Brew of the month – January 2019 (Part 1)

Brew of the month!!!

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!

raspberry ripple

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!

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 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!

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.


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!


Brew of the month – January 2017

Brew of the month!!!

The January Brew of the month voting was a very tight affair with such a good selection of high quality beers being showcased at the meeting. Just able to sneak ahead (by 1 vote) to clinch the top award this month was… Ed’s Black Double IPA! Congratulations!

Ed is a two time winner, and this Double IPA is another cracker! Weighing in at 7.9% the roasted Chocolate and malt undertones are well balanced out by a big American hop bill. Belgian Candi Sugar helps bump up the fermentable sugars and two packs of White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast do the hard work before nearly another pack of hops goes in as a Dry Hop!

Ed’s Black Double IPA

Ed’s recipe for the Black Double IPA is:

  • 7kg Pale malt
  • 0.3kg Crystal malt (60L)
  • 0.3kg Carafa III malt
  • 0.3kg Chocolate malt
  • 0.45kg Dark Candi Sugar
  • 50g Columbus Hops @ 60 mins
  • 57g Citra Hops @ 15 mins
  • 85g Citra Hops @ flame out
  • 57g Pacific Jade Hops @ flame out
  • 2 vials White Labs 007 yeast
  • 71g Nelson Sauvin Hops @ 7day Dry Hop

The brew length for this was 25l and Ed reports an OG of 1.084 and a FG of 1.024. All in all this was another quality IPA from Ed following on from his Blood Orange IPA which won Octobers Brew of the Month! Well done Ed, and long may you continue to bring down award winning IPA’s for us to sample in the future!


Brew of the month – October 2016

November’s Brew of the Month award was so well received that I had a number of requests for October’s winner to get a write up too!

In October the meeting was held at the Brewhouse & Kitchen Bar and one of the many beers sampled that evening was a Blood Orange IPA brought along by newcomer Ed who had brewed the to offer at his own wedding. It came in a specially labelled bottle and was really something quite special!

That’s just showing off!!


Ed’s recipe for the Blood Orange IPA is:

  • 14.75kg American 2-Row malt (85% of grain bill)
  • 1.6kg Flaked Wheat (9% of grain bill)
  • 1.2kg Crystal malt (20L) (6% of grain bill)
  • 55g Columbus Hops @ 60 mins
  • 25g Citra Hops @ 15 mins
  • 25g Citra Hops @ 5 mins
  • 86g Citra Hops @ flame out
  • 2 vials Wyeast 1056 yeast
  • 85g Citra Hops and 55g Galaxy Hops @ 7day Dry Hop
  • 1.2l Blood Orange juice & Zest added to FV @ 7days

Ed’s recipe is scaled for a 56l brew length and these grain weights are approximate as he only supplied me with percentages and the OG to aim for! If you want to brew this recipe please make sure you plug these numbers into your own brewing software to ensure they stack up for your system!

Ed used a simple infusion mash at 66C for 60 minutes and ended up with an OG of 1.074. The FG for this beer was 1.018 giving an ABV of 7.4% but this is totally disguised by the late additions of all that Citra and the Blood Orange juice and this drinks like a session IPA! Danger! Danger!

Ed’s Blood Orange IPA

Congratulations Ed for your Brew of the Month award and I know this is definitely a recipe that I’ll be trying out in the future! Cheers!

Brew of the month – November 2016

Brew of the Month!!!

Starting this month I thought it would be great to give some recognition to the brew which the consensus of the group considered the best beer sampled that session. Of course, me being me, I meant to do this a couple of months ago but instead left it until November, when the standard of beers brought along was phenomenal and the decision for Brew of the Month wasn’t as clear cut as it might have been previously!

Fortunately the split decision between Brew 1 and Brew 2 was made a lot simpler as both beers came from the same brewer, so it is nice and easy to say that the round of applause this month goes to…. Mark!

Mark brought along two Saisons to our November meeting. The first was a Rye Saison which was full of peppery spice and certainly ticked a lot of boxes for some of the group. The second was a Tropical Saison laden with New Zealand hops giving it a massive Citrusy fruity kick! Rye isn’t to everyone’s taste and as that beer split the group a little bit the award this month goes to the Tropical Saison!

Mark’s Tropical Saison


Mark’s recipe for the Tropical Saison is:

  • 4kg Dingemanns pils
  • 0.3kg Dingemanns wheat
  • 0.4kg Weyermann vienna
  • 27g Rakau Hops @ 60 mins
  • 40g Motueka Hops @ 10 mins
  • 20g Rakau Hopsat @ 5 mins
  • 30g Motueka Hops @ flame out.
  • 1packet Mangrove Jacks French Saison M29 yeast
  • 30g Motueka Hops and 30g Rakau Hops @ 8day Dry Hop

Mark brews on a Grainfather and this recipe was scaled for 20l final volume as he was planning for a quick brew day and this would fit nicely in a Corny keg and avoid any bottling! He makes good use of the Grainfathers high efficiency rates. OG was 1.050 and FG 1.003 making the ABV 6.2%

So there we go! The inaugural Brew of the Month award is, uh, awarded! I hope you enjoy brewing this recipe as much as we enjoyed sampling it! Congratulations Mark, we’re looking forward to seeing what you brew next!