|Toby not thinking about|
extract efficiency as he mashes in
This version of the beer, dubbed Big Brick, has been 'visioned' by Phil Lowry (fast becoming the London Beer Scene's Justin De Villeneuve) to be a big 8% ABV. He isn't present as we finally get underway, probably jumping on the New Thing From America, White IPA.
We get underway, and the arch is filling with familiar faces from around London Brewing: Andy Smith from Redemption, Stig from LAB, Simon Siemsgluess from ZeroDegrees; and there are the various helpers who pitch in at Kernel, augmenting the small team of Evin, Toby and Chrigl. The grain bill is pulled together, including a generous (or ominous) proportion of rye malts. I quite like the spicy character rye imparts to beer, but brewers don't like using it. It has high water retention capacity, increases wort viscosity and makes the mash sticky and prone to setting. A German roggerbier might have as much as 20% rye in the mash, Big Brick goes much further that that.
|7 hours? i wonder why?|
Mashing-in goes well, then we start the runoff. First hops are introduced (Magnum and Hercules) and we wait...
I had to leave at 2pm. Evin was busy with a shitload of freshly-boiled new potatoes and a raclette cradle, feeding the multitude who had assembled. The copper was about a third full at that point, and I found myself wondering how much longer they'd had to wait before getting the boil underway. Twitter came to life around 7pm, with the news that the runoff had taken 7 hours, and the mash was set like concrete. I wish I could have been able to stay around 'til the bitter end, but I'm glad it wasn't me who had to dig the mash tun out.
I'm looking forward to sampling this beastie. It will be all the more enjoyable for knowing how much of a struggle it proved to even get the bloody stuff into the copper. I find myself hoping that it all turns out OK. But it will, I'm sure. This is London after all, and we're doing things differently here these days...