Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The new face of an old recipe

It's been a long time (several months) since my last post so I apologise for that.  A lot has happened in that time; I've been made redundant, become a house-husband and am currently investigating the feasibility of starting a small-scale commercial brewery.

Part of my feasibility study is coming up with recipes that I think would sell.  That means casting aside some of the stronger beers that I enjoy making and focusing on lower gravity, "Normal" beers.  There are a number of parameters that I have considered in coming up with the first recipe; duty payable, drinking trends, cost of ingredients and, perhaps surprisingly, CAMRA's preferences.

One beer that's drawn much praise over the last couple of years has been my Green Bullet Gold.  This beer is about 4% alcohol by volume, light in colour with citrus aroma and flavour.  So far, so good.  Where this particular recipe falls down is that I designed it with a relatively small proportion of flaked maize.  This helps to dilute the protein in the beer which in turn helps to produce an exceptionally clear product.  So, why am I removing it from the recipe?  Put simply, CAMRA.

Now, I believe CAMRA have done much for the real ale industry, however, while they don't condemn the use of adjuncts in beer the following statement, taken from their web page does seem to cause people to shun beers made with ANY adjunct.  The CAMRA site statres, "Excessive use of fermentables that are not malt is one cause of dull beer".  So I'm taking maize out of the recipe.  

Additionally, I'm swapping caragold out for standard crystal malt, I'm using Nottingham yeast rather than my trusty stock of the Fullers strain and I've further reduced the bitterness down to about 30 IBU.

I brewed this beer on Wednesday last week and it's currently sitting at 5C while the yeast count drops sufficiently for casking (below 2 Mcells per ml).  I'm expecting to rack the beer to cask on Thursday  from where it will be bottled at the weekend.

As for the other recipes being commercialised, watch this space.


  1. Good luck Phil, I liked the sound of everything until you mentioned the switch to Nottingham yeast. But I guess if Tripe fff can make award winning beers with it, it can't be all bad.

  2. Oh, and don't forget you'll need a diverse panel of tasters, to give you you a decent level of feedback. :)

  3. Thanks Mark. Don't worry, you lot will be top of the (ever growing) list of tasters.

  4. "Excessive use of fermentables that are not malt is one cause of dull beer".

    I wonder if they can back that up?

    CAMRA's influence in this regard has been pretty strong in the UK and (restricting ourselves to just "real ale")it's pretty hard to find many beers with excessive amounts of adjunct to try.

    I think a more likely cause of dull beer is crap brewing.

  5. I personally don't doubt that overdoing adjuncts would cause a dull beer but my issue is that by not quantifying what is acceptable and what isn't they propagate the idea that any adjunct is bad.

    Adjuncts have their part to play in beer. We've discussed it before at the club; London Pride used to be a great beer when it contained flaked maize. Now that adjuncts have been banished from the Fullers brewery it's a shadow of a beer in comparison.