Brew number two

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Well, the second brew was a few days ago – it was another long one, I got up at about 4am to head across to the bridge and meet Kristian from Stronzo in Copenhagen. It’s funny walking around the city so early in the morning, it’s very quiet and peaceful, and there’s a strange mix of people that are obviously at the end of a long night, and others that have decided to get up stupidly early. I guess I was in the second category. Anyway, I met up with Kristian and we drove out deep into the Danish countryside to the brewery.

The brewday itself went very well – this beer is a Pale Ale single-hopped with Simcoe, and differs from what is typical for the style by having a malt bill that is free from any crystal malts (which give flavours of caramel, toffee, etc). It is instead made from an even mix of pilsner and pale malts, nudged towards slightly roastier tones by Munich malt. Then of course the Simcoe hops provide bitterness to balance out the malt, plus a really interesting aroma and flavour profile that is mainly a mix of pine and citrus.

Stronzo make great beer, and among the normal brew tasks of milling, mashing, measuring, etc. I had a chance to sample a few spectacular beers. But I have to say there was one tasting that I am sure was entirely unique, because this must be the first time that Julmust has ever made its way into a Danish brewery.

It was a special barrel-aged one, but that didn’t seem to help much. It did seem to hold some strange fascination though – it was pretty clear that there were no new julmust converts in the room, but still everybody just kept tasting it over and over again.

The other thing that was pretty funny was the look of the kettle after the hop additions. We’d decided that in an attempt to get as much hop aroma as possible we’d try to max out the whirlpool hop additions, but the side effect of this was going to be additional bittering, and for this beer I really wanted to restrain the bitterness to a moderate level. So as the day progressed we kept investigating ways of getting even more hops in during the whirlpool without overshooting on bitterness. We settled for a combination of a very big hop addition and an even later whirlpool addition than normal. The result was pretty funny to see. It started off pretty well behaved

but eventually turned itself into what looked like green lava that had little eruptions of wort as it mixed around.

And shortly after that it was time to drag myself back home after another long brew day – tired but happy, and satisfied that another great brew is on the way.