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.


UPDATE; 29/10/19

This has been tasted at an SCA brew guild meeting, and no one was sick from it. Hurrah. Received reviews of being suprisingly pleasant and savory.



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%