Thursday, 31 May 2012

Pilot is on the runway

This is a milestone. No longer a wannabe, I am a brewer! Yes! [Punches the air in triumph]. With plenty of work still to do in the Poppyland Brewery, and licences still to be issued, not to mention more brewing equipment to make, I felt I urgently needed to get some beer to market for the summer season in Cromer. Hence I became a cuckoo brewery (well if it's good enough for Mikkeller, it's good enough for me). With much help and support from St. Brendan of the Iceni and the loan of two breweries I have brewed my first commercial beer and it is resting quietly in the back of the Poppyland Brewery now, ready for sale on 30 June 2012.
A lovely krausen from the US-05 yeast taken on Brendan's phone.
At Brendan's suggestion I made a 90 litre mash tun from an old whisky barrel and it made its debut at the Elveden Brewery where I mashed-in (twice) and boiled the wort. It fermented a week there before it was racked into a couple of 18 gallon casks (or kilderkins) and was taken to the Iceni Brewery for dry hopping and secondary fermentation under air-locks. Today, with Kathy's help (Brendan's assistant) we bottled off 200 x 660 ml bottles of Poppyland 'Pilot'. This is a big IPA based on Branthill Maris Otter malt, with a predicted abv of 5.9% and packed full of hops (Columbus, Cascade and Summit). Two thirds of the output was dry hopped with American Summit hops and one third dry-hopped with Columbus (which Mrs Brewer suggests should be called 'Co-Pilot' - nice one). This has huge aroma and grapefruit flavours and a long hoppy finish. Just the sort of thing to please the beer connoisseur on a summer's day. Enjoy. You can get some from me or The Cromer Farm and Health Shop in Tucker Street (behind the church).

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