On Stouts and Dark Beers

Here are two recipes for a simple dark beer in its evolution;

Beer for the vigil for James of Southron Gaard’s elevation to the Order of Defense;

Can of Coopers Stout (1.7kg hopped malt extract kit)

Boil for an hour with;

  • 1t Black cardamom seed
  • 1/2T allspice
  • 1t black peppercorn
  • 1t whole clove
  • 1T juniper berries (dry)
  • 2T ground cinnamon
  • 2x anise stars
  • 1t diced fresh ginger
  • 14g fuggles hops
  • 300g brown sugar
  • a foot of rosemary stalk for the last half hour

strain, top up to 15 liters, ferment and bottle as normal for a homebrew beer.

This was well received by its drinkers

Spiced Stout II 24/2/18

Can of Coopers Stout (1.7kg hopped malt extract kit)

Boil for an hour with;

  • 1t Black cardamom seed
  • 1/2T allspice
  • 1t black peppercorn
  • 1t whole clove
  • 1T juniper berries (dry)
  • quite a lot of cinnamon bark
  • 2x anise stars
  • 1t diced fresh ginger
  • 14g crystal hops (Pellets, 4.1% alpha acid)
  • a foot of rosemary stalk for the last half hour
  • a handful of sage leaves for the last half hour

Top up to 12L, ferment and bottle as normal for a homebrew beer. Bottled 10/3/19. This was also well received.

Spiced Stout III will be the camp beer at Canterbury Faire 2020; which will be a double batch of the above.

A fyne wine of Grapes

I got a ‘pinot grigio’ kit cheap, which naturally lead me to a favorite drink of hyppocras;

  • One pack of “Pinot Grigio Wine Kit (21L) expired in 2017
  • wine yeast, nutrient from kit (still alive)
  • 8L Red grape juice
  • ground spices; 2t ginger
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1t cardamom
  • 1t nutmeg
  • 1/2t clove
  • 1/2t anise

the potential alcohol reading was 15% ABV. Pitched with the wine yeast on 17/7/19. Fermented til it could bubble no longer, then used the kit stabilizer and finings from the kit. Hopefully this will produce a fruity and mildly spicy wine with a little sweetness.

Southron Gaard Baronial Anniversary 2019; Sunday Lunch

I was asked to cook a simple last-day-lunch for this event, here is the menu;

  • A stew of mutton beef pork and cherries spiced; sweet in a slow cooker, put on the night before.
  • Onion Sops; diced onions boiled a long time in (vegan, powdered) stock, served on cubed toasted bread
  • Dressed noodles; egg noodles tossed with olive oil and a lot of cheese
  • pickled vegetables
  • salad of cucumbers and yogurt
  • left over feast food
  • shortbread (purchased)

Digby’s Cock-Ale

while I was reading  Kenelm Digby’s Closet Opened (published in 1669) I stumbled across this gem;

Take eight Gallons of Ale; take a Cock and boil him well; then take four pounds of Raisins of the Sun well stoned, two or three Nutmegs, three or four flakes of Mace, half a pound of Dates; beat these all in a Mortar, and put to them two quarts of the best Sack; and when the Ale hath done working, put these in, and stop it close six or seven days, and then bottle it, and a month after you may drink it.

My interpretation is thus;

Boil for an hour 4L water with 3 large meaty chicken frames

strain through a cloth and cool to approx 70c

Add and stir in the ground grain (Gladfeilds);

  • 50g Sheppard Delight
  • 50g Munich Malt
  • 10g Dark Chocolate Malt

infuse until cool.

Remove the fat from the top and strain through another cloth into a large pot

then, boil an hour with;

  • 500g dry unhopped light malt extract
  • Hop Pellets; 8.5g fuggles
  • 330g white sugar

cool and dilute down to 5.5L

Ferment with bread-yeast and bottle and prime as normal for a homebrew beer.

It has yet to be tasted but looks delightful and red and has a definite savory nose.



CF 2019 Repast Menu

This is a simple meal;

Lavender Chicken, Thumiyya; a favorite of mine – original from here . My method: In a large pot, heat oil and a lot of garlic, then add diced chicken (mostly thighs), spices, then water and almonds. Stew a few hours.

Couscous with Herbs

Salad section; lettuces, red onions, carrots, spring onions, what ever was left over from the meal plan

Bean and Pea Salad.

Lavender Chickpeas for the vegetarians


2021 Aged Competition

For a competition of aged brews , I set aside a box. All made in 2018, to take to CF2021


The Spicy Salamander : A Spiced Dark Beer for James of Southron Gaard’s Vigil to the Order of Defense. From a Coopers Stout kit, extra hops and loads of spices.

The Wines

Blackcurrant and Honey 19-2-18

Apricot Wine 24-2-18
Honey Strawberry and Pomegranate wine 20-5-18
Feijoa wine 16-6 18
Blackcurrant Wine 1-1 1-1-18
Blackcurrant Wine 29-7 29-7-18
Elderflower and Strawberry 23/12/18 10%

Fortified Blackcurrant Honey Wine Feb 2018 and 17-10-18 20%Mead 25-5-18
Orange Mead 2-8-18
Apple Mead 29-7-18

Foraged Cinnamon Cardamom CF2018 (Air Still) 35%
Blackcurrant Brandy January 2018 (Caramel Coloring, Air Still) 40%
Blueberry Oak and Anise January 2018 40%
Cocoa nib Schnapps January 2018 35%
Cinnamon, Oak, Mace, Lavender, Clove & Anise first run 40%
Licorice Root and Star Anise Schnapps first run 40%
Malt Vodka 7/6/18 40%
Malt Spirit w Oak,Spice/Honey 15/6/18 37%
Honey,Oak Cocoa and Spice 1/5/18 35%
Vodka from Mead 40%
Raw Rum 40%
Oaked Rum 1 40%
Spiced Rum 10/10/2018 40%
Rose Brandy w/Oak 40%
Rose Brandy w/Persimmons,Sugar, Caramel Coloring 35%
Brandy Base Creme de Cassis 35%
Oaked Brandy 25/10/2018 40%
Sage Flower Brandy 20/10/2018 40%
Honey, Blackcurrant and Apple Brandy 9/12/2018 42%
walnut and oak brandy 40%