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TableHop! Beer brewing, wine making, for tabletop gamers (and general fermentation)


@webs, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.


Ah, I meant to say he’s on the opposite end of the understatement spectrum, not that he’s necessarily a great gift to the world.


Fair enough. I’ll keep you in my will.


Recipe critique ahoy!

Just designed our stout, Jet. We’re hoping it can be a nice, dry Irish stout, sessionable and a base to build Imperial Stout flavours on to. We do a partial mash method. 15l water, add grain at 66 C (approx. 165F) for 60 mins, then bring rapidly to the boil for hopping. Crash, sparge with 8l water, pitch yeast, pray to the gods of hops.

The grain bill is quite large. 680grams in total. 70% pale malt, 30% combo of black malt, flake barley, roasted barley and crystal malt.

Hop bill is quite small. 30g EKG, 6g Nugget and 6g Galena.

Yeast is WLP004 and we use Irish Moss for finings.

2 week primary ferm, 2 week in bottle with some priming sugar.

Aiming for 1046 OG and 1012 FG, so approximately 4%. EBC around 70, as we want it nice and dark.

Once we have the results, I may even try to keg it for nitro. I don’t know how to do that, but it sounds dead easy.


That looks lovely.

With that much malt, I’d cellar a just a few bottles even if you want to keg the rest, but not for too long with that little bit of hops (no more than 3-6 months, popping open 2 a month just to see what it’s like? The flavor profile can change quite a bit. Honestly, they could be good for a year or longer, but who wants to wait? Best scenario: it’s amazing beer that you regret not having bottled more of. Worst: amazing malt vinegar for chips.)

Kegging with nitro isn’t that difficult the second time you do it. It’s not even bad the first time. I wanted to be a natural carbonation snob a lot, but the quick and easy results won me over. I still think bottling at least a few from any batch is something that should be done. (Aging beer in nito-kegs doesn’t work well, often because “hey, we can drink this right now!”, but also the aluminum isn’t conducive to long fermentation, and can gum up the tap works.)


Nitro kegging usually uses different fittings than normal gas correct? Or am I imagining that?


Do you mean nitro vs. CO2? No, I don’t believe so, both types of cartridges should fit. Not in all cases, but they do sell conversion valves, and you can actually combine them both if you really want to (why would you do that unless you’re just showing off?).

YES. They are different, and the main thing you want to think about (besides the type of keg you want to use) is if the beer is better with CO2 (most beers, with poppy fizz and a silky head) or nitro (like Guinness, with an annoyingly hard to deal with but pillowy, thick head). There are kegs and configurations that will take both, although I believe nitro has a higher pressure, which is something to consider depending on the tap-head you have. Some taps are made to deal with the higher pressure of nitro, I believe.

At least that’s what it’s like here. I swear, some people use paint-ball cartridges for their compressed gas in some places. Your best bet (since this is an international conversation) is to ask your local gas-monger. Or, really, your local zymurgist.

(Remember, everyone, I might be wrong, I haven’t kegged in years).

This, I am sure of, though:
CO2 dissolved in water forms carbonic acid (which is basically what you get in seltzer water and other fizzy drinks, and has a more lively taste, and is considered to be “more purist” by snobby types), and nitro is much less reactive to the brew on the pour and is much more likely to taste like the pre-pour flat state of the beer. CO2 is more like bottle conditioned, N2 is more like keg conditioned (i.e. traditional keg conditioned, where the carbonation comes from kegging in a sealed barrel).


@FunkJem Why didn’t you put this here?Q?

(This is @FunkJem’s photo from What are you drinking?
I couldn’t let that just go.)


This is what I meant… I was being lazy.

This is what I was thinking of! I remember now when I bought my kegerator I had to specifically request if I wanted it threaded for CO2 or Nitro. If memory serves me correct, one is reversely threaded to prevent accidental connections to the wrong meters. I think they required a different style pressure meter (I am tired, I know I am not saying the correct terms). I opted for CO2 as it was more versatile for the brews I was making. Also, it was easier to get CO2… If I remember correctly (over 8 years since I last kegged) you could get a special gas blend of CO2 and Nitro to get the best of both worlds (which used Nirto kit)… However, my source required you to use full-size cylinders as opposed the little guy that came with the kegerator.

My guess is that things have changed. So take that into consideration!


You can get N2/CO2 mix carts, but it’s just if that’s what you really want to do. I think you should have to really want a specific plan for that, but usually CO2 is dandy, the mix is for people who are beyond me (or like me and don’t give a damned and just want to see what happens).

You’re right, though, I think things are a bit different now.

Really, there is always an appropriate thing to do with what you want to do, but generally, this is a hard thing to actually screw up. If you get something wrong, it usually ends up good anyway, just not in the way you expected it. (The only times you really and truly fail, it ends up being so spectacular you’ll be telling the story for years, so it’s really a win-win).


Yep, should have done, but double posting is a bad thing? I don’t know.

Looking forward to brewing the stout. We’ve also booked a brewery tour at Siren Craft for the whole of Dealer’s Choice.

I also found out that a mate of mine has opened a bar. My first thought was “can I shift some Monkey Tennis through his pub?”


Brew Day today. O joyous day.

I am hoping my very non-gamer brewing friends will indulge me in a spot of The Mind.


Do infusions count for this topic? I’m quite into foraging for a number of things and making infused liquors with them. For example, I’ve just made several litres of blackberry whiskey (a perennial favourite - if you can put some away and ignore it for a year, it is soooo delicious. Like a fruity port. Except it is 40%…

This year I’m also trying Rosehip Vodka - I can’t seem to find any sloes (or at least not yet! The hunt continues!!) so I’ve read that this is a decent replacement. Again, these are investments for years to come - you often have to leave them in the bottle for a year or more to get the best out of them (although the fruit or leaves or whatever comes out after a few months in general).

Anyone else done this?


No, but you better believe I’m going to now.
When do you harvest rosehip for the Vodka? I’ve got an easy supply of rosehip, and don’t really like vodka so anything to make it better is a bargain.

I saw your recipe for blackberry whiskey. That’s happening for sure.


Well, distillation sort of counts, I don’t see why infusion wouldn’t.

@Griffster77 and @fodder256:

Speaking of which, my neighbor and his brother made their own moonshine (their identities and exact location will remain secret) and it was frankly amazing. It was like the cleanest, lightest, vodka I’d ever tried.

They took part of that batch and infused it with blackberries and herbs, and filtered it, it crystal-clear amber-brown, and tasted… well, a little hard to describe. The tannin from the blackberry skin was more predominant than the fruit (although that was still there), and it oddly had characteristics of a lighter flavored whiskey, with notes of tea.

Needless to say, they both practically evaporated as soon as they hit the tongue, but they did their science right: pure EOTH and H2O in the original (before infusion).


I did it yesterday and a few were already going mushy so anytime around now into October should be fine. It is the same recipe more or less as Sloe Gin. This is the recipe I used


Adapted from River Cottage Handbook No. 12: Booze, by John Wright

Infusions are easy to make, but require time for the vodka to extract nutrients and flavor. This one is worth the long wait!

Yield: About 2 cups of infused vodka

Equipment and Ingredients: Quart jar, strainer, jelly bag, muslin, or cheesecloth, bottle to store liqueur

2 cups vodka, I used 80 proof

2 cups rose hips from unsprayed plants, washed and trimmed of sepals and stems, but left intact.

¼ to ⅓ cup sugar

Add rose hips and sugar to a clean pint mason jar. Add the vodka. Cover with a lid and shake the contents. Store the jar in a cool, dark place. Gently shake the infusion every day or so until the sugar has fully dissolved. The infusion should be ready in about 3 - 4 months. Strain through cheesecloth into a bottle. Once strained, let the infusion sit for another month or more to mature.


The blackberry whisky really is sublime. I didn’t have a decent container to make it in so had to use a demijohn - was a little hard to guess quantities of sugar and whisky as the recipe calls for the blackberries to fill the container 2/3 full - didn’t have enough blackberries for that!! Nor enough whisky. So i’m sure it will still be lovely but could be a little less sweet and maybe more tanniny than previous batches.


So aiming for around the end of summer then. Unfortunately I’ll have to wait another 6 moths or so. This is going to be entertaining.

My flatmate made apricot brandy last summer. Apricot halves and almonds in a jar, top up with brandy. Tastes amazing, non-boozy and will comfortably get you drunk just thinking about it. If you’re really interested I can probably find the recipe.


Don’t worry - I have loads of recipes for stuff like that! Happy to see if if you can get your hands on it easily tho - one more certainly can’t hurt!

You do have to be careful with large soft fruits - they can sometimes go rotten before managing to be preserved by the alcohol. That said, we made apricot brandy (sans almods) last year and it was lovely.


I have heard slicing them rather thinly helps with this, but you do not want to go too thin or it is impossible to remove. I hear they just disintegrate and break down.