New York Photography 14 – Beer and Brewing

Spent this morning bottling my Single malt and single hop ale (SMaSH) that used my Glasgow grown hops and Vienna pale malt. It is, of course, going to be called “Glasg-oh Vienna”. I also started some Turbo cider that I plan on putting Brett into and also a weird Cherryade/Cherry wine from Lowicz fruit syrup from Lidl. Going to be a very festive Christmas.

Glasgow hops back to life for 2016

It looks from the signs of it that my dwarf hop plant is coming back for another year!  

After a rather successful crop last year that enabled me to homebrew an impressive one gallon batch of CWG IPA the wee thing has sprung into action in spring.


Very excited to see what harvest I can get this summer with it being its third year. Still drinking the CWG IPA from last year, here’s hoping I get the priming right this time and so it’s better than this.


Hop growing in Glasgow 

My two year old dwarf First Gold hop plant finally has produced some crop.

Hop growing in Glasgow isn’t the easiest but thankfully I have a small allotment. I grow a variety of veg there and also have this growing on a south-east facing fence.

I was so pleased to actually have some hops grow this year but was actually surprised to get 59.2 grams of wet hops.

I was however disappointed with the aroma I was getting off them having always used pellets in my brewing.

I plan to use the whole batch on a really simple IPA. A small one gallon batch with marris otter is on the cards this weekend. I plan on posting the recipe for this and going to call it Centurion way growers IPA.

Carbonated coffee: Two week batch

I opened the second bottle of my cold brew carbonation experiment that I naturally carbonated with sugar and champagne yeast. (The details can be seen here). The second week of fermenting had made the bottle worryingly hard so decided to open it up over the sink.

carbonated coffee

With a cautious twist the fizz began, but surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I expected. A quick pour and a great head on it. It is incredibly refreshing, very strange to drink and slightly confusing. I rather like cold coffee but I dont think my brain is ready to cope with the added sensation of the fizz. Perhaps in a warm climate this would work, the success of brands such as Coffer shows that. This was all an experiment to begin with and not so sure it has worked out. May need to do a new batch and test it out on a few people. Anyone willing to risk it volunteer?

Naturally carbonated cold brew experiment

I have been home brewing for about four years. In 2015 I plan to move to all grain and do a bit of experimenting. Having obtained about half a dozen one gallon demijohns I plan to do small brewing experiments. The first of the year is going to be a naturally carbonated cold brew.

Using the delightful dear green beans I have made up a batch. Working on the one cup of ground beans to three cups of water.

Now we play the waiting game. I will then add sugar and dry champagne to this cold brew.
After about 10 hours chilling I took the cold brew out and let it get to room temperature. I wanted to experiment with two different fermenting times so split the 500ml of cold brew into a 300 and a 200 batch.
Adding the room temperature cold brew into a brown 700ml bottle, one teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of dry champagne yeast. I then left these in a warm place for a few days.
5 days later 
I kept squeezing the bottles to check if they were carbonating and becoming pressurized over the 5 days and was getting concerned as couldn’t feel much different. After 5 days they started to get very hard so decided to open one up.
Upon pouring there was a reasonable amount of fizz but bordering on a slightly flat soda.
Stuck in some ice and gave it a sup, to be honest it wasn’t what I expected. A fizzy cold coffee is a lot of not normal. I think the other bottle with a little longer may turn our better. Its really a strange one but was surprised how well the champagne yeast worked. Its picked for its neutrality so had no effect on the coffee taste.
Will update when I open the other bottle in a few days. When I make a new batch to experiment with I think I will put some more sugar and a bit more yeast in.

One gallon mead recipe and artwork for “Mead is Murder”

So here it is in all its glory a One gallon mead recipe, I only wish I had taken the original gravity and could say what the ABV is. I followed this recipe below for a 1 gallon batch of traditional mead.


1 Gallon demijohn
1 Airlock
1 Bung
Some sterilization

One gallon mead recipe

1.5kg Honey
1 Large orange
1 handful of raisins
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 cloves
1 pinch of nutmeg
Half a pack of wine yeast
Balance water to one gallon

How to

Put all this in and shake it about. Put it in a dark warmish place. Check on it in a few months.



After a quick wax of the mustache and a turn up of my chinos I went for a pastiche of the classic Smiths album Meat is Murder. Shall be labeling up and forcing upon people over the festive period. This stuff is rough as a badgers ticks back.

Say hello to Vehnäolut

We at Phenix Brewery pride ourselves on obscure hipster names for our beers and with this latest brew there is no exception. Welcome to the Phenix Brewery line up Vehnäolut. A 4.33% wheat beer with a cheeky Columbus dry hop.


As you obviously know it’s name is Finnish for wheat beer. The reason being my wonderful bee keeping friend Jussi supplied me with some of his honey from Finland to add to my brew instead of dextrose. This is some seriously yumi honey!
You may also be able to tell that I still have no label on my bottles. Although I have knocked up an option B I am still interested to have the input of a designer with a taste for beer. Otherwise its the below design being put onto 40 odd bottles. Some is getting shipped as far a field as Japan.


Design a label for me, get paid in beer

One of the joys of running your own ‘brewery’ is the fun of naming and designing the labels and brand that goes with it. I have been brewing and designing my own labels for the past four years. Some have been better than others. Below is a selection of said designs.


So aye, I ain’t that great with design, but at least the beer tastes good. Currently I am brewing a wheat beer that have Columbus hops added at the dry hopping stage.
What I want is a name for this beer and a designer (someone with MS Paint) to come up with a lovely label for it. In return you will get beer, tasty tasty mini-brew beer.

If that sounds good to you then post a name or label suggestion below.


Phenix brewery goes big rather than having to go all the way home

I have often not been a fan of ebay( I still wake up in a cold sweat at night thinking about that “genuine” Del Boy autograph!) But this evening it came up trumps.
Not only have I doubled my fermenting volume, I now have a five gallon keg, seven awesome glass demijohns, a tonne of bottles and the icing on the cake…a heat plate. Not sure if I will ever use it but I now have one.
All for £20 out of the back of a jeep in Coatbridge. Why thank you ebay.

Hop plant in Glasgow update #homebrew

Left this wee fella while I was away for a week and he won’t stop growing and well vining. He has finally started to outgrow the windowsill and I fear the balcony just won’t have the space for him so he now has this space.
It’s not perfect, a bit too shady but for growing hops in Glasgow it’s not a bad spot for him. Haven’t got much hope for this years crop but hopefully next year I will have some homegrown hops for some dry hopping.

Bottled: Canadian Blonde with 100g of cascade hops

My first experiment with dry hopping was bottled about 7 hours before I left for Mexico. Nout like a bit of last minute bottling.

Not gona lie, it tastes pretty amazing. I just had a wee cheeky pre-carbonation taste but it’s yum! Will begin designing a label ASAP but possible names are currently


Moose knuckle


Any suggestions very welcome but EH! Is the current favourite.