Friday 17 December 2010

48. Imperial Hoisin Beer

The 52 brews has seemingly captured people’s imagination. Today I have spoken to a lady from BBC World Service in Brazil, a man from the Brewer’s Guardian and received an e-mail from the Tripe Academy (yes there is Tripe Academy) asking me if I would consider brewing a tripe and onion beer to help raise the profile of tripe in the UK. The prospect of becoming the face of tripe in the UK fills me with the kind of excitement normally associated with an X factor contestant. I have also heard that Mr Blumenthal who Heston’s Offal Ale is not really a tribute to (honest) is interested in tasting his namesake and some is wending its way to him. It all illustrates the power of the media or really the power of Mark Dredge!

Interestingly hoisin translates as seafood even though the sauce is not derived from or associated with fish or fish dishes. For me the crispy duck course is the highlight of any Chinese meal and failing to control myself when faced with a big plate of duck has ruined many a main course and led to arguments about which fat b4stard has eaten all the pancakes. Hoisin is the crispy duck sauce which with the julienne salad balances the full and fatty duck so perfectly. This is beginning to sound like a food blog.

Commercial hoisin is bean-derived starch, sugar, vinegar, chilli and a few other spices. My hoisin beer will be designed to have the features of hoisin, namely sweetness, sharpness, fullness and juiciness. The sharpness will be contributed by the maceration in sour kea plums which I have just found in the brewery freezer. They were left in there after they were too sour for a seasonal beer a couple of years ago. Everything else will be from malts, hops and spices.

Thick sweetness will be conferred by a high rate of low colour cara and crystal malts along with a hot and thick mash. Spices will come from chilli and Chinese five spice and juiciness from late hopping with Aurora. I am hoping that the beer will good for sipping with a meal rather than dunking pancakes into.

Tech spec:

Malt: Low colour cara, pale ale, 80 crystal

Hops: Perle and Aurora

Yeast: Belgian Strong

Spices: Kea plums, chili, Chinese 5 spice

OG: 1081


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