Today we had a second go at "Craftwerk", a concept which Gazza has long nurtured to make a beer with the best hops Europe has to offer... which, by definition, doesn't include many British ones as I don't like the taste of mouldy grass (Admiral and Bramling Cross excluded)!
Anyhow, our first attempt at this back in October was scuppered - our only failed brew thus far, touch wood - due to contaminated yeast, so this second try has a lot resting on it's shoulders! It's comprised of the usual low-colour Maris Otter & wheat malt mash with a dash of Weyermann Melanoidin malt for body and colour (a classic German malt which gives amazing malty flavours without becoming toffeeish or sweet) with a complex mix of the "new wave" and old skool European hops;
- Brewer's Gold, an old variety, for orangey oiliness
- Kazbek, a new Czech hop, for lemon zest,
- Triskel, France's new "craft" hop, giving spicy citrus,
- Mandarina Bavaria, the (expensive!) darling of Germany's new world of aroma hops
- Herkules, a classic German bittering hop of world class stature.
We were going to add some UK Admiral, IMO one of the best British hops with a characterful flavour of 1p fruit salad chews (honest!), but we'd used them all up on our mahoosive brew of Tidy we did on Tuesday...
So, this should be an interesting brew and, although it won't be a knock-your-socks-off monster in the style of our more usual American or Aussie/NZ hopped examples, it should have enough interest contained therein to make you think twice about European hops; all that remains, once it's fermented, is to stuff 4kg more Mandarina Bavaria into our "hop torpedoes" for dry-hopping and let it gently infuse for a week resulting in, hopefully, a flavoursome and tasty 4.4% golden brew.
Needless to say UKIP members are prohibited from drinking it as it's all foreign hops, coming over here taking our hops' jobs, they're probably all pregnant and wanting benefits too. And I'd say we don't want BNP or EDL members drinking it either, but they'd probably drown trying to do two things at once like breathe and drink... better they stick to "Ing-er-lish" stuff like Carling, Stella and Heineken then.
(I'm sure you all see the sarcasm - Carling is originally Canadian, Stella Belgian and Heineken Dutch, and if you didn't then you do now. Don't say we don't fulfill a public service broadcast duty here).