American IPA Barreled

Howdy folks,

So last night I barreled my second brew from a kit, the Cooper’s American Beer’s IPA (see previous post for details). It was in the fermentation vessel for a good 17 days; I think the fermentation was finished after 14, then I dry hopped it with the hop pellets included in the kit for a further 3 days before barreling. The concern at the moment is that there was quite a lot of hop sediment suspended in the brew, I’m hoping this will sink to the bottom during conditioning or else I am in for another cloudy beer…

This is also the first time I am using the King Keg, and am pretty pleased with it so far. The larger top opening meant that cleaning it was a breeze (not looking forward to cleaning my other keg, which is a very basic plastic pressure barrel), and it seems to be a much sturdier build than the basic plastic pressure barrel included in my starter set. I have also upgraded the tap to a sparkler tap, which should hopefully give a much nicer head when the brew is finally ready to drink (which I imagine will be in 3 weeks or so). For now, its time for the secondary fermentation. I like my American IPAs to have a decent level of carbonation, so I injected a barrel of CO2 straight into the keg after racking and sealing. This, alongside the decent amount of priming sugar used, should ensure a good level of fizz. It has another week or so to ferment and then Mr King Keg is taking an extended vacation in my cellar to condition and clear. Looking forward to trying this one.

More updates coming soon, thanks for reading!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) review

Rating: 6/10

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Written by: Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer


In short: 

A film which I knew I had to see, but one which did not particularly stand out in any way. Ben Affleck was convincingly sad as Bruce Wayne, and Henry Cavill was his usual Superman. Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor was dark and unstable- a highlight in a film which tries to achieve too much.


The full story:

Ever since I heard about this film I knew that I would have to see it. However, I was not excited about its release in the slightest. The first Superman film starring Henry Cavill was disappointingly underwhelming, culminating in a pointless fist-fight between two immortal combatants. In fact, I went to watch this most recent DC Comics offering purely out of curiosity. I wanted to see if Ben Affleck could make a convincing Batman, and how the story would unfold around the creation of the Justice League, in what is essentially just the first film attempting to set up a franchise to rival Marvel’s Avengers. In addition I have always been a fan of Zach Snyder and Jesse Eisenberg, and would pay to watch any film in which they are involved.


My first observation when watching the film was “Wow, Ben Affleck is really sad”. This was probably somewhat influenced by the viral video of the interview with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill talking about the negative reception the film has had to date (if you don’t know what I am referring too, you need to see it). But it worked perfectly when portraying Bruce Wayne/ Batman. In truth, Wayne is sad. He walks the line between hero and villain, always staying in the shadows, the perfect opposite to Superman. Ben Affleck also bulked up for the role, and this is clearly visible in one training scene- credit where credit is due, the man prepared for the role. Personally, I liked him more than Christian Bale in the role, although I know many would disagree. Batman’s deep voice is much more believable and menacing in the film, unlike Bale’s comical attempt. It is also well explained, showing Batman’s voice changer built into his suit. Jeremy Irons fit the Alred role well, but one cannot help but miss Sir Michael Cane’s portrayal.

I cannot say much about Henry Cavill’s Superman. The performance was the same as in the other films in which he has played the role, and I feel it suits him well, however there is nothing exciting or standout about the performance.


Jesse Eisenberg is convincingly crazy in his role as Lex Luthor, and I feel he will be a great villain for the two titans (and the rest of the Justice League) going forward. For me, this was the highlight of the film. Maybe this is because I am a huge fan of the truly insane villains in the comic book series (with the Joker being my favourite, whether expertly portrayed by Heith Ledger in the Dark Knight, or voiced by Mark Hamill in the cartoons and games), as I feel they create an unpredictability which is welcome in super hero films.

Gal Gadot was a pleasant surprise in a film which lacked these. Not only is she incredibly easy on the eyes, but also made a convincing powerful woman (later turning out to be Wonder Woman). I am looking forward to seeing more of her character in the later films, and she (alongside Jesse Eisenberg) will probably be my reason for seeing any of the future films in the franchise.


Overall I feel that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice attempts to achieve too much- much more than would be comfortable for a single feature film. After two and a half hours of watching Superman destroy the city of Gotham, I was ready to stop watching. Luckily the film had some interesting characters and moments, and these are what persuaded me to give it a 6/10 rather than something worse. If you are a fan of the franchise, you will need to watch this film, and you may even enjoy yourself. Otherwise, give it a miss.


Second beer kit- American Beers IPA


Last Monday I began fermenting my second beer creation, again from a kit. This time it was the American Beers IPA (which you can buy here). In general I love IPA’s and so I am really looking forward to trying this one when it’s finally ready to drink in a couple of week’s time. Just in time for summer to begin rearing its sunny head (hopefully). Decided to brew this one with my girlfriend, and so this batch is officially titled “Dan and Hannah’s Summer IPA”.


The initial hydrometer reading was quite high (1.057) so I am expecting the beer to be quite strong, at around 6.2% ABV. The kit suggests that the final strength will be around 6.5% ABV, so the initial reading seems to be in the right ball park. I bought a higher quality yeast, however the yeast which came with this kit looked pretty good so I decided to stick to the kit and keep the higher quality pale ale yeast for a later batch. The kit also comes with a hop sachet for dry hopping 2-3 days before the end of the initial fermentation. I will be testing the gravity today and possibly dry hopping today/ tomorrow depending on the reading. This kit is certainly more involved than the last one, which just came with two metal containers of the concentrated malt extract and one sachet of yeast. However, I am itching to get to the next level of home brewing and begin brewing from malt extract, and then later on (possibly by the end of summer) begin brewing all grain. Further down the line I am also hoping to do a bit of DIY and turn a fridge into a kegerator to store all of these brews at perfect temperature.

Will post an update once I keg this bad boy in my newly acquired King Keg!

Quick update on the first brew

Hey guys,

Thought I would give you all an update on the St. Peter’s Golden Ale I made from kit (see previous post). After racking it into the plastic pressure barrel which came with my starter kit, I left it to condition for a week and a change before giving it a little sample. Not too bad! It is a little flat for my liking, this could be due to either the sub-par pressure barrel which came with my starter kit, or to a miscalculation when adding the priming sugar before barreling. Either way, I am happy with the result and will enjoy drinking it over the coming weeks.

In other news, I am absolutely hooked on home brewing. I have already bought extra kit (a higher quality “King Keg” plastic pressure barrel with CO2 canister attachment, and an upgraded lid for my current pressure barrel) and a second kit. This time it will be the American beers IPA kit. Stay posted for more updates on my home brew journey.

First Batch of Home Brew!

Howdy folks!

Sorry for the pause in updates, I have been travelling and unable to let you guys know how I’m doing on the home brewing front. I made my first batch of home brew from a basic kit I bought on amazon, “St. Peter’s Brewery Golden Ale”, the package is pictured below in case any fellow home brew adventurer’s want to follow me on my journey towards the Holy Brewdom.


Making a beer from a kit was a relatively simple and easy task, and as a result I now have 36 pints going through the final conditioning stage of the brewing process. However, everything was also made incredibly simple and easy to understand by following the instructions in Greg Hughes’ amazing book, Home Brew Beer. The entire process is very well explained, along with pictures for every step of the process, so following it was an absolute breeze. I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to start out brewing their own drinks at home, and there is even a large section dedicated entirely to recipes for various beer and ale types, so you can truly brew anything your heart desires.

Unfortunately I do not have many pictures from the process to show, but here is one of me softening up the contents of the brew kit in order to make it easier to remove from the tins:

Photo 19-03-2016, 21 04 40

In explanation- beer making from a kit requires mixing two tins filled with a treacle like substance (the products from a boil evaporated until thick and less space-consuming) with water, then adding yeast (included in the kit), and waiting for the entire thing to ferment. After this, you simply decant or rack the beer into bottles or kegs (depending on your preference) with a little sugar to carbonate the beer, and leave for two weeks (or more in some recipes) for the beer to clear, also known as conditioning. This is the stage I am in right now, having racked my beer into a plastic keg which I received with the starter kit.

The down side with brewing beer from a kit is that you have no control over the flavour, and essentially it is simply practicing the last couple of stages of beer brewing- the fermentation, and then the racking process.

I am really looking forward to moving on to the more complex process and the next stage in becoming a brewmaster- brewing from malt extract. This includes the boil  stage of the brewing process and allows much more control and customization of the flavour and end product. The final method (and most complex one) is called “all grain” brewing. This is when you literally start from the grains and make the malt extract yourself, however is much more time consuming and requires even more equipment. One step at a time, young brewmaster…

I will post an update when the beer is ready to drink, cannot wait to taste the fruits of my labour! Until then, keep your eyes peeled for more views and reviews, both to do with home brewing and other things.