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.