The quality of beers on offer this month was truly exceptional! Nicki’s Double Grapefruit IPA, Chris’s Chilli Stout, Charlie’s Three Bean Stout, Guy’s Braggot, and Ed’s selection of Stout’s are all worthy of mention and each of them could have won Brew of the Month on any other occasion!
The victor though, with 4 votes, was Charlie’s Three Bean Stout. Cacao, Tonka Bean and Coffee, all blended into a barrel aged, 12% Stout. Absolutely fantastic. Well done Charlie!
Even the arctic weather couldn’t deter six hardy souls from coming to our second January Meeting though it has to be said there was a pretty limited representation of our homebrewing talents with only 3 beers on offer! That being said, the quality of the brews was fantastic as always and a good night was had by all!
Due to the limited offering this month we didn’t vote for a Brew of the Month!
After taking a break last year, 2019 sees the return of our Recipe Roulette competition! For this year we have been donated some hops by the generous folks at Top Rope Brewing added to which is a randomly picked ingredient from a very varied selection! The draw is as follows:
Ben: Topaz & Fresh Herbs
Chris: Topaz & Cardamom Pods
Ed: Boadicea & Coriander
Guy: Topaz & Fruit
Matt: Apollo & Ginger
John: Fusion & Star Anise
Nicki: Bravo & Vanilla
Charlie: Boadicea & Tea
Mark: Apollo & Coffee
Simon: Fusion & Cinnamon
Nick W: Bravo & Chilli
Graham: Experimental 07270 & Heather Flowers
There are some spare picks so if I have missed anyone from the list please give me a shout and I will add you on!
The competition will be judged at the April meeting on Thursday 25th April and the prize pot up for grabs currently includes donations from Top Rope Brewing, Grainfather, Cloudwater and Cellar Bar with more still to be confirmed!
The first meet of 2019 showcased a wide variety of beers but the standout favourite amongst all the drinkers was Charlie’s Raspbery Ripple Pale Ale! Congratulations Charlie!
Charlie’s recipe for the Raspberry Ripple is:
2kg Pale malt
0.02kg Crystal malt
0.02kg Wheat malt
30g Green Homegrown Hops @ 60 mins
20g Chinook Hops @ 10 mins
1 pkt Safale Ale Yeast
600g Raspberries (frozen then thawed)
15ml Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Custard Powder
Charlie brewed this to just 2 litres volume using a standard 60 minute infusion mash and reports as OG of 1.052 and a final ABV of around 5%. The fruit was freshly picked from his garden, frozen and thawed to break down the cell walls in the fruit, and then added to the fermenter along with the vanilla and custard powder after 1 week of fermentation had passed.
While it’s tricky to see in this photo the Raspberries have given the beer an amazing red colour and the additions of vanilla and custard powder have taken away a lot of the tartness you would expect leaving a very drinkable summer pale!
Perfect for early January then!
Off to a freezing cold start in 2019 with our belated Christmas Meet, kindly hosted this week by Beer Heroes Chester! From those that braved the cold we had quite a varied selection of beers being showcased this month.
January’s Beers (Part 1)
Charlie: Birch Sap Pale, Mulberry Pale, Raspberry Ripple Pale
Ben: Jaipur Clone, Simcoe & Chilli DIPA, Epic Pale Ale
Ivor: Northdown IPA v1, Northdown IPA v2, Strawberry Northdown IPA, Barley Wine
Ivor brought a selection of beers made on his new brew kit. Three variations of a Northdown, Challenger & Fuggles IPA and also a new Barley Wine.
I delved deep into the bottle stores and brought along a selection of old beers brewed in 2017/2018. Some had lasted better than others and it was clear that glass bottles were far better for long term storage than plastic. The two beers stored plastic bottles had not aged successfully to say the least!
Charlie brought along three variations of his green hopped Pale Ale. The first flavoured with Birch sap, the second with Mulberries and the third he named as a Raspberry Ripple Pale. Loaded with nearly 1.5kg of fruit per litre and sweetened with custard powder this was a real crowd pleaser and rightly the winner for the first ‘Brew of the Month’ award of 2019!
Ok, so strictly we were never gone, life just conspired against me to make sure that I just didn’t have the time to write about our meets on here to tell anyone otherwise!
In review of 2018; our Recipe Roulette competition took a well earned break for this year, we welcomed a few new faces to our club, we took a road trip to Brewcon London in November and most importantly beer was brewed! More beer than you can shake a stick at, and the quality of it all was truly inspiring! All in, it was a brilliant year! Roll on 2019!
More details will come in the coming months but as a sneak peak here is what to look forward to from us next year!
More Competitions! Recipe Roulette 2019 and another closely guarded secret competition later in the year!
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 recipe for the NEIPA is:
6kg Pale malt
0.5kg Wheat malt
0.22kg Cara malt
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!
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!
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!
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…
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!
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.