Following a beer recipe requires care and precision. Ideally, you don’t misread a line and end up putting in more than three times the amount of required hops!
That is what I did yesterday when following a scaled down version of Graham Wheeler’s recipe for Burton Bridge Top Dog stout. I was putting in Challenger hops and only got to 12g before the packet ran out. I decided to top up with Fuggles, from another old packet and, since there weren’t many left, ended up using the whole packet. I ended up with 25g of hops measured out and then realised that I should have been shooting for 7g rather than 17g. Whoops!
Mind you, the pellets are on the old side and I’m not really shooting for an authentic clone. As much as anything, I just wanted a recipe that would help me use up another chunk of black malt (which I used in combination with some biscuit malt – the original recipe just had chocolate malt for the dark colouring). Since the hop load was higher than it should have been, I decided to christen this one Bitter Dog and it is now in the fermenter and beginning to get get going.
The wort sample that I tasted was actually quite palatable so the result should be a decent (and unique) dark beer. Time to wait – bottling should be next Friday or Saturday.