Tuesday 7 May 2013

Holy Hoppin' Hell pt1

Not exactly a core beer, or even a seasonal. This is our beer! A beer that does not take itself too seriously.

A beer we brew when the feeling takes us, and a beer we brew how ever we want. Same grain bill each time, and aiming for the same IBU, but that's where the similarities end. This is a canvas, an outlet for our creativity. We give ourselves free rain on the hops used, and the processes.

This time round an 8.5% ABV Double IPA using some of the newer 'new world' hops. We have Dr Rudi (Super Alpha), Green Bullet, Pacific Gem and Columbus (not quite new world, but we never said there were rules here). Expect sweet fruits in the form of Papaya, mango, grapefruit pith, along with toffee and caramelised sugar. As a double IPA also expect huge bitterness lingering behind all those late hops.

Process wise we tried a few different things as well. Up until now we were getting far more bitterness from the late hop additions than we expected, and feared we would thus be loosing a lot of the volatile flavour and aroma oils as the hops sit in the kettle for up to an hour waiting to get cooled from 100 degrees C to 18. So we took a large portion of the flame out hops and threw them into the underback. The idea being the hot wort from the kettle would flow into the underback and be in contact with these hops for short time, then take the aroma and flavour with it straight through the heat exchange and into the FV. This time round the beer was brewed before we had calibrated the kettle, meaning it was diluted far more than it was meant to be. This gives us more beer, but dilutes the ABV, IBUs and general beating you get from the hops. Expect round 2 to be bigger, hoppier and all round more intense. We aim for 9.4% next time.

I personally love the branding for this one. Every time I say the name to myself I hear Robin the excitable sidekick exclaiming something to his friend and trainer. "Holy hoppin' hell batman, that's a hoppy beer!" I had images in my head of classic cartoon strips, and a masked Lup'in (is he a good guy or a bad guy?). That's all the information Josh & Chris, our amazing label guys, needed to some up with the label.

You will be able to find this in keg keg, 330ml bottles and a very limited number of casks.

We hope you like it, and want to share a few with us. But if not, that's just fine, we'll drink it all here at the brewery.

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