And again, first draft disappeared into the void. Oh man, that is slightly disturbing!!
It has been a busy month => HBF, a longer visit to check out the bar scene in Copenhagen, a lot of brews and other stuff.
Brewing can be quite a cyclic process. In a perfect world you would keep all your tanks full. As soon as one has been emptied, you would brew another batch of beer … seldom does it work that way! So I ended up with 5 of our 6 tanks being ready for refilling. Within 16 days I brewed 12 batches of beer. Once you are in the zone, it is actually fun to be completely immersed into brewing beers. Not much time for something else. But on the flip side, you have more time once the tanks are bubbling away.
Something new? Indeed!
So far we have been pretty much limited to 4 beers (5 soon?) on tap. Except the occasional kegged beers our setup doesn’t allow us to increase the numbers of different beers served from the sales tanks. Therefore we decided to start/think of a rotation system. So far we did it with the pale/dark wheat beer (The style certainly offers further variations!) and a second tap for all the special/seasonal beers. That leaves two remaining taps for Red Ale and Pils. Latter will stay; you got to have a pale lager. Like butter on bread! Ok, Red Ale it is. After all the hassle with its recipe, we finally ended up with a good product, but it will be replaced nevertheless. Not completely, but at least for a while.
We sell food and beer or better food with beer. Therefore our product range should include beer styles, that work with our entire menu (if not, we pair them with other Finnish beers). Red Ale was meant to be a malty, darker, slightly sweet, fruity and moderately hoppy beer to go with rich, meaty and malty dishes. How to substitute that one? During the last year I really got used to IPAs and decided to brew one. The task is/was now to brew a beer, which has the features of the previous one, but is still a recognizable example of a different, its own style. Hhmm, nice sentence. Anyway, the target spex for the beer were the following: OG 14,1%, FG 3,7-4,1%, ABV 5,6-5,7%, EBC ~16, IBU ~55. Compared to the Red Ale the OG/FG are slightly higher (=> different yeast with lower degree of fermentation) to maintain a similar alcohol content. I certainly had to put more hops into that brew. Is it enough? The first pint will tell!
Being brewed last week, the fermentation is almost over. I am really anticipating the first sip after having cooled it down. The questions are now: how close am I to the old beer? Can you recognize it as an IPA? Fruitiness? Bitterness? Balance? Maltiness? Hop aroma? It will be interesting to taste and compare the beer with the initial strictly mental flavor picture of it. Whatever the outcome of the first brew, it won’t take a whole year to adjust it to our liking :-)!