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Pleasantly surprised - oldbloke's mutterings
May 28th, 2011
09:05 pm
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Pleasantly surprised
The millet experiment came out pretty good, despite the various errors in the method.
It was not entirely unlike some of the blander continental lagers with a slightly creamy finish.
A bit more body, a bit more flavour, a touch more hops and it'd be beer.
We had no hesitation in drinking the single 330ml sample bottle I made for this feasibility study.

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Date:May 28th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)

I wonder if it's anything like the "beer" we used to drink in Nigeria when I was there as a child. (I had to take my turn when the calabash came round - it was.........complicated..........)

I remember it as sour and not particularly alcoholic.
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Date:May 28th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Exact methods vary across Africa but the principle is the same as all brewed drinks. A lot of sorghum gets used as well as millet.
They don't use hops, so it's not like our beer in that way, plus the preservative features of the hops are lost, so it tends to sour. In many places they do a lactobacillic fermentation of some of the grain which means it starts off sour anyway. In the absence of hops, this is what they do to avoid blandness, basically - to the extent that in some places it's almost vinegar and this is preferred.
It's hard to Google, at first, as so many local names are used. Ajon, malwa, Kuzun.
The stuff in shared calabashes is still fermenting, not cleared like our beers. Lucky to make 2%. "Properly" malted, mashed, and fermented, millet should give about 5%.

Edited at 2011-05-28 10:57 pm (UTC)
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