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I am moving away from my initial single BIAB pot system to a set of 3x 50L kegs. I am mainly doing this as 50L kegs seem to be very good value for their 50L size, easy to carry with the built in…Continue
Hey thought I'd ask this here, proving quite hard to find on google.I'm after 3 small lengths of stainless tube, enough to make 2 whirlpool tubes and one dip tube.Tube size, it just needs to fit into…Continue
Thought I would post some details on my electric keggle HLT conversion. Not finished yet but close. I've found reading over peoples other blogs/threads really useful, particularly those from NZ, so hopefully this is useful to someone thinking of doing the same.
Fittings from left…Continue
Etch O Sketch.
Did a little etching last night in my HLT, worked out pretty good.
Despite the blurry shit photo it's actually crisp and neat. Each line is an exact 1mm tall rectangle.
The only thing is it's a pretty light etch, whether that's because of the nature of…Continue
Finally got my wiring done, sporadic nights over a couple of weeks but I got there in the end.
I would recommend to anyone doing this to set enough time aside to do it in one bang :)
There's enough to this system that just when you have your head around it you discover some other little piece of complexity that makes you think really hard about what you're doing.
My timer is different from Kal's one on theelectricbrewery.com so that took a fair amount of…Continue
The last few bits arrived during the week, so a few hours this afternoon and we have beer on tap. Perlick 636SS taps. Covered the fridge door in a vinyl blackboard sticker I got off ebay. Room for 4 corny kegs in the fridge, and the freezer is still being used. I might yet replace the fridge thermostat with a STC1000 yet as I did with my fermentation fridge. At the moment the CO2 cylinder is inside the fridge, just waiting on some John Guest fittings to turn up so I can move it outside.…Continue
After Hallertau Brewery, we headed to Otahuhu in South Auckland to check out Steam Brewing Company. Steam brew the beer for the Cock and Bull pubs that can be found in the Auckland suburbs of Lynfield, Ellerslie, Botany Downs, Newmarket and at the airport as well as Hamilton and also contract brew for a few NZ microbreweries, including Epic.
We caught up with Master Brewer, Shane Morley and had a look around the brewery. I'll put in a bit of a disclaimer here and say that we didn't really need to see much of the brewery as both Luke and myself have spent a bit of time in it! Luke was previously head brewer of the Cock and Bull brewery when it was in East Tamaki and went on to become General Manager of Steam before starting Epic, so we there is definitely a close relationship!
We sat down and chatted to Shane about the beers, brewing and the brewery. Shane is one of the few Diploma Master Brewers in New Zealand and possibly the only one in Kiwi craft brewing, so he definitely knows his stuff! With a large trophy cabinet as the backdrop to our interview, we chatted about the ridiculous amount of medals that Steam have won over the years in brewing awards. Testament to the skill and precision that Shane and his team bring, with Monk's Habit (an American Double Red style ale) one of the most awarded beers in NZ history!
But it's not just big, bold, hoppy brews that Steam contribute to our fantastic brewing landscape. The Cock and Bull pubs stock Buxom Blonde, an American Wheat Ale, Dirty Blonde, a seasonal Witbier, Fuggles, a hopalicious English Bitter served on handpull, Classic Draught, a lightly hopped Pale Ale, Blue Goose, a Pilsner-style Lager, Dark Star, a solid porter-like dark ale and a number of Brewer's Choice seasonals that see the crew flexing their brewing muscles.
Nigel Shaw heads up the brewery and with only 5 full time staff, they definitely punch above their weight. The team are all on their way to completing Institute of Brewing and Distilling qualifications, no mean feat when working full time and with around 900 hL of fermenter capacity, they can definitely brew a lot of beer! The brewhouse is a four vessel system, with a jacketed mash tun, lauter tun, kettle and whirlpool, giving good flexibility for the various brewing practices and beer styles that Shane and other contract brewers may need to utilise. The brewery is set up for hop pellets, though they have used flowers in the past. Don't know who gets the fun job of cleaning out the vessels when this is the case, but I'm glad it's not me! A 10 000 litre brewhouse would mean a lot of hop cones for an Epic brew.
We head to the vessels to try a few of Shane's creations. We have a sip of the Blue Goose, only a few days into conditioning, but clean, crisp and citrusy with the lightest hint of sulphur, something that is associated with the yeast and will condition out, leaving a great session brew. We moved on to Monk's Habit next, a bold, hoppy nose, rich, fruity alcohol and toffee and warmth in the mouth. To clean the palate, we then tasted Buxom Blonde, another clean offering with the faintest hints of estery banana. Another to try after an extended conditioning period and something to sup on my next Cock and Bull visit!
Shane also had an experimental version of Monk's Habit on the go, fermenting it with a Belgian Ale yeast strain. We had a taste and were impressed by the combination of big clove-like ester, rich toffee from the malt, resinous hops and rich mouthfeel. It's always great to see brewer's experimenting and I seriously hope these guys do a lot more of it!
The day over, we realised that there wasn't really much time to film the Epic section of Craft Beer TV... maybe next week...