Tuesday, 25 January 2011

2010 Single Brew Reserve in 2011 with Bobek and Pamela Anderson

Once a year I like to treat myself to a solo full scale brew and make our bottled beer Single Brew Reserve. Last year I didn’t manage it as I was distracted by 52 brews, 60% volume growth, 4 too few brewers, 18 regular brands and a partridge in a pear tree. That is why Single Brew Reserve 2010 was brewed last Friday which even if you are Chinese is in 2011. The solo aspect of the brew was also somewhat less solo than is traditional thanks to assistance from the crown prince of the brewhouse Wes. If it’s any consolation it is a one off!


For the last 3 years I have stuck the same recipe because it has been popular and I didn’t want to upset anyone. This year I have changed it. Not because I want to upset people but because the Hallertauer Brewer’s Gold which are key to SBR’s flavour are a bit crap (technical brewing term) this year. This (last) year’s SBR is a very selfish beer because I have opted to use only my favourite hop. “Which is your favourite hop Stuart?” I hear you say. She is Bobek, a fragrant and mild Slovenian with a delicate and diminutive cone. Some brewer’s have posters of the American hops on their messroom wall. American hops are like Pamela Anderson in her prime, stunning, exciting but simple and partially synthetic (I know that she's Canadian). Bobek is an unassuming beauty and her allure is rediscovered with each meeting, a beauty of which one could never tire. She’s too classy to be spread across a poster. Don’t get me wrong, I love American hops it’s just that I feel that Bobek eclipses them.

In this homage to Bobek the malt can only ever play a supporting role. Although a supporting role, the correct degree of caramel, sweetness and depth is vital to adequately frame the beauty of the hop. High colour, well-modified pale and 140 crystal are used to give a deep golden colour and that full caramel sweetness. Bobek is added at first wort, copper up, hop back and finally at 1kg per hectolitre to the conditioning tank. The result of this hopping regime lays bare all that Bobek can be, from sharp bitterness through sumptuous density to fragrant citrus and pine. I have just noticed that I have drifted into my fantasy of what this beer will turn out like. It’s currently in CT16 where it will sit soaking up what Bobek cares to give for a couple of weeks before it travels to the bottlers for filtration and bottle conditioning. At the moment it’s so far so good.

Single Brew Reserve 2010 will be available from mid February. Thank you Wes and thank you Bobek.

8 comments:

BeerReviewsAndy said...

sounds great, i loved the 2009 batch.

ps tried to email you earlier but your inbox was full again, you must be popular after all your press coverage, either that or you've kept all those emails offering you various pills and watches.

Beard Beer Blogger said...

I have been searching for a while, can't find any bobek for the homebrewer here in the states. Is there a comparable variety i might be able to substitute that might give me a similar profile?

Jamie said...

Love the Brewers reserve, but am really excited by this. Have had a yearning to explore the wonders of Slovenia (hop wise) recently, especially this beauty.

I wait with baited breath!

J

Simon Johnson said...

I've a few Bobek-ish beers where other hop additions have muddied its effects; a full-on Bobek-i-fied beer will be interesting stuff indeed.

Stuart Howe said...

Thanks for your comments gents. Too kind too kind.

Closest match is the Styrian Golding Mr Beard Blogger

Gordon said...

How about a post describing the subtle differences between hops in the Styrian camp. Do Celeia and Bobek have the same flavour or aroma; they are generally sold as Styrian Goldings by Farams. Are Styrian Golding distinct from the fore-mentioned? I'd bedelighted if you could shed some light.

Stuart Howe said...

Gordon hi,

Honoured to be asked. I will try to come up with something when I get a minute. There is a lot of conflicting information about Styrians, Bobek, Celeia, Fuggles, Savinja Golding, Savinski Golding and Aurora.

Gordon said...

I await enlightenment with baited breath Mr Howe. I've used what were called Styrian Goldings when homebrewing, which had a delicious piney edge that you mentioned. Then I used Celeia and they had the same wonderful fruity edge (tinned fruit salad?) and aromatic, but sadly lacking on the pine front. Perhaps it's all about addition time?

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