Friday 9 April 2010

16. Heston's Offal Ale

George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest and he answered “because it’s there.” Someone asked me why I wanted to brew a beer with offal and I gave the same answer. They then pointed out that it was a stupid answer. I tended to agree.

Perhaps Heston’s offal ale is a satire on the beers which are brewed using innovative techniques which have no demonstrable bearing on the flavour of the finished beer. Perhaps it’s a dig at the claims of marketers that make about how particular locations, water supplies or claddings around the outside of sealed stainless vessels are somehow important to flavour or the integrity of a brand. Maybe it’s just a bit of benign innovation.

I should (owing to legal pressure from Little Chef PLC) at this point mention that the soubriquet Heston is a reference to the services on the M4 and not to the father of snail porridge, Mr Blumenthal.

From the offal I am hoping to get a different dimension to this beer. Without any intended pun I want this beer to have more body than any other beer. I am after real gratifying fullness. A beer akin to your mother’s best stew on a cold winter’s day (assuming your mum’s stew is any good of course).

To cope with the expected effects of the offal I am making the base beer dark, strong and very bitter.

I am going to trim the obvious fat off of the meat (liver, kidney and heart) and then grill it to render off as much cellular fat as possible. Fat destroys foam and gives rancid flavours as it ages so I need to prevent as much as possible from getting in the beer. The meat is then going into the wort at the start of the boil and will be boiled for an hour or so before being sieved out and eaten.

Fermentation will be warm and rapid using a lot of yeast to absorb as much fat and iron as possible.

Tech Specs:

Malt: Tipple, Black, Crystal, Chocolate

Hops: Apollo, Northern Brewer, Summit

Yeast: Old English Ale

OG: 1090


Séan Billings said...

You sir, are mental.
I hope it goes well for you, but I really can't see this yielding a pleasant beer.

Peter Brissenden said...

There is a very old recipe that uses a flayed cockerel in the fermentation:

Worth giving it a go perhaps?

Ed said...

Not sure about this one, you know what happened to George Mallory...

Crown Brewery said...

what do think to summit? I've got some but don't know what I'm using it in yet.

Ed said...

Well we'll never know but sadly I don't think he summited myself ;-)

Mark Dredge said...

This could well be the perfect beer for beef and ale pie...

BeerReviewsAndy said...

this is just mental....

Stuart Howe said...

Thanks for the comments. The wort tastes good, kind of like a bittersweet broth.

All I have managed to get out of Summit is brutal bitterness so far. That is what I was after in this one. Both that and Apollo are so high in resin that I think bitterness will always dominate their contribution.

Maybe in honour of Mallory I should stick Heston's in the freezer when it's done and go for the worlds record stongest offal-flavoured beer?

As for the flayed cock, that would bring back too many memories of a stag weekend in Croatia!

Anonymous said...

Ok, this sounds bonkers.

Oysters, I can go with. Offal, as much as I like, and I can see the principle, I still would scratch my head.

you, sir, are cleverly bonkers and I wish you all the success with this fantastic slice of craziness!

Anonymous said...

You seem to have reinvented Mercer's Meat Stout

(see here)

How's it maturing?

Stuart Howe said...

Martyn hi, Have indeed read the meat stout post. Goes to show there's no such thing as originality. When Heston was racked into the barrel for maturation the flavour was interesting. Interesting in this regard is not a euphemism for gastly. May be a nice beer given a while. It's hard to taste it objectively though, knowing what has gone into it.

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