Last week was a big week for production at the brewery.
We packaged our second batch of Double Time, our second batch of Buttah Beer (on tap at the Imperial Hotel), our first batch of Nuke Point IPA, and our first batch of Sawtooth Sour. The latter was quite an adventure.
In short, Sawtooth Batch 001 was an interesting beer to brew. Almost every aspect of the brew required something a little different.
Sawtooth Sour brewed with Motueka and Azacca hops and full of pineapple.
As a kettle sour, it requires a 12-15 hour rest with souring bacteria at 35 C, with a consistent blanket of CO2. No small feat given we had only been playing with the new brew kit for seven days prior. We constructed a loop using the existing pipework and a hose to recirculate the wort via the heat exchanger and back into the kettle to achieve the required 35 C temperature. A CO2 blanket was created via our kettle condenser, and the lacto was pitched. Overnight Sawtooth dropped from 4.3 pH to 3.51 pH. From there it was boil, hop additions, and knockout.
To add complexity to the finished product, we decided to use a French Saison yeast, which is also great at mopping up all of the fructose, sucrose, and glucose that suddenly appears towards the end of primary fermentation (more on that later). No commercial quantities of this yeast were available locally, so we had to use 4 x home brewers smack packs and then step it up from there to inoculate the 2600L of wort.
And that sudden appearance of sugars mentioned earlier? We added about 200kg of pineapple puree into the top of the fermenter. An incredibly messy affair that involved 200 x 1kg packets (rather than the 200L drum we ordered) and 9kg of concentrate. Using a forklift, a scissor lift, a ladder, and 6 people, we were 100% successful in completely covering everything in the vicinity of the fermenter with fruit. It was spectacular. Literally two days later, the brewery still smelled like a Jimmy Buffett concert.
At last we come to the dry hop of Azacca and Motueka. Sitting at a rate of about half our Double Time, we found the hops really prop up the pineapple aroma and give this delicious juice a distinctive beer quality. If you just wanted fruit juice, why not just buy that? After the pineapple explosion from a week before, the dry hop was a walk in the park.
From there beer was finally ready for deep chill, filtration, carbonation, and packaging.
And package we did, our first batch on 08/03/2019. We couldn’t be happier with the end result. Rich in pineapple aroma and flavour, the beer finishes with a soft acidity that keeps the tip of your tongue tingling until you take another sip.
Batch 002 was brewed just yesterday and we are hoping it’ll be even better than the first. A little tweak here, a little tweak there, all in the quest for better beer.
Drink Fresh and Cheers!