Thursday 26 March 2015

Quiet zone

Apologies for the lack of updates, but Gazza has been on holiday for a week of much-needed time away from the non-stop brewing life!

Next week we host Wild Weather brewing for a collaboration low-ABV stout with oranges which is pretty damn craft in our book... then we're off for a return collab the following week which will be a Red IPA.

This week we're racking Straight to the Light, Oceanic and Deutsch Projekt and transferring to conditioning tank "Midnight in Antarctica", our white porter, and the latest batch of Tidy bitter...

More news coming soon including more info on the Hopbunker and when it's due to open.

Monday 16 March 2015

Meet the brewer in Chester

Well if you didn't know about this then you've missed it... !  

Last Thursday Gazza teamed up with Sue from Waen brewery of Llandiloes to do a joint meet the brewer at the Cellar Bar in Chester.  We made it a little different than your usual event with a light-hearted competition which saw "weird foods" matched with one of Sue's cask beers against one of our keg beers with a vote on the best one (which was very one-sided due to Waen having a big fan club there!)

The food included Teriyaki crickets, horse jerky, smoked pork scratchings and chocolate cake and, although in my opinion you can't really match beer with food to the extent some people claim you can, the beer snacks did go rather well with some of the beers and the crickets went down much better than we'd imagined!

Sunday 15 March 2015

Steel City collaboration brew

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, but we've been way too busy to blog about stuff...

Anyhow, today (Sunday 15th) was our first ever weekend brew and definitely the first time on a Sunday which, so it turns out,  isn't really a position of strength seeing as all the butty shops are closed!  Despite the lack of porcine sustenance, however, we managed to knock up a very unusual beer indeed; a white porter!

Well, I say white porter, although that's a bit of a piss-take really as it's more a pale ale with some unusual flavourings, but as it's the second in our "Insult to History" series the more bizarre-sounding category definitely sounds better... so, in essence, it's a golden-coloured beer, around 4.8%, with flavour from locally-roasted coffee from Ferrari's of Bridgend plus vanilla, coconut and, if we can get some, Sorachi Ace hops too; this should be one unusual brew alright!

The coffee is added in two steps; the bulk of it, 5kg, was added into the copper at 95c - that being the optimum temperature for brewing coffee - plus an extra kilo will be added into the conditioning tanks after a few days of "cold steeping" in water which extracts different flavours than the "hot steeping" and ensures all the lovely coffee character is installed into this brew and giving it a "darker" flavour than the colour might suggest!

For a beer which tastes a lot darker than it looks we decided on the slightly unusual name of "Midnight in Antarctica"; hopefully this will reflect what this creative brew means not just conjure up images of a bloke saying "I may be gone some time"... time will tell.

The crushed coffee ready for adding

6kg of locally-roasted coffee!

Dave bashes the coffee in a maltsack with the mallet

Dave adds the coffee to the copper after the boil

Dave adding the final hop charge

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Racking Dance with the Devil

Today we racked (casked) up three tanks of beer, nearly 2000 litres in all.  The beers in question were "The Party Line", "Millennium Bug" and our new red IPA "Dance with the Devil", a collaboration brew with new Cardiff micro Crafty Devil.

It was our first taste of this brew and we were all dying to see how it had come out after 10 days maturation in conditioning tank 8 with 2kg of Citra and a kilo of Columbus pellets...  pretty well, it turned out, with a lush fruity, mangoey citra nose, smooth rich maltiness and a solid bitter, hoppy character; this will intensify in cask so we're very hopeful of something pretty damn special in a few weeks' time!

This week we're brewing twice to re-stock the tanks after a busy few weeks; first up is an as yet unnamed brew using the new American "hop of the year" (if internet gossip is anything to go by) Azzacca, then we're doing the final brew - until the new season hops arrive in summer - of perennial favourite Oceanic with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy hops... the brewery is going to smell lush this week methinks!