Thursday, 19 November 2009

Collaborative brew

Noticed allot of collaborative brewing going on these days. Stone and Brew Dog, Thornbridge and Brooklyn. It was only during my stag weekend that me and the lads from back at Heriot-Watt university (Simon and Ed) decided it would be a good idea to try one, even though we live hundreds of miles apart. So this Ed's 'Leaky Tap' home brewery down in Surrey Meets my 'Panda & Frog' kit used at Daleside brewery, meets Simon's 'Amber Dawn' home brewery in Cambridge brew was decided to be conducted as three separate identical as possible brews in three different counties.

Me Ed and Simon on my stag weekend.

Collaborative brew example: Thornbridge Alliance, a truly stunning barley wine style ale found in both European and American oak matured versions.

Following this, once we have all the beers bottled we then send each other the beers for comparison. Obviously we knew of non-controllable water differences, copper evaporation rates and the fact that Ed and Simon can’t use Daleside breweries house yeast strain so have to opt for a similar commercial culture (brewing this at work, I didn’t want to risk any wild yeast contamination problems) . But we thought differences in the results would make it more interesting, like a taste the difference southern vs Yorkshire vs south eastern comparison.

The Beer.

The plan was for an old school British India pale ale, because in our day at Heriot-Watt University doing Brewing & Distilling as post grads, we were the only three English students on the course. So the style was both patriotic and fitting because at the time we were all along way from home (sort of), and amongst many Indian students (so you could almost imagine your in India, ignoring all the Scottish weather, lectures and signs in English etc).

So here is what I have brewed so far, Ed and Simon are still to brew:

Ed, Rob and Si’s Reunion IPA.

In the mash tun.

Optic pale malt: 96.5%
Crystal malt: 2.5%
Amber malt: 1%

(Note: all percentages refer to extracts not by weight)

Target OG: 1064

In copper.

The boil lasted 1 ½ hours with the following additions.

Northdown 90min (for 40 IBU)

Northdown 15min (for 3-5 IBU)

Challenger 3min (for 1-2 IBU) + finings and yeast aid

Fuggles 0 min added after wort had cooled for 30 min.

Actual OG: 1061.8

Target final gravity: 1014

Final gravity: 1012.9

Abv: 6.4%

IBUs: 45-50

Pitched with Daleside breweries house yeast strain this one fermented down inside of around 4 days before being force cooled and transferred to demi-johns. From recent tastings the mid amber beer is firm and hoppy with plenty of fruity English hops dominating and a slight harshness that hopefully shall fade with time. Bottling commences Monday evening. Until then shall look forward to another tasting. Anther thought was wouldn't it be cool if Daleside did a collaborative brew, with Roosters perhaps? Yorkshire Dales? Or Acorn? We could put it on the website and make a video even? Can't see it happening though.


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