Wednesday 24 February 2016

An Amber ale is born!

With a complicated malt bill of 6 different grains - Propino pale malt, Melanoidin, CaraPils, Wheat malt, Carafa Special 3 and Biscuit malt - this is the kind of colour we were after for "Over the Wire"...

Add lots of New Zealand Kohatu hops, some US Summit and Columbus, and there you go!

Latest brew - another amber ale!

Yes, it's true, yet another brew from us which isn't pale but is most certainly hoppy....

"Over the Wire" is a new one-off amber ale using Belgian Biscuit malt and German Melanoidin malt to give a deep golden hue which we're beefing up with lots of oily, pungent American Columbus and New Zealand Kohatu hops; a strange combination, but one which should work well hopefully...

Tuesday 16 February 2016

This week's happenings....

.... include picking up more kegs from the makers, buying kilos of coffee beans to add to our coffee porter "Wales Coming Down" (which is due to go into tank on Friday for a weeks' conditioning), washing casks, reassembling and waterproofing a hot liquor tank heating element, plus a myriad of other bits and pieces which make things so much fun!

This week we're brewing twice, yet again!  First up is an old Pixie Spring beer resurrected due to demand from the Hopbunker; "Deliverance" is an amber/golden colour with a low bitterness but a good level of fruity hoppiness atop the bready, crunchy malt body giving what is, for us, a rare balanced beer with malt and hops pretty much in equilibrium.

Next up is a return to normality in the form of "Corazon de Oro", or heart of gold, which is a pale, citrussy and bitter brew much more in the Hopcraft tradition; using the rare Czech Kazbek hop alongside fruity American Chinook, this is a rebrew (although to a slightly different - I say improved - recipe) of a recent beer which went so well the first time around we thought we'd do it again...

Next week will be a single brew only as Gazza is taking a short break to Poland in search of interesting craft beers (of which there are many!) but in traditional Hopcraft style we've not decided yet what to brew...  I'm sure we'll think of something before then!

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Two brews a week!

... is what we're doing at present!   A fairly quiet January, as is customary, has suddenly burst into a mad-busy February which has taken us a bit by surprise, a fact our beer stocks testify to (as in, we have sod-all in the coldstore....)

So, a big brew of Golden Pixie today (which will also spawn two short-run beers) then a new coffee porter tomorrow, "Wales Coming Down", followed by two more (8 barrel) brews next week!  We've pencilled in a re-brew of "Corazon de Oro" which went down a storm first time around, plus the return of Pixie Spring "Deliverance" in it's first outing in over a year!  All dependent on hop supply, obviously...

The following week we're - maybe, orders permitting - down to one brew then we'll see how it goes, but with the Rugby on we're expecting a lot of throughput in the Hopbunker so maybe it'll mean even more brewing... ah well, such is life :)

Thursday 4 February 2016

God Complex

This brew is a collaboration with Alex Oliver, aka "Brassneck" or "Space Cadet", from Bristol and is based on the rather clever notion that all the hops used are named after gods of some sort or other;

Azacca is the Haitian god of agriculture,

Zeus is the Greek god of the sky and thunder,

Magnum could be loosely taken to mean Magnum Opus, or "great work", which is an alchemical term for the process of working with the prima materia to create the philosopher's stone... 

We were supposed to have some Herkules but Gazza forgot to order it, and the dry-hop will be the slightly tenuously-linked Mosaic... (Roman mosaic floors, get it?).

Brewing today... and tomorrow....

Today, despite a dodgy element in our hot liquor tank, we brewed "Who's been Sleeping in my Brain?", a golden, hoppy and fruity beer with Citra and Topaz hops which should come out at around 4.4% and be pretty damn delicious, or so we're hoping, with a big fruity characater and bitter, fruity, hop-oily finish.

It was, I think, our earliest finish ever, with the transfer complete by 1450, and we'd even finished the copper cleaning before sundown; a sure sign that spring is on it's way... and we're doing it all again tomorrow when we brew yet another hoppy beastie, this one called "God Complex" and containing Azacca, Zeus and Mosaic hops (see what we did there, clever eh?) and is a collaboration with "Space Cadet" from Bristol... should be interesting!

It's getting steamy in here!

Inside the very shiny copper

Hop pellet waste... smells lovely, looks rancid!