Getting crowded here – a small note about repetition

17.03.2014

Brewmaster's blog

Things have been piling up, recipes to be precise!

During the last year we have been pushing out quite a number of new beers. It has its up-/downsides. For me and for you every beer is a new challenge: I have to brew it and you got to drink it 🙂

Writing new recipes is more or less the same process for all brewers. First comes the idea, then the plan, followed by the brew and the final assessment of the product. So far so good.

But no brew is ever the same. Small and big inconsistencies, which are negligible at most, might add up to a slightly different beer:

– f.e. inconsistent malt batches, differences in final gravity, small ph differences during mashing, varying clarity of beer wort, lautering speed, quality/quantity of hops being used, clarification in the whirlpool, viability of yeast, efficiency of wort aeration => just to name some (without being in the right succession, just a small brainstorming ) and there are plenty more.

The secret of our trade is to minimize those deviations, hence getting comparable results.

We usually take numerous samples of every beer we brew, during fermentation, maturation, dry hopping and from the tap. And you always find something, you might want to change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing serious. But sometimes some feature could be emphasized, some mellowed down a bit.

Just to get to the point, we have been building up a stock of various recipes, and some of those will be brewed again. The interesting part will be to repeat, what you have done before and even improve the resulting beer. That’s the challenge and my personal benchmark!!

Just to give you an example, last years hop crop in Germany was disappointing (to say the least) regarding quality and quantity of all basic hop varieties. What does it mean for us. About 40-60% less Alpha Acids (main bittering, not aroma, component of hops) and double the prices of the year before. Depending on the batch/variety the differences can be even higher: 6,0%=>1,6% (74% decrease). Yeah, what to do. Using the same hops by doubling/trippling the amount of the regarding product or finding a compromise by substituting part of the aroma/flavour hops with a new variety….we went for the latter. It would be quite crazy to add more than double the amount of German grassy hops to a beer, which has already grassy features. In balance they do their job, but who wants to drink grass juice!

So for the next batch I have substituted some Hersbrucker hops with Tradition (yeah, grassy again, but that’s a feature of German hops). You will be the judge of it! The beer has been brewed 2,5 weeks ago and will be on tap pretty soon. I am pretty excited, how it will turn out.

Äääh, I could go on now for every single beer I have brewed, but who wants to read that much. Leaves me topics for further posts.

Cheers

Mathias