Monday, 20 April 2015

Will 'Magoo's Brew' be a tasty tipple?

It's always nice to have an opportunity to embark on a trip to a brewery. This being an enforced mission I had to undertake, at the Thwaites "Crafty Dan" brewery in the centre of Blackburn. 

The Blackburn brewer had asked me to create and brew a beer for them, for the towns beer festival, at Blackburn RUFC. Thwaites being the main sponsors of the event.

It was an early start at 7.30am, as I was met by gatekeeper, Harry Spedding. A most cheerful and affable character, who kindly gave me guidance towards reception. There, Craig Hall, one of the brewing team, was waiting to greet me. And soon had me brewery bound, to undertake my duties.

Thwaites roll out some excellent award-winning ales, at this brewery. And was hoping the beer I had created for them, was going to be up to their usual high standards. I was certainly in experienced hands, as brewer of over twenty five years, Glynn Bennett, was going to guide me through the brewing procedure.
Ready for the off, with brewer, Glynn Bennett.

I had decided on a golden coloured ale. One that was going to be crisp,refreshing and fruity. So, the first job was to put the Maris Otter and Amber malts into the grist hopper, for onwards delivery into the mash tun. A vessel that produces a sugary solution from a slurry type mix of hot water and the grain.
Taking advice on grain selection

Glynn, was proving a master of his art. All the timings and temperatures had to be spot on, as he transferred the sugary solution(wort), into a large copper vessel, after seventy-five minutes. This container is like a giant kettle, and where we added the hops. I had chosen chinook and galaxy hops, to hopefully produce a soft tropical fruit, and light bitter flavour and aroma. 
The Chinook and Galaxy hops being added.

The boiling of the hops takes over an hour. So, head brewer, Dave Goodwin suggested we go down to the Thwaites 'sampling room' and try a couple of their newly brewed beers. Well, it would have been rude not to.
A break in proceedings - a beer break!

Back in the brew room, my beer was ready to be transferred to the fermentation tank. Here, Glynn added the yeast, in order to convert the fermentable sugars into alcohol. The cooled ale will stay here for three or four days. Then, when the required strength is reached, it's conditioned for a further three days.This period killing off the yeast. After that, it's ready to be tasted.

And so my brew day ended. A most enlightening and educating experience. All that is left now, is to taste the finished product . It will be called ' Magoo's Brew'. A name that refers to the creators very poor eyesight. It will be the festival ale, at the Blackburn Beer Festival. And available in many Thwaites pubs. 

Hope you will enjoy my ' Magoo's Brew'. And if you do indeed, get an opportunity to sample it. I'm sure you will find it to be a belting beverage.

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