Hey all, Tommy here!
In the run-up to our first ever festival, we’ve been doing a little brewing of our own. Given our background in homebrewing, we just couldn’t help ourselves!
Our first cask was brewed to be a seriously juicy, balls-to-the-wall New England IPA, with all the full body and characteristic Haze that signifies the style.
So once settled on the style we wanted to create, how do we go about designing a recipe for such a beer? How do the choices we make in the ingredient selection and process, help us to get to the murky juice-bomb we’re after?
Malt: We’ve used a base of Maris Otter, the traditional British ale base-malt, known for its warm, bready flavour. We’ve gone for standard MO instead of the low-colour variant often used for this style, in the hopes of getting a more golden orange-juice like colour. In addition, we’ve used a hefty portion of wheat and oat malt, to help contribute body, and round out the flavour.
Hops: Citra and El Dorado are a hop combination I’ve played with in my adventures in homebrewing. Citra, bringing all that over-ripe tropical fruit and citrus, and El Dorado, with its watermelon and boiled-sweet like aromas. Together, I find the combination to produce an insanely full and sweet-smelling tropical nose, exactly what we’re after.
Process: For this style, we want very little bitterness, and a massive hit of aroma. We used no bittering addition and chucked an absolute truckload of hops at this thing at the end of the boil, including a hefty ‘whirlpool’ addition at 80C after the boil. Adding hops in this way means little conversion into the compounds responsible for bitter flavours, and more retention of the heady, volatile aromatics responsible for big aroma.
Yeast: for this beer, we used a combination of yeasts: a medium-low attenuating English ale strain known for producing some fruity esters, paired with a small amount of German Hefeweizen yeast known for producing banana and clove aromas as well as permanent haze. We also dry-hopped the beer during active fermentation. This causes a reaction between the active yeast and some of the hop oils called ‘bio-transformation’ which is thought to contribute even fuller hop flavour, and a permanent haze.
We can talk until the cows come home on all the other things we think about when designing a beer recipe, but as with all these things, the proof is in the pudding. We hope you’ll the chance to come down to our first Modern Cask Fest and try it for yourself!
See you there!