strain of yeast in an effort to produce a more authentic version of the particular beer style than would be available from kits made with generic brewing yeast.

  6. Many people making homebrewed lager are disappointed with the results becasue they don't end up with a brew that is overly close to a commercial lager. This isn't because homebrew lager kits are poor quality, just that lager can actually be quite difficult to get absolutely right. Commercial brewers ferment lagers at much lower temperatures than beers and ales and also tend not to bottle condition their products.

  7. It is nearly that time of year again when the Elderflowers start to bloom and people want to make "Elderflower Wine" and "Elderflower Champagne". If you have made wine before, it is relatively straightforward to make both of these varieties, but many online (and TV) guides suggest that it is really easy to do it without any experience, equipment or common sense.

    One of the best known recipes/methods is the one advocated in the episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage", in which he makes "Elderflower Champagne". As Hugh likes everything to be as organic and natural as possible, and is limited by the length of the time slots for each segment within his show, his recipe and method has a habit of producing varying results and exploding bottles...