Saturday, 11 September 2010

Brown Ale

Autumn Daze.jpg

The time has come and we are brewing yet another new recipe. This time its a brown ale and Graham (my boss) has designed a recipe that will be his most adventurous yet on our current kit.

Six different malts and one hop at 4.8% abv. This gravity takes it into the "Northern brown ale" catagory which suits me!

We are brewing it on Wednesday next week and it should be ready by the end of the month and first tastings will be at Basingstoke's Octoberfest beer and food festival on the 2nd & 3rd of October.

It will be available throughout October all across the South.

Exciting News

We got some exciting news this week. After filing in an online application form for the Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards, it seems as though we have been selected to go through to the judging round!

I couldn't quite believe it when the nice lady on the phone said she was calling from BBC Radio 4, it was like the the world slowed down for a brief second. Silly I know but it was quite exciting.

They only wanted small samples so I'm conducting an experiment with some beer bottles. We don't actually bottle our beer so this was a minor challenge and I'm hoping this is going to work.

I have basically filled some sanitised bottles with bright beer straight from the cask, leaving very little headspace and crown capped them. Not exactly rocket science I know, but I've not actually bottled bright beer before so I don't know how long it will stay good and I need it to be as good as the moment it was bottled. Hopefully, this will be at least 24hrs and tonight I'll test them. Will they still have some life? Will they be oxidised? Probably not?

Anyway, it looks like I'm going to be taking some beer up to London next week and I'm really looking forward to it because I will hopefully get to see some old work mates and catch up with a bit of gossip.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Windsor Yeast

We fancied a change so we thought we would give Windsor yeast a go.

It was the source of much merriment the morning after it was pitched....

Gently Does it.....

You learn something everyday and brewing is no exception. To follow up on a previous post, we have learned that when dry hopping when you haven't got much headroom in your vessel, is best done slowly.......very slowly.

Enough said.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Well I'll go t'foot of our stairs!

Well, I'm amazed!

No increase in duty on alcohol in todays budget.

I didn't think we would escape but it seems we have.

20% VAT is quite a hike but I was expecting that one anyway.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Brewed our IPA

We brewed our IPA today which was very exciting because we brewed a full 40 BBL instead of the usual 30BBL as used to be the norm for our seasonal beers.

The seasonals have become so popular that we are now having to brew them to the full 40 BBL brewlength and 2 brews a month to keep up with demand, that's 320 casks a month.

What made today especially exciting was not the fact that we added around 40kg of whole leaf hops (Glad I'm not the one who will be digging them out tomorrow!) but we will be dry hopping it in a few days time with hop pellets in the fermenter.

When we brewed it the first time to 30 BBL brewlength, there was plenty of room for the expansion of foam as the pellets where being added to the fermenter. The whole brew seemed to rise by about a third. However, now we don't really have the room for the expected expansion so things could get very exciting indeed.

We could........just throw the pellets in and quickly batten down the hatches- not recommended- but instead we will add the pellets bit by bit over the course of a few hours and hopefully all will be well, hopefully. We don't really know 'cos we've not done it before, like I said....exciting.

If, you want to try our IPA it's called Alton's Pale Ale and is 4.8% abv. It will be ready in about 14 days and you should start seeing it around Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and Wiltshire. It will also be at the GBBF this year along with Alton's Pride our 3.8% abv session bitter.

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