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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Black Sheep Interview

I stumbled across this podcast by the Brewing Network today. It takes a while to get going but at about 15mins 40 secs into it there's an interview with the head brewer from the Black Sheep Brewery.

There's some history of the brewery and a description of the Riggwelter Ale before they get into a discussion around brewing technique including mash and hop schedules and the grain bill.

This is what I managed to gleam from the interview:

OG = 1.056 (ABV ~5.7-5.9%)
EBC = 60

Base hops in all Black Sheep beers appear to be a mix of Challenger, Progress and Fuggles, with a large (upto 70%) late hop addition of EKG hops. When they say late hops these are hops that are scalded in the hop back at the end of the boil and are mostly for aroma and flavour and not for bittering.

It was suggested that the grain bill was something like Pale Malt - Marris Otter (80%), Standard Crystal (6%), Pale Chocolate Malt (I'm sure he said 5EBC but the lowest chocolate malt I could find was still around 500EBC) (5%?), and the remainder was Torrefied Wheat. No syrups or caramel is used.

Mash temperature is 66 oC but interestingly (due to the slow speed of mash run off) it's only held there for 45 mins.

I had a play with this but couldn't quite get the numbers to add up but I came up with something that might be a close representation.

FermentableColourlb: ozGramsRatio
Pale Malt5 EBC9 lbs. 0.5 oz4100 grams85.5%
Torrefied Wheat4 EBC0 lbs. 8.4 oz235 grams5%
Crystal Malt130 EBC0 lbs. 10.1 oz285 grams6%
Pale Chocolate Malt550 EBC0 lbs. 5.9 oz165 grams3.5%

Hop VarietyTypeAlphaTimelb: ozgramsRatio
ChallengerWhole7.6 %90 mins0 lbs. 1.3 oz37 grams30%
GoldingWhole5.7 %0 mins0 lbs. 3.1 oz87 grams70%

Final Volume:19Litres
Original Gravity:1.056
Final Gravity:1.014
Alcohol Content:5.5%ABV
Total Liquor:28.7Litres
Mash Liquor:12Litres
Mash Efficiency:75%

It's in the right sort of region. Looking at it Graham Wheeler has a recipe for this in his book, although it's missing the big aroma hop hit at the end and includes some sugar (maybe to fill the gap that I had problems filling.

I might have to give this a try some time. When I do i'll be sure to report the results.

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