Tuesday, 26 January 2010


This morning I have tasted the trappist IPA in bottle and the barley wine and chilli IPA in fv/cask. All are encouraging. Either the yeast or the high level of hop compounds in the IPA are causing issues with clarity, otherwise it’s a very pleasant drink (in an extremely in your face kind of way).

The Barley wine is particularly good which almost certainly means that it will go wrong in the bottle. I am bottling this and a 9%ABV version of our Winter Berry on Thursday.
The 2% Lactic beer fermented out in a day so will meet the deviant microbes in a cask tomorrow. It does taste a bit rough so hopefully infecting it with beer spoilage organisms is the best way to improve it.

I had failed to appreciate how much work 52 brews was going to be. Although enjoyable it is adding a couple of extra hours to my 70 hour week. With the arrival of Feb comes the start of my Masters dissertation on environmental management in SMEs. By June I will be wearing a catheter to save time on toilet breaks and by August will have probably run out of time to breathe.


As Steven Segal once said, "keeping busy helps silence the weeping heart."

15 comments:

ZakAvery said...

Maybe you can parti-gyle a few of them to save time?

Is the Winter Berry the one you did with Adrian? Did you slyly divert some of the first runnings for a stonger version?

Stuart Howe said...

Nice suggestion Zak. As on the ball as ever!

It's a 50/50 split of first runnings which have been boiled with some more Bramling Cross and some extra glucose and the uncut wort from the tail end of the hop back all fermented with Sharp's yeast. At this level of concetration the dark winter ale moves over into the porter territory.

ZakAvery said...

That's something I've been pondering - wort concentration vs. grain bill, and how that affects the beer. Is "imperial porter" really a stout, or just very concentrated porter? But I sense that you don't have the time at present to help me resolve my musings.

Stuart Howe said...

That's a tough one Zak. It depends on the grist composition and the colour of the white malt being used. Roasted barley give you 1000 EBC of colour. Pale ale malts can give you up to 10EBC. 100kg of pale therefore gives you the same colour as 1kg of Roasted. The flavour from this colour would not be the same as that from the roast as the carbs in the pale haven't been burned. High extract concentrations have high levels of colours and flavours but they won't have the roasted notes characteristic of roasted barley, chocolate and black malts. High white malt extract concentrations will just make the beer rich in flavour but not 'stouter'. High concentrations of roasted grains will. Confused?

ZakAvery said...

Not at all - having done a microbrew of an IPA with a local brewery using purely pale malt, but lots of it for a high OG wort, I was surprised at how dark it came out.

I suppose my question is, does a higher concentration of porter (less liquor/higher OG on a "normal" recipe) make it a stout? Or just a concentrated/imperial porter?

Stuart Howe said...

I would say no becuase the necessary roast/burnt dryness of a stout can only come from a greater proportion of roasted grains. The overall colour increase resulting from higher overall extract concentration would be accompanied by a greater fullness rather than a greater degree of 'stoutness'.

It of course depends on the individual's perception of the distinction between at porter and a stout.

ZakAvery said...

Excellent. I can now start compiling the errata for my forthcoming book before it's released.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

"It of course depends on the individual's perception of the distinction between at porter and a stout."

Absolutely! the whole musing revolves around the assumption that there A is a distinction and B that the distinction is in line with what World Beer Cup / BJCP guidelines say.

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