When I was growing up I was a big lad. No one loves a 17 stone 14 year old apart from the coach of the rugby team looking for a battering ram. The only time that I had a slow dance in the darkness of the school canteen was when one of the popular girls did it for a bet. One morning I learned that a rumour was circulating the school about Howe’s secret girlfriend. For a while I was delighted to hear that I was thought worthy of secret liaisons. This was until I found out that the girl’s name was Sara Lee™ and she was in fact a Black Forest Gateau. The originator of the rumour met with a nasty playground accident only hours later.
Enough of my miserable adolescence. This week’s brew is Kerry Katona’s Deep Frozen Black Forest Ale. The rumours of my love affair with this sublime piece of German gastronomy were not entirely without foundation. I once ate one half frozen because it wouldn’t thaw out fast enough. So what facets characterise a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte?
All these sound like typical aspects of a pretty good beer to me. So how am I going to set about achieving it?
Sweetness – high gravity and crystal malt
Creaminess - oats, roasted barley and cara malt
Chocolate - Brown and chocolate malts
Cherry and alcohol - Macerating sour cherries in neutral beer-derived spirit and adding this to the beer.
I’m going to cold condition at about -4, not to freeze distil but to try to disrupt the cherries and bring about a greater extraction of their goodness.
Why Kerry Katona? Kerry is the queen of frozen food. I firmly believe that in centuries to come she will no longer be remembered as the rough one out of Atomic Kitten and will rise to the status of the patron saint of frozen value food. God bless her for making barbeques slightly more affordable and a lot less wholesome.
Malt: Pale Ale, caramalt, crystal, brown, chocolate, rolled oats
Hops: Bramling Cross, Northdown, Pacific Gem
Yeast: Old English Ale