AG#18 Transatlanticism – Porter

I brewed this beer for the Roosters Brewing Co. / Leeds Homebrew competition.  I didn’t write it up on the blog at the time as we were asked by the organisers/judges to keep our entries anonymous.  It won.  On Friday I went along to Roosters to brew it on their pilot kit.

Ol Fozzard (Head Brewer/Roosters) made it clear throughout the process that this was my beer.  He had no interest in changing it from the beer the judges chose.  At times I found this a challenge, brewing a beer I had only brewed once before, on an unfamiliar kit and knowing that a limited number of bottles would eventually be sold to the discerning public.  Ol did lead the brewday, no doubt, but each time there was a decision to be made I was left to mumble my way through it.  The beer is a hop-forward Porter, meaning that in the first instance I aimed to brew a Black IPA, made it too roasty (possibly) and voila! a hop-forward Porter.  We stuck with this, but substituted some of the crystal malt for brown malt and added some flaked barley for head retention/body.

The reason for entering these competitions is for fun and for the opportunity to get some impartial feedback on my beer.  Another reason for me is to gain experience from the brewday that usually forms part of the prize.  As well as a day off work and the chance to get inside a brewery, I try to learn something new.  This can be tricky when there is so much information to take in.  Brewing with Ol, a guy with over ten years commercial experience, gave me time to watch what he was doing and ask a fair few questions.  Whereas a typical brewday for me at home, bearing in mind that I’ve only brewed 20 beers, is a repetition of the process I know.  I become more familiar with my kit, and might make fewer errors, like closing all the taps or adding the finings at the right moment, but I wouldn’t say I’m learning more about the brewing process.  Ol didn’t come from a homebrewing background and as such he has learnt from the brewers at Daleside, Copper Dragon and most recently his time working alongside Sean Franklin as the brewery was handed over.  He doesn’t use brewing software, bar the odd spreadsheet and has learnt the maths.  One such equation can be seen below.  This was used as we stood and scaled up the malt bill from my 23L brew.  Total malt extract value multiplied by kg’s, divided by brewlength, multiplied by brew kit efficiency, equals OG.  In this case we looked at the pale malt and the munich.  A useful calculation.

The second learning point (or more a starting point for more reading) was regarding pH.  I haven’t concerned myself with pH while brewing at home.  I have brewed a few times and have not had feedback to suggest off-flavours of that nature.  I use minimal water treatments and haven’t read/applied much in the way of water profiles to suit beer style.  It appears I have got away with it this far, but should take note that the styles of beer traditonally coming out of London, Burton upon Trent and Dublin were no coincidence.  Being aware of the pH of your local water supply, routinely checking it before you start brewing and adjusting it accordingly, depending on your malts, will help the conversion of sugars during the mash, and among other things, it will affect the flavour of the finished beer.  In the case of my Porter and the inclusion of roasted malt (Carafa III) the acidity needed to be taken into account.  Ol knows the water for his brewery and knows exactly how he will treat it for the beers they brew.   During the brew the pH was measured no fewer than five times: HLT (and adjusted), mash, sparge, run off from sparge and post boil.

…all malts (and dark malts in particular) have phosphates in them that react with the calcium and magnesium ions in alkaline water freeing up H+ ions that make the mixture acidic.  Adding malt, especially dark malt, lowers the pH of the malt water mixture in the mash – BeerSmith ‘understanding pH’.

I won’t try to talk any more about pH as I need to learn about it first, and I know there will be more than a few homebrewers who will read this and wonder why I’m heralding this is as a gem of information.  It’s just new to me, that’s all.

Finally, the finer details.

Original Gravity (OG): 1.062
Final Gravity (FG): 1.010
Alcohol (ABV): 7.3% (if the yeast stops!)
Colour (SRM): 16.7 (EBC): 32.9
Bitterness (IBU): 61.0 (Average)

Golden Promise Pale Malt
Munich I
Caramalt
Brown Malt
Flaked Barley
Carafa III (in the mash)
Carafa III (before sparge)

Simcoe (boil)
Cascade (boil)
Chinook (boil)
Cascade (Dry for 5 days in FV)
Centennial (Dry for 5 days in FV)

I’m told (this morning) that the fermentation has been steady and the smells from the FV are promising.  With a bit of luck the beer will make its way safely into bottles and you’ll be able to buy it from Beer Ritz (Headingley) and online.  A few people have asked when it will be available and I don’t have the answer to that, but I’ll be tweeting about it along with @RoostersBrewCo, @RoostersTom and @RoostersOl.  Can’t wait to see and taste the finished beer.  Tom had drafted the label and it was looking great!

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AG#18/19 Roosters Homebrew Competition Brew

I brewed a beer for the Roosters Homebrew competition/battle.  The chaps at the brewery have made every effort to make the judging process anonymous, so there were no brewday Tweets *sad face* and I’ll post the recipe details after the judging has taken place.

I split my wort and boiled it up with two different hop combinations and then fermented with two different yeast strains.  I haven’t tried doing this before, but hope it will be a good way to learn something….not sure what, but something! My favourite of the two will be my competition entry.

If you want to get involved in the competition, you have just enough time to get a brew on!  The deadline is Friday 14th September and you need to get your bottles to either Beer Ritz in Headingley or Friends of Ham in Leeds City Centre.  Judging will take place on Saturday 15th September and the winner will need to be available to brew their beer at Roosters brewery on Friday October 12th.

Full entry details on the Leeds Homebrew blog (linked above).

A Baby-Faced Assassin

Having recently received a bottle of Roosters Brewing Co. Baby-Faced Assassin India Pale Ale I was of course interested in drinking it, but also keen to learn a little bit more about how it made it to my house.

In the last couple of years I have become a homebrewer as well as someone who seeks out new places to buy beer so that I can try as many as I can.   These two past times crossed paths when I started buying my beer from Beer Ritz and sharing the odd Tweet with other beer fans as I drank them.  Through Twitter and then beer blogs I learnt that Tom Fozzard, working at Beer Ritz at the time and now of Roosters Brewing Co., is a keen homebrewer.  I’d read about one of his bathroom-brews via Real Ale Reviews and got to read more about the brewer through Beer Reviews – ‘Meet the Brewer’.  The brew was Baby-Faced Assassin (BFA) IPA, but I didn’t get the chance to try the beer at that time.   Fast forward only a matter of months and the news breaks that brothers Tom and Oliver Fozzard are to take over the reigns at the Roosters Brewery from Sean & Alison Franklin.

Baby-Faced Assassin was conceived as a home-brew recipe in the back office of Beer Ritz in Headingley, Leeds, on a dark winters afternoon in early 2011 – Tom Fozzard

Since that news, I understand that the Fozzards have been working alongside the Franklins to ensure a smooth transition for all concerned, not least the beer!  Having only chatted a little to Oliver (Ol) on Twitter and maybe just the once to Tom, it was of little surprise when the call didn’t come to join the select band of blogging brothers to attend a get together back in August.  Those who attended came away with full stomachs, hop fuelled endorphins and a lovely 750ml bottle of Tom’s BFA, brewed at Roosters this time so I’m guessing that on this occasion he wasn’t sitting on the toilet while he sparged.

A few weeks later I went for a couple of beers with Ol and to my absolute delight he brought a bottle along with him.  I had in fact gone out and bought a bottle already, from the very limited stock at Beer Ritz.  Rather than hog both bottles I passed a bottle on to a young chap who lives in a cave somewhere over the North Channel.  He seemed appreciative until he received the bill.  Anyway, we decided to drink them on the same evening.  You can read my tasting notes over on Beers I’ve Known, and here is Steve’s (@BeersIveKnown) take on the booze:

We started drinking at 8pm.  Its a 750ml bottle, I wonder how long it will last? Dave and I are drinking at the moment and James will join us later.  Mine is bottle 20/70.  It pours with a big fluffy white head and is a hazy amber in colour.

On the nose is lychee, kiwi and mango, a veritable tropical fruit salad of aromas. On to the flavours and we are treated to grapefruit bitterness and tangerine pith with increasing mango as the beer warms up.  Very drinkable for its ABV (6.1%).  Finishes fairly bitter but with a moreish sweetness that prompts you to drink the rest of the bottle.  I hope this becomes a regular in the coming years because its a very drinkable beer that desrves to be tasted by more than just a privileged few.

As for this joint blogging/tweeting effort it seems to have done pretty well. We’ve had comments from various others during the process and @Jamesbwxm even opened his bottle to join the tasting.  Perhaps if we find something more ubiquitous next time we could have  mass twitter tasting….who knows?

Cheers Steve and as you say, it would be great do this again with a few more people involved.  You can read more about this beer on the following blogs:  The Beer ProleThe Good StuffThe Bottled Beer Year and The Beer Boy.

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IPA Day – the IPAftermath

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Fact

For full details of International IPA Day (#IPADay), please see my blog below.
But, as the dust is settling, just a quick post to say that the International IPA Day feels to have been a huge success, in my humble opinion.  I can’t really put it better than Pete Brown does in his blog post ‘Cheers to International IPA Day‘.  However, if you don’t have the time to read that then Pete sums the event up nicely when he says: “…As far as I can tell there is no central organisational structure, no big budget or organisation, and yet it’s an idea that has caught the imaginations of beer lovers and gone global.”  And as I have commented on one blog already this morning, the concept and execution of this global event is testament to the notion that ‘Beer People are Good People’ or that “Good people drink good beer.” (Hunter S. Thompson).
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IPAin

Considering my heavy-eyes and painful head, I’m going to be lazy here and just point you to a handful of blogs that tend to agree with said notion;
Eating isn’t Cheating

Make Mine a Half 
She Likes Beer
The Pub Diaries

The Crafty Pint
I’n Here For The Hops

For my IPA Day celebrations I decided to join the crowd at Mr Foleys (@MrFoleys), Leeds.  I knew from my advanced stages of acute Twitteritus that there would be at least a couple of people going along that I already knew well enough to recognise and to talk to, as well as many others who I had yet to meet, but hoped to.  It was a tough call between Mr Foleys, The Grove and The Sparrow all of which were treating beer lovers to a veritable hop feast, but a persuasive Dean (Manager of Foleys) and a cracking line up on the bar gently twisted my arm.  I managed to sample all of the cask selection and a couple of the bottles/cans and can honestly say I enjoyed each and everyone.  Most importantly to me though, I was lucky enough to chat (briefly) with brewers and owners alike, from Roosters, Hardknott, Magic Rock, Buxton and Ilkley (the latter just there as punters like the rest of us – i.e. they did not have a beer on the bar on this occasion, but see Lotus IPA if you are yet to try their superb offering.  It’s not often that you get to ‘meet the brewer’ in the flesh, so to speak, but I took the opportunity to let most of them know that they inspire me to believe that I can make my brewery dreams a reality.  Along with the beer writers and bloggers there were the geeks and fanatics adding their own brand of passion to the evening, some more amorous than others.  But probably most poignantly for me, and by total chance, I found myself talking to a young guy who, in all fairness looked like he might have walked into the wrong bar, sharp suit and proud fiancé on his arm, he was making strides to convince his wife-to-be that beer is amazing and that she should jolly well drink some.  Despite his enthusiasm it transpired that the lady wasn’t for turning, but you can’t win em’ all.  He also revealed he is a blogger, new to the scene with – Geek Leeds, but who has been watching from a safe distance.  Each person I tried to name-drop, he responded with a knowing nod of the head.  This meeting may not seem too impressive to most, but he wasn’t connected to anyone else in the room and wasn’t even on Twitter! yet the friendly atmosphere and sense of occasion presented everyone there with the opportunity to talk about good beer.

Anyway, I’m sure there will be more in-depth blogs to come to show and describe the night at Foleys with more finesse, but that was my two-penneth.  I look forward to the next beer event whenever or wherever that may be.  Thanks to one and all for a great night out (especially Dean and his staff @MrFoleys – bravo!).

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@MrFoleys @Tuff86 @BGRTRob @LeedsBrew @Nickiquote @LeighGoodStuff @EisntCNeil @TKiley1@Ol_Foz @Cheeeseboiger @mbell739 @fletchthemonkey @realalereviews@misterfrosty @ZakAvery @BrewDogUpNorth @MagicRockRich @BuxtonBrewery @HardknottDave @HardknottAnn @HardknottSooty @IlkleyBrewery
(Honorary affiliates: @Filrd @Tunks23)

International IPA Day in West Yorkshire

For anyone who is not aware of the International IPA Day celebrations on Thursday 4th August 2011, then please find a run-down of what’s going on for the lucky folk of West Yorkshire, including;

  • Mr Foleys Cask & Ale House, Leeds
  • The Grove Inn, Huddersfield
  • The Sparrow Bier Cafe, Bradford *updated 29/07/11*

Mr Foleys Cask Ale House, Leeds

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August 4th has been designated ‘International IPA Day’ and Mr Foleys will be holding one of the biggest events in the country to celebrate! IPA Day was conceived as a social celebration of craft ale and lovers worldwide are encouraged to take part and interact via social networking such as Twitter.

International #IPADay is a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers and brewers worldwide through social media. On Thursday August 4th craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles; the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with it’s broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories and regional flavor variations, making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice. #IPADay is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. #IPADay is an opportunity for breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer.

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 Getting involved is easy; the only requirements are an appreciation for great beer and the will to spread the word. Anyone can participate by enjoying IPA with friends, making some noise online with the #IPADay hashtag and showing the world that craft beer is more than a trend!

At Mr Foleys we will have some of the finest examples of the style from some of Britain’s best brewers. Our beers will include four keg IPAs; two from Brewdog and one each from local West Yorkshire breweries Summer Wine and Magic Rock. We will have six cask IPAs coming from Thornbridge, Buxton, Kirkstall, Roosters, Hardknott and Red Willow. If that’s not enough for you, we will have a dedicated IPA fridge serving you some of the best from America, as well as a couple more rarely seen British brews. (confirmed list below)..

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KEG
Magic Rock ‘Human Cannonball’ Summer Wine ‘7C’s of Rye’
Brewdog ‘Hardcore IPA’
Brewdog ‘My Name Is Ingrid’ (UK exclusive, brewed for Scandinavian market)

CASK
Thornbridge ‘RyePA’ (first pub to have it on sale, name may change)
Buxton ‘Axe Edge’
Kirkstall ‘Dissolution IPA’
Roosters ‘Underdog IPA’ (brewed exclusively for us by Ol Fozzard on the test kit)
Red Willow ‘Peerless’
Hardknott ‘Code Black’

BOTTLES
Odell Myrcenary Double IPA
Maui Big Swell IPA
Stone Cali-Belgique 2010
Victory Hop Devil IPA
Victory Hop Wallop Double IPA
Red Willow Ageless IPA
Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Odell IPA
Goose Island IPA
Brewdog Punk IPA
Brewdog Hardcore IPA
Brewdog AB:06

Oh, I almost forgot.
DOGFISH HEAD 90 MINUTE IPA (only 4 bottles, first come first served!)

Still not enough? We will have brewers or brewery representatives from every brewery mentioned above and each will be holding mini ‘meet the brewer’ segments to promote their beer to the assembled crowd. We will also have guest appearances from beer writers Zak Avery and Mark Fletcher, who will be talking you through the history of IPA, why they love the style and some of their favourite beers.

With all this beer we will be in need of food. Curries will be supplied by the fantastic @manjitskitchen.  We feel that top quality Indian cuisinenot only fits the history of the beer, but that beers big in bitterness and hop character are the perfect accompaniment for spicy dishes.

So join us on August 4th at Mr Foleys Cask Ale House (159 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5RG) for an IPA extravaganza! We can be found on twitter @mrfoleys, by phone 0113 2429674, email mrfoleys@mitchellsinns.co.uk or on our blog www.mrfoleyscaskalehouse.blogspot.com

The Grove Inn, Huddersfield

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International IPA Day featuring BUXTON BREWERY
Thursday August 4th has been declared International IPA day! And as you well know, here at The Grove we love IPA, so who are we to turn down an opportunity to showcase this most hop-tastic of beer styles? We don’t expect you to take our word on it though, so we’ve called in some friends who know a thing or two about brewing IPA…

We’re delighted that Head Brewer James ‘JK’ Kemp and Director Geoff Quinn from Buxton Brewery will be joining us on the evening to talk about the brewery, their beers and most importantly, IPA. Buxton are, in our opinion, amongst the most exciting and interesting breweries in the country at the moment and we’re delighted to have them joining us. We shall have 3 of their own IPA’s on the bar – Black Rocks, their 5.5% Black IPA, Axe Edge, a 6.7% hop monster, and for the first time their brand new IPA – WILD BOAR (5.7%).

That is not all! As well as these excellent IPA from Buxton we will have up to 9 other IPA’s on the bar, from cask and keg, featuring more of our favourite breweries from around the world, Including… Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Gadds, Liverpool Organic, Marble, BrewDog, Flying Dog, Great Divide, and more besides! And that’s before we even get to the bottle delights that will be filling up the fridges…

We will be running a tasting card scheme on the night to allow you to sample as many of the draft IPA’s as possible for the best possible price, as well as putting on some Indian themed nibbles to help soak it all up.

Those of you who are social media ‘savvy’ should get involved online on the day, using the hash tag #IPAday to help us all loudly spread the word of IPA and above all great beer!

LONG LIVE IPA!

Contact us on Twitter:
@GroveBri
@GroveChloe

The Sparrow Bier Cafe, Bradford

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International #IPADay is a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, bars and brewers worldwide through social media. On Thursday August 4th, craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.International IPA Day featuring Saltaire Brewery
A global toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: INDIA PALE ALE
On Thursday 4th August The Sparrow & Saltaire Brewery will be celebrating International IPA Day.

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*FREE samples of Saltaire Stateside*
*Saltaire Brewey talk*
*5 draught IPAs*
*Over 10 bottled IPAs*

DRAUGHT:

  • Saltaire Stateside *updated 29/07/11* – the cask in question has had some additional dry-hopping attention over and above that which Saltaire Brewery normally dry-hop their Stateside IPA. Rather than the usual Cascade Hop plug (approx 13-14g) the IPA Day version will include a blend of Double-Cascade hop plugs with more than double Amarillo & Nelson Sauvin
  • plus 4 other beers to be announced soon including a black IPA and a double IPA.

BOTTLES:
Maui Big Swell (can), Great Divide Titan, Goose Island, Odell IPA, Brewdog Punk & Hardcore, Flying Dog Snake Dog & Raging Bitch, Sierra Nevada Torpedo and more!

Contact us on Twitter:
@theSparrowbd1
@SaltaireBrewery