It’s been a busy week. On top of my normal fraught working duties with sales growth at 60% compared to last year I’ve been out at St Austell Brewery looking at Roger Ryman’s shiny new bottling line and spent a very pleasant day in Dorset including playing with Toby Heasman’s centrifuge. That’s this week’s excuse for being slack on the blogging duties. That’s three breweries I have visited in a week. It’s always enjoyable to see other breweries particularly ones with nearly 3 centuries of history under their belts. It’s also nice to spend time with other Head Brewers who are really good blokes. Although we are all in competition for beer sales there is a tangible feeling of brotherhood between us. At least I like to think so!
So where am I with the 52 brews? The formerly chestnut-less porter has been racked into casks with the roast chestnuts. It’s sweet but there is plenty of drying roast notes, bitterness and alcohol to provide balance. It was nearly a very expensive brew because my first attempt at roasting them nearly set fire to brewery.
The Dark Saison has ripped down through the fermentables and is at a very dry final gravity of around 6 degrees making it slightly stronger than I was anticipating. This will be racked tomorrow and stored until next season in the cellar.
I was due to do a 2% red ale this week but I got carried away on Thursday and brewed what is potentially a 12% red ale. I’ll do the 2% red next week. The strong red is reddened with the use of rye crystal this should also give a tartness to break up the residual sugar on the palate. What should also help is very potent Willamette hop tea added to the fermentation vessel. This evening I have the first brews in bottles to tuck into with some pork fillet marinated in the ESB Barley Wine. All in the cause of quality control of course