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Brew of the month – August 2017

Brew of the month!!!

A very tightly contested August vote off saw three different beers going for Brew of the Month! My Rye Saison, Mark’s Cloudwater Double IPA clone and Ed’s NEIPA. Ed’s NEIPA just sneaked ahead by 1 vote to win August’s award! Congratulations Ed!

Ed’s NEIPA

Ed’s recipe for the NEIPA is:

  • 6kg Pale malt
  • 1.4kg Oats
  • 0.5kg Wheat malt
  • 0.22kg Cara malt
  • 0.47kg Dextrine
  • 0.3kg Dextrose
  • 20g Columbus Hops @ 60 mins
  • 100g Citra Hops @ 0 mins
  • 100g Citra Hops @ day 2 Dry Hop
  • 100g El Dorado Hops @ day 4 Dry Hop
  • 100g Citra Hops @ day 4 Dry Hop
  • 100g El Dorado Hops @ day 6 Dry Hop
  • 100g Mosaic Hops @ day 6 Dry Hop
  • 1pkt Wyeast 1318 London Ale III Yeast

Ed brewed this to a 30L brew length and reports an OG of 1.072 and FG of 1.014 giving a final ABV of 7.6%. The 3 stage Dry Hop process builds the juicy hop aromas and creates that ‘murk’ typical of the style though with over 600g of hops in this beer it’s quite an expensive one to make! That said, it is absolutely worth brewing this beer as Ed’s NEIPA is just as good, if not better, than most of the commercially brewed examples available in this country! Yes, it really is ‘that’ good!

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August 2017 Meeting

With the sun beating down and cracking the flags outside, our August meeting kicked off in the basement of Cellar Bar with an almighty selection of beers to keep us suitably refreshed!

August’s Beers

Guy: Raspberry Wit (4.6%), Belgian Wit (5.6%)
Charlie, Evergreen Wheat (5.5%), Gooseberry Crumble Wheat (5.5%)
Ben: Rye Saison (7.3%), Goze (4.1%)
Chris: Black IPA (unknown!)
Mark: Cloudwater Double IPA Clone (8.6%)
Ed: NEIPA (7.5%)

Both Mark and Ed were vying for this months ‘Brew of the Month’ award but in a very close vote off Ed’s NEIPA just pipped Mark’s Cloudwater DIPA clone to the post! Both were absolutely fantastic big IPA’s and worthy of the title! Ed’s recipe will follow shortly for those wanting to have a go at it but brace yourselves… it’s got 620g of hops in it!

We’ll be back in September, normal place, normal time… See you there!

 

 

July 2017 Meeting

A combination of illness, terrible weather and the start of holiday season swiftly put an end to the June meeting but we were back in force for July!

July’s Beers:

  • Ed: Citra & Simcoe Pale, Blueberry Stout
  • Guy: Strawberry English Pale, Traditional English Bitter
  • Charlie: Redcurrant Wheat, Blueberry Wheat, Margarita Pizza Beer
  • Ben: Maibock, Rye Saison, Gose
  • Chris: Belgian Brune, Cider Kit
  • Neil: Cocoa Bourbon Stout

Fruit beers were clearly on our minds with this months selection, other than Charlie that is… He clearly had something else entirely in mind with his Margarita Pizza Beer! Mozzarella cheese, fresh Basil and homegrown Tomatoes all went into this creation… it was pretty unique to say the least and covered at least 2 of your 5-a-day!

All in all it was a cracking meet with another impressive selection of beers to be drunk! So many that we forgot to pick a Brew of the Month this time around but it’ll make a return in August!

Special Report: Recipe Roulette Brewday!

Waaaaay back in March we held our Recipe Roulette competition for 2017 and Chris’s Grains of Paradise Wit was crowned Champion! Part of his prize was that his recipe would be brewed by our friends at Top Rope Brewing and would be available for sale at The Cellar Bar over the summer! Pretty awesome stuff!

Here are a few photo’s from the brewday…

Mash ready for sparging
Sparge underway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s a lot of Coriander…
Boil in progress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transferring to the fermenters
All tucked away. Job done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By all accounts it sounds like Chris’s contribution was more akin to slave labour but good fun was had by all and it way amazing to see (and drink) the end result during our August Meet! Cheers!

Our first collaboration pump clip!
Cheers!

Brew of the month – May 2017

Brew of the month!!!

Second place in this years Recipe Roulette competition was my Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA! We tasted it again at the May meeting and it had matured enough to add Brew of the Month to its growing list of accolades!

The Recipe for Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA is:

  • 5.75kg German Pilsner Malt
  • 750g Munich Malt
  • 350g Crystal (20L) Malt
  • 25g Simcoe hops @ 60 minutes
  • 35g Simcoe hops @ 10 minutes
  • 45g Simcoe hops @ 0 minutes
  • 20g Smoked Chipotle Chillies @ 7days dry hop
  • 200g Simcoe hope @ 10days dry hop
  • 1packet Mangrove Jacks M42 New World Strong Ale yeast

I brew on a Grainfather and at this point was still having issues figuring out a Beersmith 2 profile for it! As a result the brewday was far from smooth and after a stepped mash at 50C for 20 minutes, 66C for 60 minutes and 75C for 10minutes I ended up with an OG of 1.074 (instead of 1.079). Final ABV was 6.8%, just about entry level for a Double IPA!

The smoked chillies were rehydrated with boiling water for 15 minutes and then cooled before they were added to the fermenter on day 7. The Simcoe dryhop followed 3 days later, with the finished beer bottled on day 17. It’s a bit cloudy in the photo above but with such a big dryhop this was always going to be the case but it will clear with time.

 

May 2017 Meeting

Normality is resumed!

The sunshine of May clearly had a positive effect on the Brew Crew and we had a bumper turnout and some amazing beers being showcased.

May’s Beers

  • Ben: Cwtch Kit, Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA
  • Chris: Belgian Brune, Cider Kit
  • Ed: Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Charlie: Banana Leaf & Tree Honey Wheat, “Feminist Paramilitary Death Squad” (a Fresh Tea and Coconut Treacle Beer), Redcurrant Oak Sour
  • Guy: Citra and Roast Barley Bitter

It goes without saying nowadays that Charlie’s incredible selection of ingredients resulted in some amazing beers but this months winner of Brew of the Month was my Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA. This is the beer I brewed for the Recipe Roulette competition back in March and the extra 2 months bottle aging has provided the final polishing touches. The recipe writeup will be on the website soon!

April 2017 Meeting

Once the dust settled…

Following the roaring success of our Recipe Roulette competition in March was always going to be a big ask and April’s meet was a distinctly quieter affair! So much so that I completely forgot about getting the blog write-ups done until now 3 months later… cough cough!

April’s Beers

  • Guy: Dunkel, Columbus Smash
  • Chris: English Bitter, American Brown
  • Ben: Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA

With such a small selection of beers on offer we decided that there wouldn’t be a Beer of the Month award this time around!

Brew of the month – March 2017

Brew of the month!!!

It will be no great surprise to you all that this months Brew of the month award goes to Chris’s Pioneer and Grains of Paradise Wit which was crowned Grand Champion at this months Recipe Roulette competition. Chris scored a mightily impressive 446 points out of possible 600 from the judges panel on the night to scoop the top prize, and I think there will be a lot of people wanting to brew this one for themselves in time for summer!

Wit beers are a Belgian Wheat ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance due to the high level of wheat that is used in the mash. They are always spiced, generally with coriander and orange peel but can include other spices and herbs in the background. Chris has probably gone a little ‘German’ on his recipe for the purists but this beer is so good I think we’ll let that slide on this occasion!

Chris’s recipe for the Pioneer and Grains of Paradise Wit is:

  • 3Kg Maris Otter Pale Malt
  • 3Kg German Wheat Malt
  • 20g Pioneer Hops @ 60mins
  • 25g Sweet Orange Curaçao peel @ 10mins
  • 25g Bitter Orange Curaçao peel @ 10mins
  • 50g Coriander seeds @ 10mins
  • 1pkt Mangrove Jacks Bavarian Wheat Beer Yeast M20
  • 5g Grains of Paradise (per gallon)

Chris brews on a Grainfather so used a stepped recirculation mash to mimic the complicated Mash profiles often used by German and Belgian brewers. He started with a Protein Rest for 30 minutes at 50C, followed by 30 minutes at 65C and then 30 minutes at 75C to Mash Out.

The brew was then split out into two parts and 1 gallon from the main 5 gallon batch was racked into a demi-john and Chris added the 5g of Grains of Paradise and pitched the yeast. The reported the OG was 1.065 and finished up around 1.018 to give an ABV of approximately 6.2%
The beer was fermented at 21C for 7days followed by 7days at 18C to release the banana and clove esters usually associated with this style of yeast.

Congratulations again Chris, I am looking forward to try this recipe out for myself and can’t wait for it to go on tap at the Cellar Bar in the next couple of months! Cheers!

 

March 2017 Meeting

March sees the culmination of our Recipe Roulette competition we set back in January. Out of the 18 entries picked a grand total of 16 were submitted for judging making this years competition over three times the size of last year!

That is a lot of beer!!!

Over the hours that followed our crack team of six judges tasted and scored each beer giving out a possible maximum of 600 points and gradually whittled them down to a Top 5. The judges then reconvened with fresh samples of these beers and as a group discussed their personal favorites and agreed on their final rankings!

The Judges!

Champion
Pioneer & Grains of Paradise Wit (446 points) – Chris W
Runner Up
Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA (416 points) – Ben
3rd Place
Goldings & Chocolate Milk Stout (414 points) – Ed
4th Place
Hallertauer & Chamomile Pale (380 points) – Neil
5th Place
Saaz & Salt Gose (370 points) – Charlie

I think it is fair to say that Chris was pretty surprised when his beer was announced as the Champion for 2017 but with judges comments including “amazing flavours”, “lovely beer” and “Everything a Wit should be!” it was clearly a resounding success and a well justified choice for 1st place!

Champion Chris! (and Ben from Top Rope!)

Chris takes home a £20 voucher from Cellar Bar, a Beer Tasting Masterclass for 4 people from Brewhouse & Kitchen, a Stainless Steel False Bottom from Grainfather, a bottle of Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout from Cloudwater and most importantly Chris’s Wit beer will be brewed commercially by our friends at Top Rope Brewing and will be available on tap at Cellar Bar ready for Summer! Brilliant!

Overall 2017’s competition worked really well and I hope everyone who came along had a brilliant night! It would have been totally impossible to have held this event without all the people involved from both Cheshire Brew Crew and the Liverpool Homebrew club, our judges who selflessly gave up their time to battle through all the weird and wonderful creations the entrants had come up with, and of course the unbelievable generosity from Cellar Bar, Top Rope Brewing, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Malt Miller, Brew UK, Grainfather and Cloudwater for their donations to the prize pots! Thank you to everybody!!!

Cheers!

 

February 2017 Meeting

Storm Doris 1:0 Homebrewers!

Unfortunately the February meeting was a bit weather affected and after Storm Doris had finishing lashing the Northwest with 70mph winds only three hardy homebrewers ventured outside in the evening! Special thanks to Neil and Ed for braving the elements too!

As there is very little beer to talk about this month I’ll take the opportunity to update you all on the Recipe Roulette competition set last month. We have 18 confirmed recipe picks and thanks to the amazing generosity of Cellar Bar, Top Rope Brewing, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Grainfather, BrewUK and Malt Miller those homebrewers are competing for a prize pot which is pretty darn amazing! So, here we go!

1st place
Your beer commercially brewed by our friends at Top Rope Brewing!
A Brewhouse & Kitchen Beer Masterclass for four people
£20 Cellar Bar Voucher
A Grainfather Growler & Yeast selection

2nd place
£25 BrewUK Voucher
£10 Cellar Bar Voucher
A Brewhouse & Kitchen Growler & TShirt

3rd Place
£25 MaltMiller Voucher
£10 Cellar Bar Voucher
A Brewhouse & Kitchen Glass & Keyring

Now I think you’ll agree, that is something a bit special!

I hope you’re competition beers are all going to plan and we’ll see you all on Thursday 30th March at Cellar Bar, Chester!