- Beoir Meets
The post-mortem of the first Kit/Extract/All-Grain blind comparison decided that the brewer's proficiency with the various methods was affecting the outcome. It was therefore decided that for round 2 there would be three different brewers working to roughly the same recipe, each with a track record of successfully producing good beer via a particular brewing method. The result would be three beers in the same style made under optimum conditions with only the respective merits of their method of production to set them apart, thereby allowing the method itself to be judged, not merely the beer.
Since there was an old Brupaks Black Moor Stout kit to hand, stout was the chosen style for the test. The presumed poor condition of the unmade kit would serve to highlight one of the issues faced by kit beers: low turnover of stock and resulting oxidised off-flavours. As the kit expert, IrishPartyAle agreed to make this up, to an OG of 1.043. I made a similarly simple dry stout using dry malt extract, OG 1.043, and sbillings produced an all-grain version at 1.041.
The names IV, V and VI were assigned at random, and the tasting panel assembled on 28th July to try the beers blind.
But, as I said, all did not go according to plan.
- Paul O'Connor
For those who weren’t at the ICB brewery tour at Trouble HQ recently, we announced a tentative plan to hold a brewing competition. The competition will select a home-brewed beer to be scaled up to a commercial batch size in our Allenwood brewery and be sold at the Franciscan Well Easterfest in 2011.
Here’s the T&C’s:
- James Keane
I made the tour but missed the food - though luckily due to a few people being absent we got our tour given by the very knowledgeable Dave Phillips.
The tour starts in the reception and a quick history of the brewery is given. This began with the explanation that the brewery was started by a farmer purchasing the Crowe Brewery in 1880. Unfortunately only a couple of sentences' reference was given to the famous 'Mr. George', the buy-out in 1987 and the subsequent formulation of the 'Victory Ale'. (I would highly recommend watching Michael Jackson's The Beer Hunter to get a real sense of the romance of this tale.) Further information on the complete history is in the links below.
First stop was the Maris Otter and the malted barley. We were brought straight upstairs to the malt stores. The germination and roasting process was explained, this is where my lads got involved - they got to pass around the barley at different stages of roasting - I was pleasantly surprised with the level of detail the tour was taking!
It's twelve years since Tess and Mark Szamatulski published the first edition of Clone Brews, a slim volume containing detailed instructions on how to recreate 150 different beers from around the world. The book was a hit with homebrewers, with its combination of clear, concise instructions and the enhancement of extract recipes with minimash and all-grain options. The end results of recipes, anecdotally speaking, tend not to be exact replicas of the beer being copied, but it's a useful book for when you want to make a beer in a particular style and you know of a commercial example.
Now, the publishers have released a revised and expanded edition of the book, incorporating even more clonable beers.