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%

Brewing Log 19/4/18

Here’s a brief and awkward list of things I’ve made with varying levels of detail, up to 19.4.18

Beers from tins:
ipa : coopers 1.7kg tin plus 1.5kg maltex to 24L secondary ferment w sucrose
coopers real ale: kit w 400g dextrose and 600g sucrose to 24L . secondary of honey with crushed ginger
Mocha Stout: coopers stout kit 1.8kg coopers dark ale 1.7kg, 700ml infused water w honey 1/2 cup, coffee (ground), cocoa nibs, cinnamon and black cardamom and a tiny bit of clove and pepper via coffee plunger then topped to 23L. secondary of 180g sucrose syrup boiled 10min in 1/4c cco nib and cinamon. bottled 14/4/18
saison (mangrove jack)
Coopers Draught
Coopers Cerveza
angry lion: dark honey ale (lion brewery dark ale tin, with 1kg dark honey as sugar)
light honey lager (cervesa kit with 1kg light honey in place of dextrose)
Chocolate Brown Ale (mangrove jack)
ginger beer (a dark beer) (Mountains)

Mangrove Jack Kit Range with sugar/dextrose/honey as experiments. I really like the plain apple, perry, and the blueberry.
Black Rock Cider

spiced wine
red grape wine kit
rose: kit with: 2.2 kg rose syrup, 2.5kg sucrose. 2.5 L white grape juice squeezed, wine-yeast. spices: cinnamon, clove, mace, juniper, allspice, anise, bay, leaves rosemary, black pepper, corriander seed
black currant wine
black currant wine 2
BlackCurrant Honey Wine
apricot wine
honey pommegranate and strawberry wine (still fermenting)


Washes for spirits:
turbo yeast and sucrose’
light wash of malt extract
dark malt wash
honey mead for distilling (still fermenting)
20L of mostly apples simmered and strained with a box of grapes in the same fashion (3 part apple 1 part grape. for distilling to brandy


Triple Sec
a herbal
honey and cinnamon
mead’ with juniper berries
aquavit withoak
limoncello 2
sage flower vodka
honey and spice 2
coco nib snapps
foraged at CF cinamon and cardamom
oak blueberry and anise infusion
blackcurrant brandy
an anise herbal


First forays into distillation

Having obtained a still (1) and being enthusiastic, I have started making some distilled beverages, and have produced my first few drinks. They are;



Triple Sec: Distilled spirit from old beer and spiced wine (on site at SG Firey Nights event), with ten oranges (seville) skins, dried, for nine days. Diluted at bottling to approx 40% Alc

Limoncello: Distilled from Sugar Mash and turbo yeast. Infused a mix of lemon varities (eight total) and three large limes rind. 1/2C sugar and diluted to ~40% alc. 26/8/17

“tequila”: Distilled from Sugar Mash and turbo yeast. 10ml per liter of spirits unlimited tequila flavoring, diluted to ~40% alc

moonshine 1:  Distilled from Sugar Mash and turbo yeast diluted to ~40% alc

herbal 1: sugar mash and turbo yeast. infused: two cardamom pods, cinnamon stick 1 tablespoon loose crush; two cloves, three sage leaves, one mint leaf , 1/2 table spoon lavender, two slices lemon peel. Inspired from Asbjorn’s schnapps article (2) to make something with lavender.

“aftershock”: which is allspice in spirit: sugar mash infused w tablespoon all spice and a little cinnamon 2T sugar

honey and cinnamon: sugar mash distilate w 1/4C honey and 2x allspice and a cardamon and one clove and a stick of cinamon for a week or so

“mead’ with juniper berries (3): 750ml of 40% distilate from sugar with a lot of honey and juniper and a little clove cinamon and anise

applesnapps: sugar mash distilled with a packet of mangrove jacks cider flavoring and some green food coloring

aquavit (4)with oak: leftover drinks distilled + oak whiskey chips: 10/9/17 to be entered as a whiskey at a tasting of whiskey snobs

These are for tasting at the next Christchurch event. Next up is playing with the recently acquired grown up still (5).

(1) http://www.vodkamaker.co.nz

(2) http://forest.gen.nz/Medieval/articles/brewing/snaps_history.pdf

(3) http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Mead_with_Juniper_Berry

(4) my main resources have been Asbjorn and Luan’s recources here: http://brewers.lochac.sca.org/brewingresources

(5)  https://stillspirits.com/products/turbo-500-still

Lindisfarne 2010 Repast


Course One

rye, pickles (jar), boiled cold eggs sliced, apple segments, salted butter

  1. Slice as appopriate and plate.


  • Yeast
  • 1C milk, warm
  • 5C flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2C melted butter
  • 2t Sugat
  • 1t Salt


  1. Make paste of milk/yeast/sugar/1C flour. Sit 1hr
  2. Add eggs, beaten, also add melted butter
  3. form into dough
  4. let rise 4 hrs
  5. For the filling; use anything availible
  6. To cook form into small parcels and either bake or deep fry. Serve hot and crispy


Salmon, Salt, Dill, lemon. Will be pre-made. Slice and serve

pashtet (pate)

Will be pre-made. Slice and serve


Course Two



  • Buckwheat
  • vege stock cubes
  • water
  • salt / pepper as needed

    1. Place cookware with buckwheat over medium heat
    3. Stir for 5
    4. Add boiling water and salt, cover tightly, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes or until buckwheat is ready (grains are tender). Drain the excess water (if not all absorbed)
    5. Preheat the oven (350F), cover and cook in the oven for another 10 minutes. Use oven-safe cookware
    6. Turn off the heat and leave kasha in the oven until ready to serve


lentils and skirrets (Rep w/ parship) w/ bacon

  • Block streaky bacon, diced
  • chicken hearts
  • garlic leaves
  • brown lentils
  • ginger
  • diced onion and garlic
  • stock
  • skirrets (parsnip)


compostium of cabbage, chard, dill, and mushrooms

  • Sliced onion
  • shredded cabbage
  • silver beet, shreded
  • lovage
  • dill
  • mushrooms, rough dice
  • garlic vinegar
  • butter
  • salt / pepper


dice ingredients and layer alternately. Add a little vinegar and bake 40 mins. Mix and then serve


fried spiced onions (1000 eggs v1 p 52)

  • Sliced onion
  • ghee
  • white wine (small qty)
  • pepper
  • cinnamon
  • mustard
  • ginger
  • salt
  • vege stock as needed


chicken portions baked w/prunes

  • Onion sliced
  • prunes diced
  • juniper berries
  • chicken
  • bay leaves
  • streaky bacon, diced
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • red wine
  • dill seed


cover bottom of roasting dish with dry ingredients, put chickens on top, and dust with spices, then add wine and bake, covered till done

green mustard sauce


  • Mustard (dijon)
  • honey
  • wine, red
  • olive oil
  • powdered anise
  • salt
  • parsley
  • pepper


  1. make as for a pesto. Serve.


Third course

baked apples in caramelised sugar. w/cream


  • Apples, peeled and sliced
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cream


  1. Slice/peel apples. Scatter with sugar and cinamon, bake
  2. serve w/cream, hot.

CF 2017 Dinner

This is the meal I cooked on Saturday night at CF 2017. It is not any particular time/place/documentation but more an idea on a fairly easy dinner for a lot of people.


Roast Pork

  • bone in pork shoulder, whole
  • salt, pepper, oil (I just used left over oil in the pantry, and pork doesn’t really need it.

The troublesome ovens meant we had to pull and dice these a bit so they’d cook right. Turned out OK but was a bit hectic.
roast carrots and onion

  • carrots whole
  • oil (canola)
  • red onions peeled whole
  • carraway seed 1 supermarket size pack enough for meal

Diced, roasted on trays with seasoning, oil and carraway. Kept seperate for allergy reasons. transfer to serving bowls.

  • couscous
  • coriander fresh
  • parsley bunches
  • massel/low allergen vege stock powder
  • lemons

Just couscous, simple. 1:1 ratio of water to grain and lemon, herbs and if not for dairy free people, butter. Make it in huge bain-maire tins and lids on for an hour or so then fluff and serve. Easiest bulk-starch there is, and my favourite for hot CF times and lazy cookin’.
sauce for pork

  • apples green
  • bread crumb
  • vinegar from panty
  • spices from pantry

grated apple & bread sauce with a small seperate GF batch


  • cream 1 part
  • nutmeg powdered one packet total
  • milk blue 2-4 parts
  • egg (yolk)
  • LIQUID honey

giant pot of happiness. Also it’s nice with a lump of chocolate at the bottom; and also we had fruit

Bean pottage for vegos

  • dry white beans canelinni
  • celery
  • onion white diced
  • carrots whole
  • massel/low allergen vege stock
  • rice flour, 2 tablespoon ish to thicken

soak beans night before, boil til soft then fry w veges and a little stock and thicken as needed
peas fried with (and without) bacon

  • frozen peas not minted
  • bacon streaky
  • herbs etc from pantry left overs

cut bacon. stir fry w veges. Season. Eat.