Kegging the re-brew

A few days ago Lervig kegged the new batch of Henrik Imperial Amber Ale. The rebrew of the hop monster is paler in color as a result of being brewed in the bigger brew house at Lervig. This resulted in less caramelization of the wort. This being said, fans of the first version will absolutely recognize the brew.

A balanced blast of hops
To call this brew balanced might be a stretch considering the amount of alcohol and the massive hop profile. But – I really think it is just that – balanced. It seems to be even smoother this time around, but don’t take our word for it. The brew is getting ready to be shipped to Henrik Øl & Vinstue in Bergen as we speak and there is talk of some kegs getting shipped somewhere else.

We can hardly wait to get to know the rebrew of this massive beer and share it with you guys. We absolutly feel it has been worth the wait and are wondering how long it lasts before it sells out this time.

We’ll get back to you with a release date and release venues later.

Back to our (hop)roots!

Our last pilot batch left our trademark American hops behind and focused on a roasty yet smooth malt profile. While we are OK with this it pleases us to announce that the hops are back – with a vengeance.

Our latest brew is a hop forward West Coast IPA brimfull of both Chinook and Centennial. Hop lovers rejoice.

Hops galore
In this brew we’re marrying a balanced malt base with a whopping 1/4kg of hops in 22,5 liters of beer. We’re pushing hop bursting to the limit by adding 55IBUs of the total 65 during the last 15 minutes of the boil. And staying in the Andrimne/Black Cat mindset – no hop monster is complete without massive dry hopping. The IPA will be double dry hopped with a mix of Chinook and Centennial.

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Branching out
The brew, codenamed “Colic IPA”, is primarily brewed for a new pub in a new town. We promised earlier that we’re hard at work spreading our brews to more pubs and places. Well – we intend to keep our word. Care to venture a guess on where it ends up?

More on this beer and where it ends up later.

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!

With a little help from our friends

The illusive Amarillo hop

Yes, I am paraphrasing the Beatles – and with good reason. As you may be aware we’re going abroad to brew no less than two beers at Søgaards Bryghus in November. There was, however, one BIG problem. The lager we’re brewing is built around massive loads of both Simcoe and Amarillo hops. As some homebrewers and pro brewers know, these two hop varieties are very popular and very hard to come by in large quantities, especially at this time of year, before the 2012 crop of hops arrives. Things were looking rather bleak for our lager…

With a little help from our friends
I have said it before and I’m saying it again – brewers are by far the best people out there. We told you earlier that Espen Lothe helped us out with the Simcoe hops but the story doesn’t end there. For the Amarillo we contacted Mike Murphy at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. Unfortunately he was all out of them, partly because we just used 10 kilos for the dry hopping of Henrik Imperial Amber Ale. However, he put us in contact with Anders Kissmeyer from Kissmeyer Beers and previously Nørrebro Bryghus.

Anders had the hops we were craving, but he was unable to send them to us as he was traveling in Canada. He got in contact with Nørrebro Bryghus, where he stores his hops, and got the brewers there to send them to Søgaards Bryghus. To sum it up – Kinn Bryggeri, Lervig Aktiebryggeri, Kissmeyer Beers and Nørrbro Bryghus all helped us make our lager a reality. Brewers really are something else!

Thanks, guys, we owe you big time!

We’re going abroad!

Andrimne/Black Cat Brewing is proud to announce that we’re heading abroad to brew no less than two beers at Søgaards Bryghus in Ålborg, Denmark this November. We’re brewing Supermax Lager and an India Brown Ale. Again we’re going hop heavy with our beers. A big thumbs up to Espen Lothe at Kinn Bryggeri who provided the much needed Simcoe for the lager. A hard hop to come by these days. Thanks, Espen!

Packing our passports and DKKs
We’re very excited to get to play with yet another brew house. The brew house is a copper clad beauty reminiscent of the likes of Anchor brewing. Brewing on a system like this and brewing our beers abroad are literally dreams come true. First we take Aalborg then we take… And so on!

Look for these beers sometime before Christmas!

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!

Imperial Amber re-brew!

Today Henrik Imperial Amber was re-brewed at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. We are very exited about the beer and the fact that this blast of malts and hops is mere weeks away from consumption. We didn’t change anything about the recipe – so expect lots and lots of flavor. However, this was not the only brew hitting the copper today, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Bigger and better!
Today’s brew session yielded 16HL, or 1600 liters, of Henrik Imperial Amber wort that was sent straight to the fermenter where a big slurry of WLP001 was eagerly awaiting the sweet manna. That’s more than double the amount we brewed last time. In a couple of days a monstrous load of Amarillo hops is going to give this beer its signature aroma. We can’t wait!

New and improved!
As mentioned earlier the Henrik Imperial Amber Ale was not the only beer brewed at Lervig today. From the sweet wort of Henrik Imperial Amber an exciting new recipe for Lervig Winter Ale was born. The two beers were created from the same grist, the Henrik Imperial Amber one, and the same mash. After mash-out the two beers were boiled separately as the two beers have radically different hopping schedules. The Lervig Winter Ale also had lots and lots of raisins added to the boil.

Look for Henrik Imperial Amber Ale in a couple of weeks at Henrik Øl & Vinstue!

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.

Testing out a new hop variety

Hallertauer Blanc

Shrouded in secrecy, well maybe not so secret, we have been testing out a new hop variety called Hallertauer Blanc donated to us by our friend Mike Murphy at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. The grist was about as easy as they come – 96% Belgian pilsner and 4% Crystal 150 EBC. About 100 grams of hops were used in 20 liters. Since we were focusing on the hops we used most of it in the latter portion of the boil and for dry hopping. Fermentation was done on the cool side with WLP001.

Nelson Sauvin – move over
The result was a fruity, tart and crisp ale weighing in at 5.3%, with a tropical aroma and flavor with hints of grapes, gooseberry and grapefruit. The Hallertauer Blanc reminded the tasters of Nelson Sauvin. Finally, a substitute for that hop! Good news for both home and pro brewers.

A nice healthy and cool fermentation

And who were the tasters? None other than the fine folks at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. The hop flavor tickled their collective fancy and an order was placed with the hop farm.

Can I get a taste?

Share the love – that’s what we say. The ale, named Point Blanc, will be shipped to Bjorleik 2012, and the attendees there will get first dibs on the ale. The rest will probably be served up at Mandag i Annen at Cardinal. Not going to any of these events? Contact Kim and we’ll see if we can fix you up with some.

Happy brewing!