|Pellicle forming on Tom's next brew|
The head space is kept full of nitrogen gas
Heathen50% Weyermann Bohemian pilsner malt
30% Weyermann torrified wheat
17% Weyermann malted oats
3% Weyermann acid malt
8 IBU Goldings
(Heathen actually finished at 1.008 due to temperature slippage near the end of fermentation)
Long single infusion mash at 65°C (simpler than a step mash to save time, but if you wanted you could do a step mash at home), wort is transferred to kettle and cooled to 40°C, where it's kept till nice and sour as outlined above.
An unusual feature of Heathen is its colour, which was the idea of Chris Treanor, the head brewer at Galway Bay. Tom says
For blackening I cold steeped 25kg Carafa III for 16 hours. I used a very large fine filter hop bag in my mash tun. All this thick black syrup gets added to the boil kettle. That full bag blackened 1300 litres of pale wort. Not sure what that works out at on a 5 gallon level.Gordon Strong would be proud! (Gordon advocates not mashing dark grains) For a 20 litre batch that works out about 400g.
After the 15 minute boil is finished the wort is chilled to 26°C and Wyeast saison yeast is pitched to finish the job, as it's one of very few yeasts that can operate at such a low pH. (Danstar Belle Saison tried and failed!)
This is the kind of beer that doesn't benefit a lot from ageing so it's force carbonated to a fairly high level and served fresh in the brewery's tied bars.
During my visit to the brewery it was nice to get a taste of a sour IPA from the fermenter, another one off, this time Chris's concept, soured in a similar way to Heathen, and only missing a name at this point. Full of grapefruit and orange citrus tang, this quite tasty brew should be making its way to Galway Bay bars soon.
While Galway Bay Brewery is not set up for full sour production, replete with barrels and brett, it is great to see experimentation and a willingness to venture outside the holy trinity that so many other breweries are constrained by.