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Badger's Supper

("...in the middle of the room stood a long table of plain boards placed on trestles, with benches down each side. At one end of it, where an armchair stood pushed back, were spread the remains of the Badger's plain but ample supper. Rows of spotless plates winked from the shelves of the dresser at the far end of the room, and from the rafters overhead hung hams, bundles of dried herbs, nets of onions, and baskets of eggs...) Kenneth Grahame, 'Wind In The Willows'

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A Few Recipes:

Meadowbreath

Snout In The Sunlight

Badger's Supper

Dark Lantern

Weary Harvester

 Twelfth Night At Toad Hall

Creating Your Own Recipes

Danger - Quicksand!

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  Badger's Supper

NOTE: This is a departure from the previous two recipes in that the mash is an overnight affair - what's meant here is that it should last 8 hours minimum. Other different aspects include the use of a comparatively expensive yeast, and we don't bother with Protafloc - as this is a dark beer there's not much point in clearing it! The granulated sugar goes into the boil, not the mash. Brewing this beer is quite a commitment as, because of the water treatment required and the overnight mash, you'll be spending part of three consecutive days brewing this one. But as you'll see from the Tasting Notes, the results are well worth it.

Ingredients:

5000 gms Maris Otter

180 gms Crystal Malt

300 gms Black Malt

115 gms Torrified Wheat

285 gms ordinary white granulated sugar

Yeast:

1098 Wyeast

Hop Schedule:

Start of boil:

70 gms Fuggles @ 4.0 AA

15 mins from end of boil:

10 gms Fuggles

Water Treatment:

The Wheeler Method

Mash and Sparge:

Mash in 16 litres of water at 70°C. 2 crushed Campden tablets went in with the dry grain. Overnight mash. Sweet wort passed through grain three times. Sparge at 62°C.

Boil:

90 minutes. 2 crushed Campden tablets added at start of boil along with Fuggles hops and the sugar. More Fuggles added 15 minutes from the end of boil.

(One week in primary fermentation, two weeks in secondary, keg or bottle as you prefer.)

Tasting Notes:

Don’t be put off by the fact that this is an old fashioned mild, as to my knowledge at least eight confirmed mild drinkers (none of whom I know personally) have declared this to be not only the best mild they have ever tasted, and not only the best homebrew they have ever tasted, but the best beer they have ever tasted! Fantastic compliments like this really fire up the enthusiasm for brewing and shows how far home brewing has come in the last 30 years or so. It’s also interesting to note that an 80 year old gentleman who has drunk (pub) mild all his adult life couldn’t finish a glass of this as he said it was "too much, too strong". This is a strong beer which improves by leaving in the keg or bottle for at least a couple of months. It’s a ’big’ beer, one to be sipped and savoured, with complex flavours (if served at room temperature) and real body, the archetypal 'meal in a glass' if ever there was one. As you may have guessed by the length of these tasting notes, a great favourite among the Sensible Mole Test Pilots and a personal success.

Badger's Supper is a dark, warming Winter brew which is without doubt the most popular thing I've ever brewed. Producing a beer like this raises an interesting point, a dilemma for the brewer; does he continue to tweak the recipe and experiment in the hope of further improving what is a superb beer, or does he say 'enough is enough', and call this the finished product? Only you can decide! On the next page we look at another dark beer, 'Dark Lantern'...

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