Wednesday 29 April 2015

This time, we're using the right yeast!

We are, I've already checked the packet!

Those who have been on this journey with us for a while (since May last year actually!) will remember we brewed a "Belgian American brown ale" with loads of lovely hops in it... well, what we didn't tell you was there was never supposed to be anything Belgian about it at all!  

It's all Gazza's fault for not checking the yeast pack before pitching, although if they were different colours it would be a distinct advantage!  Basically, a pack of T58 Belgian yeast went into the brew rather than the intended US05, giving it a spicy, estery character which - although it admittedly worked and the beer was popular - wasn't what we intended, so we're having another go almost a year later.

The malt recipe has been amended slightly and the hops are... well, pretty much totally changed from last time in addition times and amounts although the same blockbuster trio is in use; Summit, Columbus, Chinook, with the dry-hop not yet decided but we're leaning towards Citra or Mosaic for a huge fruity blast.

So, stay tuned for all the exciting news on whether this attempt is any more what we intended it to be than the last one... which isn't difficult, to be honest.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Two old favourites return!

This week sees two brews at Hopcraft Towers and, in a rare case of unadventurousness, we're re-brewing two beers which we've done before!

First off is "Sharks against Surfers"; this is named after a song by punk anarchists Eastfield and showcases super-pale malt alongside modern American and Australian hops to give a dry, fruity and complex beer which belies it's straw colour in the flavour stakes.

Second will be perennial favourite "Citraic" which - as the name suggests - uses the lusciously fruity American hops Citra and Mosaic to produce a hugely flavoursome brew with a very modern, fruit-driven flavour all over a pale golden body with modern UK malts.

Both went down very well on their previous outings and, therefore, have been selected by Gazza for rebrewing with the usual slight recipe tweaks; Sharks is now all super-pale malt rather than lager malt, whilst Citraic uses the new UK Propino malt.  All hops are the same as before; surely a first!

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Collab with Wild Weather - the away leg!

Last Wednesday saw us travel down to Reading to deliver some beers to our customers down that way and then partake of a few beers with Mike and Iain from Wild Weather brewing of Silchester.  We ended up, as predicted, in the wonderful Nag's Head where Jody plied us with all manner of cask, keg and bottled beers of varying degrees of awesomeness; some of the samples from new brewers proved that some of them need to do a lot of work on recipes and pricing!

Thursday was brewday and, after a slight delay, we mashed in with Maris Otter, Carared and Melanoidin malts and hopped with Liberty, Chinook and Mosaic; the dry-hop will also be Mosaic and a touch of Sorachi Ace which is never a bad thing!  The resulting beer will be a Red IPA with plenty of hops...

The name for both beers has been decided as "Sunday League Relegation Playoffs"; this is a piss-take on the "premier division" brewers who have all the money and power whilst us little guys make do with the scraps left over!  And I bet you never thought there was discord in brewing, did you?

Anyhow, our "home" collab, the orange session stout, goes to conditioning tomorrow with the orange extract and Mandarina Bavaria hops (plus a dash of Sorachi Ace too) and we're in the planning stages of a dual release event in Reading in a months' time or so; stay tuned for more information on this.

Friday 3 April 2015

Collab with Wild Weather - home leg

Thursday saw Iain and Mike from Wild Weather brewing of Berkshire make the long trek down the M4 to a drizzly South Wales (default weather then!) to brew up the first leg of our 2-way collaboration set of unusual brews.

This one is a bit of a weird one in that we don't quite know what style it would fit into... but as I'm the kind of brewer who thinks beer styles are for obsessives with nothing better to think about we don't really care!  It's a 3.4%-ish dark beer, very dark, with 7 different malts including 2 types of de-husked chocolate, Melanoidin, Carared, wheat and a few others I can't remember.

Hops were kept simple with Columbus for first wort then the oily, herbaceous Czech Vittal for flavour and aroma, then at 90c we added a whole load of zested and chopped oranges just for a bit of added interest!  Dry-hopping will be with German Mandarina Bavaria and a hint of Sorachi Ace, so it should be a complex little beastie.

It has a working name of "Second Division Collaboration", which will probably change by the time we come to design the pumpclip, the name is a piss-take of the "premier division" of brewers which exists nowadays whilst us second division guys struggle along without the royalties.... if you excuse the crap fussball analogy.

The second leg is happening next week down in Silchester, Berkshire, when we'll be cooking up a hoppy Red IPA.... stay tuned to this frequency for more mudanity, hop lovers!