Wednesday 29 June 2016

Brew 200 edges closer....

Today was "proper" brew 196 (we've actually done 199 including a few cuckoo brews, but we've not counted those under our numbers) a golden 3.8%-ish ale with US Cascade and Czech Kazbek hops, and next week we're cooking up yet another batch of Golden Pixie as it seems to be getting more popular!

After that, however, we're very close to brew 200 and so a bit of a commemoration is called for... the current plan is to re-brew our 100th brew "every hop i love is dead" with a very slight variation in recipe to reflect current Politburo diktats in the production of Hopcraft Пиво, but it's planned that the Simcoe and Cascade pairing which worked so well back in November 2014 will be used again.

So, get ready for our 200th brew in a month or so!  Thanks for sticking with us, and we hope you'll stay along for the ride a while longer as we've some good stuff coming up....

Friday 24 June 2016

New Van....

It's not ours, it's leased, but hey.... Gazza is testing it out with a run up to Sheffield this weekend, so a full reliability report to follow!

Here's the new one and old one side by side during handover....

A milk stout needs milk!

Not Milk as in pints of white cow juice, oh no.  A milk stout is so called because it contains Lactose, which is a sugar detived from cow's milk, and gives the beer a delicate sweetness owing to the fact that yeast can't work on the lactose sugars to convert them into alcohol, leaving the beer with a full body and sweetish flavour.... so now you know!

Monday 20 June 2016

We are 3!!!!!

Well, we've made it to 3 years old!!!

The anniversary of Brew No.1 was on Saturday and, despite us not being around to brew, we're sticking with tradition and brewing this year's vintage of the first ever brew, "Statement of Intent", as we've done for the previous birthdays, this being the 4th version of the beer.

SOI is a 5.5%-ish golden IPA with, even for us, a pretty hefty hop charge.  The hops vary with each vintage and what the brewing team reckon are the best hops of the year...  the table below shows how this has changed with each brew of this beer!

Brew 001 180613 - CTZ, Summit, Magnum, Citra, Galaxy, Cascade
Brew 072 180614 - CTZ, Summit, Magnum, Citra, Galaxy, Cascade, Chinook
Brew 133 180615 - CTZ, Summit, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra
Brew 194 230616 - CTZ, Summit, Mosaic, Waimea, Citra

As you can see, Columbus (CTZ) and Summit are the big bolshy brutes which provide the bitterness and background flavour, whilst Citra has been a constant each brew for it's delicious fruity mangoey character... Mosaic has also been in the last two brews on account of it being plain delicious!

So, we brew on Wednesday, the first time we've not brewed on the actual anniversary but hey, we weren't coming in on Saturday to brew, although Gav was in to transfer beer and dry hop some tanks, whilst Gazza recovered from a party in Manchester!

Look out for Statement in 3 weeks or so, it's always worth a go for it's massive hop character because, as the name suggests, it's what we were set up to do.

Monday 13 June 2016

The cold liquor tank is operational!

Well, it's been a long time coming, and a lot of planning and blagging has gone into it, but now, just in time for the real heat of summer, our cold liquor tank is operational!

Here's my original plan for it, which as you can see is very fantastic and was, surprisingly, almost exactly what happened in the end!

So, I can hear everyone asking, what's a cold liquor tank?  Well, using the diagram of the brewing process below, look at vessel 10 - the heat exchanger - and you'll see a wiggly line inside which is the cold water "exchanging" heat with the hot wort.  So, even though the cold liquor tank doesn't actually feature in this diagram, it's a pretty important part of kit as we reckon it's saving us 30 minutes per brew when running off the wort to fermenter.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

New red beer

We're known, wrongly in my opinion, for just being brewers of pale and hoppy beers and our other brews scarcely get a mention in dispatches.  OK, I'd be the first to admit that we do major on the 4%-5% extra-pale hop-forward brews, principally because I like that style of beer the best, but I reckon some of our dark brews are just as good as the pales but get overlooked, criminally so on occasion.

Well, with that in mind, it's time for another "non-pale" brew to be created and so I've gone for a style which we've not really persisted with in the past, having created just a couple in 3 years, so it's definitely time "hoppy red", or "American red", or whatever you want to call it, gets - to use current trendy parlance - a "reboot"....

"American" red is a very different beast from "Irish" red; the US version is usually bitter-sweet and hoppy with a generally pretty repulsive tongue-curling burnt sweetness from crystal malt which, for some reason, yanks seem to love.  Irish red has this same rancid treacle toffee sweetness but almost no hops or bitterness meaning it tastes even more sickly-sweet and unbalanced...  and let's not even get into "Flemish" red which, although I absolutely adore it, would probably make most UK drinkers think they were on the Sarsons!

So, here's our latest red brew "Red Mist", but is it really American in style?  Well, in my opinion no, it isn't!  There's no crystal malt in the recipe - actually, there's never been any in the brewery full stop as Gazza loathes it - so we've made up the colour by some specialist German malts and the clever trick of "sparging over" some roasted barley to wash out colour but as little flavour as possible...

It's a red ale, but not as you probably know it... hopped with the bolshy, robust Columbus and fruity Chinook, this is a red different from most of it's peers; just like the brewery, really.