One beery weekend coming up!

logo_grønnThis weekend will be a nice one for us. We get to brew a test batch of stout, taste lots of beer and chat to fellow brewers. And the weekend starts early at that!

Busy beavers
Tonight, Thursday, we’ll be firing up Kim’s homebrew setup to concoct a new test batch of an American-style stout.

Tomorrow, Friday, Gahr will be judging in Lervig’s homebrew competition.

Friday afternoon we’ll be heading for Grimstad to meet up with the guys at Nøgne Ø and the lucky homebrewers who managed to get a ticket for their annual homebrew meeting on Saturday. Gahr will give a little talk at the brewery, and we expect to taste lots of great beer and meet lots of nice people.

What more could a cuckoo brewer ask for?

Triple joy at Henrik Øl og Vinstove!

Today Supermax Lager and Halvor India Brown Ale were finally released at Henrik Øl og Vinstove to accompany the Imperial Amber already on tap there. Our hearts rejoyce and we definitely could not have gotten a better Christmas present! Seing three ABC beers on tap at the same time makes us very happy, indeed.

All the colors
The lightest of this hoppy trinity is the Supermax Lager, a “pilsner” clocking in at 5 % abv. and 40 IBUs. This golden lager looks like a standard pilsner, but looks can lie. American hop aromas come leaping out of the glass, leaving the imbiber with an impression of hoppy freshness rarely found in light lagers.

Halvor India Brown Ale is a full-bodied, strong American-style brown ale loaded with Chinook and Cascade hops, though not to the extent that the citrus hops clash with the malts. With complex roasty malt flavors working together with a dry, slightly rummy note from the use of dark muscovado sugar in the kettle, the brown ale is definitely a sustaining, malty beer with a nice kick of hops. This 60 IBU and 6,5 % abv. nectar is the perfect pick-me-up on a cold night.

Old faithful
Henrik Imperial Amber (8,5 % abv. and 70 IBUs) is the biggest of the three beers currently available. The well-balanced yet powerful hop presence and clan malt profile makes this an ale that beiles its strength. Smooth and deceptvely drinkable, it will leave you wanting more!

Another test batch bubbling away

The green gold – for once in conservative amounts!

Craft brewers love hops, home brewers love hops, beer geeks love hops. We sure love hops as well, but sometimes the time is just right for something else. Sometimes the time is just right for a low alcohol dry stout. And that’s why we’re brewing a dry oatmeal stout at Kinn Bryggeri for Henrik Øl og Vinstoves 20th anniversary on the 10th of January next year. But as with all our brews, we do test batches first. This one was brewed a few days ago.

Simple yet effective
With an original gravity of 1.040 and 40 IBUs from a single FWH addition of East Kent Goldings (and an undisclosed amount of Chinook!), the beer isn’t likely to blow the socks off of anyone, but the simple yet effective malt bill provides sustenance and a subtle complexity of roast flavors sure to please. Roasted barley is of course the signature malt, while amber malt adds mild coffee and nutty flavors and aromas complementing the burnt character of the beer. 10 % Flaked oats and a smaller amount of flaked barley round off the edges and provide a mouthfeel that belies the strength of the beer. Hopefully it will emerge black as the ace of spades, sharp yet rounded, dry and refreshing.

We can hardly wait to get to Kinn to brew this beer together with Espen, Torvald and the other guys at the brewery. Our wishes for New Year’s are modest; we simply want the 10th of January to come quickly!

India brown ale on the way!

On Friday our third test batch was brewed, this time an India brown ale. The beer will be brewed to celebrate Halvor Kittelsen Elle’s ten-year anniversary as a bartender at Henrik Øl og Vinstove, and if God is willing, pigs don’t fly and the Creek don’t rise it will be on tap there later this fall.

Packing a punch

It packs a nice punch of both malt and hops, with Special B lending notes of dark fruit to the beer, while brown and chocolate malts provide a subdued but complex roasty character. A healthy dose of demerara sugar gives it a nice and dry finish. We’re going back to the roots with the hops and use Cascade for both flavor and aroma. Our trusted companion, Chinook, is used both for first wort hopping and as a dry hop together with some more Cascade.

While the hopping is not as aggressive as in our imperial amber, the pine and grapefruit tones are powerful enough to stand up to the rich maltiness on offer in this ale. The trusty WLP001 yeast from White Labs does the most important work in a cool fermentation that really leaves room for the malt and hops to shine.

Blichmann rocks!

A new toy!

We are big fans of Blichmann brewing gear, and use a number of their products in our test brewing. This time yet another piece of equipment from Blichmann was put to use; a brand spanking new seven gallon Fermenator. While it is highly doubtful that it will make the beer any better, it sure looks nice and makes harvesting yeast a breeze. Thank you John Blichmann!

Supermax given the go-ahead!

Johnny is very pleased with the new brew.

Yesterday the guys at Henrik Øl og Vinstove gave Supermax Lager the final green light. Although we were already really happy with the beer ourselves, it’s always nice to know that our ideas hit their mark. “Just what I hoped for“, bartender and beer enthusiast Halvor Kittelsen Elle said. Owner Johnny Ve was no less happy; “We can sell quite a lot of this,” he said with a smug smile on his face.

On draft and in kits
Hopefully this Simcoe and Amarillo driven lager (there’s also some Chinook in there, of course!) will be brewed sometime before Christmas. It’s exclusive to Henrik Øl og Vinstove, so Bergen is the place to be. If you can’t make it to Bergen, beer kits will be available for home brewers at Bryggselv.