Is it a NEIPA or just an IPA

I’m not one to follow trends but I have tried a fair few so called NEIPA’s over the last year or two, and I have had mixed opinions on them,  Cloudwater’s examples have been on the whole very good and enjoyable to drink, but many of the rest have been a waste of money and in a couple of cases drain poor. I even emailed a brewery to complain about one of their beer and the brewery admitted that the batch had a problem, but they sold them any way! Needless to say it’s rare I buy unknown beers in cans now when it comes to NEIPA’s and for that matter any bear style. Rant over with on to the real topic of this post.

If you take the right yeast, a load of hops and 100% pale ale malt can you make a trendy hazy IPA with a nice mouth feel? No wheat, no dextrin malt, no oats or any other protein rich adjunct! Lets find out.

This latest brew was a pretty simple one aiming for a 6% beer, 50% Low colour Maris Otter/50% Maris otter, Wyeast 1318 (old Boddingtons strain, or better known as the new trendy White Labs London Fog yeast) and 1.3kg of Galaxy hops.

This was for a 80L batch, which I was hoping to net 55-60L of finished beer from, I had calculated approx. 20L would be lost to dry hopping!

The yeast was grown up in a 2 stage starter, 1L followed by 7L and was prepared a few days in advance and stored in a fridge until the morning of the brew day.

Water profile – what I use for all Pale ales and IPA’s

  • Ca 60ppm
  • SO4 120ppm
  • Cl 70ppm

It was a very standard brew day, the grain was milled first thing and the mash was on by 8am, a single infusion mash was conducted at 65degC with the RIMS system maintaining the temp for the duration of 60min.

Wort transferred to the boiler, mash sparged, and the wort boiled for 90min, hop additions as below. Nutrients and whirlfloc added at 10min.

Wort transferred to the whirlpool and sizable hop addition added for a 30min rest, and the wort was then knocked out to fermenter, the wort was further cooled by jacket to 17degC, oxygenated and yeast pitched.

Here is the full recipe

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9.75 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) low colour UK (4.0 EBC) Grain 1 50.0 %
9.75 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) Grain 2 50.0 %
20.00 g Galaxy [14.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 3 8.7 IBUs
35.00 g Galaxy [14.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 4 5.2 IBUs
70.00 g Galaxy [14.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 5 5.7 IBUs
250.00 g Galaxy [14.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 6 39.3 IBUs
1 pkg – 2 stage starter London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7
900.00 g Galaxy [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 8 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.058 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.0 %
Bitterness: 58.9 IBUs
Est Color: 8.6 EBC

The IPA fermented out in 5 days, with the dryhops being added on day 4. Contact time for the dryhops was 3 days after which the conical was crash cooled for 8 days before being transferred to a 50L keg and a hand full of bottles.

The beer was then forced carb’ed over night at 75psi and was ready to serve that evening. And was it hazy? Did it stay hazy?

Well here is a poor of the IPA after 2 weeks a 3degC, so yes and yes!

Galaxy IPA

So all you need to make a hazy IPA with a nice full soft mouth feel is the right yeast and a ton of hops. And what does it tase and smell like – its Galaxy – citrus and tropical fruit in a glass, almost fruit juice esk when tasted. I am very pleased with this one, turned out to be every thing I was after in a hazy take on the IPA style.





Alpine Duet Clone

Listed in the BJCP guidelines as the number one example of an American IPA and getting great reviews online, especially before the buy out!

If you google Alpine Duet Clone I’m sure you will find all the same info I did, it seems the brewery is very quiet about it recipes, there does seem to be just enough info to put together for Duet, and more than enough info for cloning Nelson, their rye IPA, for this beer there is even a video from the brewery!

So after several hours on the web I came up with the following for a 60L batch, mashed at 66degC, boiled for 90 min:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
16.62 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) low colour UK (4.0 EBC) Grain 1 84.6 %
1.28 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC) Grain 2 6.5 %
1.28 kg White Wheat Malt (4.7 EBC) Grain 3 6.5 %
0.47 kg Caraamber (59.1 EBC) Grain 4 2.4 %
20.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – First Wort 90.0 min Hop 5 11.2 IBUs
40.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 6 4.5 IBUs
40.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 6.9 IBUs
100.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 8 11.9 IBUs
100.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 9 18.2 IBUs
1 pack and 2 step starter California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 10
150.00 g DH1 Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
150.00 g DH1 Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
150.00 g DH1 Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
150.00 g DH2 Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.065 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.8 %
Bitterness: 52.6 IBUs
Est Color: 11.0 EBC


The brew day was un-eventful, all the number were hit, fermentation proceeded as expected, the beer was dry hopped and then crash cooled before kegging, after 2 days to carbonate it was tasting great.

What I would say about this beer is that it is balanced, the malt backbone supports the hops perfectly, and it’s all about the simcoe and Amarillo!  It drink like a 5% beer it is truly neck-able to the point it’s dangerous!

Having never tasted a fresh version of this beer I have no idea if it’s cloned but it’s a very good balanced beer regardless. I was meant to enter it into the LSE comp but due to having to prioritise the time I have in the shed, bottling this never quite made it to the top of the list. Either way I would say it’s a 40 point beer which would have been in with a chance.

If i were to re brew i think i would increase the dry hopping to 200g per varity per addition giving 800g into 60L of beer, just to try and lift the aroma slightly.

Either way its a great IPA.



Gold Medal success at the UK National Home Brew Comp

To be honest this was no real surprise, I took a time proven recipe, ran it through a brew set up that was more than capable and the end result was a gold medal.

The recipe was a Pliney the Elder clone, which is freely available on the internet, tweaked slightly up to 9%.

The winning recipe is below, there is no surprise in it, the success is simply down to a quality recipe and the process control I now have in place.  I’m at the point now where in the last 4 years I have won 4 gold medals at the national, bizarrely I have never won a silver or bronze!

Its all about the process. In particular it’s all about the whirlpool!

So here is the recipe and key numbers.

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14.50 kg MO Extra Pale UK (4.0 EBC) Grain 1 88.2 %
0.25 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (118.2 EBC) Grain 2 1.5 %
1.69 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC) Sugar 3 10.3 %
80.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 4 62.3 IBUs
40.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Boil 45.0 min Hop 5 17.0 IBUs
60.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 6 20.1 IBUs
60.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 7 7.9 IBUs
60.00 g Cascade [5.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 8 5.1 IBUs
60.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 9 8.4 IBUs
60.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 10 10.9 IBUs
lots California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 11
100.00 g DH1_Centennial [10.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
100.00 g DH1_Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
90.00 g DH2_Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
70.00 g DH2_Centennial [10.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
50.00 g DH2_Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
45.00 g DH1_Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
40.00 g DH2_Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.075 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.8 %
Bitterness: 131.6 IBUs
Est Color: 10.8 EBC
Measured Original Gravity: 1.075 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.007 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 9.0 %

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 44.24 l of water at 71.1 C 65.0 C 60 min
Mash Out Add 0.00 l of water at 74.0 C 74.0 C 10 min

Process control starts at water profile, then on to controlled mash temp using a RIMS, then following the boil having a whirlpool addition of hops and a 30min stand, before being knocked out to the fermenter, all of which is a closed system after the whirlpool to reduce any chance of infection.

The whirlpool is all about adding hop flavour and really is invaluable, it also allow you to keep all the hot break out of the fermenter which really does prolong the shelf life of the beer you produce.

Its then all about pitching enough healthy yeast and controlling the fermentation.

Yeast was pitched at 17degC, alloed to free rise to 19 degC and held there until fermentation was complete. all dry hopping was done at 19degC

Using conical’s allows the yeast to be dumped, followed by the various dry hop additions, they really are a necessity for brewing high quality IPA’s and DIPA’s.

Then it all about the cold crash, cold maturation and importantly finning the beer to insure its bright.

This beer was force carbonated and botted using a beer gun, its bottled bright with a very low yeast cell count, there is enough left as a safety barrier to O2 pick up on bottling but nowhere near enough to affect clarity. And use new bottles! Or autoclave old ones why risk it!

Then all that is left is cold storage up until the very last minute. This beer was hand delivered, way better than any postal service out there!

The result was a Gold medal!

Next up is Brewcon followed by the Black friday comp, for the black friday comp i will be  entering a beer that has previously won gold (2 years ago), can the sucess be repeated?



Brewing at last in the new brew shed

After 6 months the first brew in the new brew shed happened, and it was pretty uneventful 80L of 5% hoppy pale ale. It was then quickly drunk in little more than 3 weeks!

Order is also slowly being acheived in the shed too!


However this post is not about a hoppy pale ale it’s all about an underrated and massively under brewed style here in the UK  – the Dry Stout. It seems to always get over looked with people looking to brew bigger stouts which tend to do better in competitions as they tend to stand out more with bigger flavours and high alcohol levels. To prove this point, only 2 Dry Stouts were entered into the 2016 LSE comp, there were however 10 Oatmeal Stouts , 7 Sweet Stouts and 5 Export Stouts.

The best example of a Dry Stout I have tasted in UK is from Barngates Brewery, the brewery is round the back of the Drunken Duck Inn near Ambleside in the Lake District – It’s called Goodhew’s Dry Stout and comes in at 4.3%, it’s a proper session beer and it is floorless, for a cask beer its holds it head remarkably well and has a lovely smoothness to it with a dry finish and balanced hop bitter ness, it is a celebration of dark malts and British yeast all brought into balance by the bitterness.

Another great Dry Stout I came across was when I was in Cork Ireland for a weekend away, it’s brewed by the Cotton Ball Brewery and is called Lynch’s Handcrafted Stout. What I really liked about this was the dry almost grainy finish but smooth at the same time, and use of US and NZ hops in the finish really did work.

I spent a fair bit of time contemplating the grist for this brew, I consulted the usual  books – Brewing Classic Styles,  Modern Home Brewing Recipes and a cracking book called Brewing Porters and Stout, this last book is a must read for any one serious about brewing stouts and porters.

All the Dry stout recipes consisted of pale ale malt, flaked barley, roasted barley, and in some cases a small amount of black, chocolate or crystal malt. It was just simply a case of aiming somewhere in the middle of all the grist’s but not going overboard on the number of malts used, that and I had some helpful advice from the John the head brewer at Barngates Brewery

After much procrastination I came up with the following grist:

  • Pale malt                             66%
  • Flaked Barley                     22%
  • Roasted Barley                   8%
  • Choc Malt                            2%
  • Black malt                           2%

Hops were an easy choice as I had a load of Challenger in the freezer – aimed for 45ibu, with a single bittering addition in the kettle and a reasonable sized addition in the Whirlpool.

Water was built from RO to the specification for Dry Stout in the book Water, with acidification to make sure mash pH was 5.3.

Yeast used for the brew was WLP007, which is kind of my go to house strain at the moment, it really suits my setup using conical fermenters as it loves to flocculate and if not massively dry hoped it also drops bright quickly without the need to use finnings.

Approximately 2 days before wanting to brew I will start to propagate the yeast. For this brew it meant 2 x 25L starters on stir plates.


My brewday starts the evening before normally as I need to make the brewing liquor, which when producing 2L a min from a RO machine can take a while especially when I normally need 200L in the HLT for a 100L batch.  The HLT then is heated overnight so that the following morning the HLT is about 78degC.

Then the first thing I do the morning of the brew day is to mill the grain followed by measuring out the salt additions for the mash, it’s then just a case of ensuring the strike liquor is at the right temp and then mashing in.


The mash temp for ths brew as 64degC and the mash lasted 90 min with the aim of producing highly fermentable wort. The RIMS was used to maintain the mash temp and to also ensure a perfectly clear wort was produced, this was a single infusion mash with no mash out temp ramp. Following the 90 min mash, the run off/sparge was started with the aim of collecting 116L of wort in the boiler. I only aim to boil off 10% over 90min, i like a nice steady rolling boil, there is no need to try and boil off 20% of you volume!

Once the boil had started the bittering hop addition was added and it was just a case of waiting 80 min before the kettle finnings and yeast nutrient is added.


It is normally about this time I put the plate chiller in the oven and get the whirlpool and the fermenter ready for use.

For the Whirlpool this normally means a rinse out with water and a spray out with peracetic acid. The fermenter however got a full CIP as I had emptied it the day before. For the CIP I use a 2% caustic solution and aim to get the inside of the conical up to 80degC – there is very little that will survive this environment.


The fermenter is then rinsed out with water and sprayed out with peracetic acid, all the fittings which have been previously cleaned and sanitised are then fitted to the fermenter and it’s ready to be filled.

Following the 90 min boil the wort is pumped into the whirlpool and the whirlpool hop addition is added and then allowed to rest for 30mins before being knocked out via a plate chiller and into the fermenter.

Here is the hop/trub cone in the bottom of the whirlpool


On knock out the wort was cooled to about 25degC using the plate chiller, I then use the chiller on the fermenter to drop the temp down to a pitching temp of 17degC. The wort was oxygenated at 2L per min for 3min, and the yeast was pitched shortly after, the temp is allowed to free rise up to 19degC and was then held at 19degC for 4 days before being raised to 21degC for a diacetyl rest. Fermentation was all done in 7days and the beer was perfectly drinkable. If you ferment this type of beer correctly there really is no need for an extended conditioning period.

My normal procedure once fermentation is complete is to crash cool to 2-3degC and hold the beer at this temp for 3-4days before kegging but in this case I omitted this step as just wanted to start drinking the stout!

The beer was transferred to 3 x 19L kegs, 1 x pin and about 20 bottles, the kegs were force carbonated and later that day the beer was on tap.


On keg this is a solid dry stout, but I am more interested to see how this is from the cask when served through a beer engine and a sparkler.

The verdict – the fermentation was nice and clean, its got a good silky smoothness to it, it could do will a little more roast almost graininess that you can get for roasted barley so maybe increase this to 10% and may be increase the flaked barley to as much as 25%. Hops wise the overall bitterness is at a good level, the beer can take the 45ibu’s of challenger. I have to admit for the next batch I think I will substitute a small amount of cascade in for the whirlpool addition may be a 50:50 mix, the key here is to just add a subtly undertone and not try and turn it into a fruit punch, alternatively I may just add more challenger in the whirlpool.

Another question is – is it worth investing in mixed gas to get the classic nitro pour that’s associated with stouts? I may just have to invest in the mixed gas reg and a gas bottle to see!

As said above this is a solid beer and a great starting point, any changes made will be minor tweeks – all in all very happy. Its been entered into a upcoming competition so will be good to get some feedback.



Beer is great, beer and meat is better

Over the last few months with the shed build in progress I have been un able to brew, and I guess I have been looking for other food and drink related projects, or to put it another way not brewing has given me time to indulge in a couple of other food related interests which I have been thinking about for the last year or so.

One of these interests is smoking meat -cooking low and slow, I have been wanting to try and do this for well over a year and I finally after a bit of internet based research have jumped in with both feet.

The two smokers I looked at were the ProQ Frontier Elite and the Weber Rocky Mountain and after a bit of research I settled on the ProQ Frontier Elite. Both smokers had good reviews but what sold it to me was the quick response to my questions when contacting Mac’s BBQ. It’s very reassuring when spending a few hundred quid to have questions answered quickly and it’s great to have the ability to just call up the main distributer and speak to someone about their products.

Here is the smoker


One thing which became very apparent when it comes to smoking is temperature control; the ability to maintain low temperatures for extended periods of time and to be able to monitor the meats temperature is paramount. This really is the key to smoking and I realised I need to be able to tightly monitor and maintain the cooking temperature – in this aspect smoking is very similar to fermentation!

So after a bit more research and a couple of emails to Mac’s BBQ I settled on the BBQ Guru Cyber Q, this is a pretty high end temperature controller with some great features, like most things you get what you pay for.

The Cyber Q had 3 food temp probes, a pit probe which feed into the controller when then controls the Pit Viper fan and the whole thing wireless connects to your house router and with a bit of configuration you can track all the temperature over the internet and make any changes using your mobile phone or any pc with an internet connection. All very handy when your sat in a pub having a few beers!

Here is the controler with all the probes and fan attached


The day before the first cook the new smoker was seasoned, the idea being that you just try and coke up the inside of the smoker so that a few of the gaps are sealed and it’s a bit more airtight.

The one thing I have now realised is that smoking requires an earlier than usual start on the day! If a 12 hour cook is required that means a 6am start which can be a bit tricky if a few too many beers have been enjoyed on the previous night!

The day before the first smoke I went and picked up the short rib of beef and that evening I applied the rub and left the meat in the fridge overnight to marinade in the rub. The rub consisted of the following:

  • ½ cup sea salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder

First job the following morning was to get the charcoal going, a pretty big pile of them for a long slow cook. I had also purchased a BBQ charcoal chimney which is a great invention that means you no longer need to buy any sort of BBQ fire lighters.

Once the charcoal was alight more were added and the unit was assembled with the water bath full of boiling water in the bottom of the smoker.

The meat was then added to the smoker and the pit temperature was set to 225degF looking to achieve a meat temp of 195degF after the 10-12 hour smoke.

Here is the smoker all set up with the temperature control in action


The following pictures were taken of the meat at 3 and 6 hours

As already mentioned the CyberQ allows you track the temperatures of the smoker from your mobile phone and this proved invaluable as at 8 hours in I found myself sat in a pub with beer in hand and I was able to notice that the pit temperature was dropping off slightly, this meant that I had a quick 3 pints then headed home to add some more charcoal to the smoker and soon the temperature was back up where it needed to be.

This was the short rib after 11 hours in the smoker, with the meat and pit probe in place.


The meat went down pretty well, the main evidence being that there was not much left! But my one main comment  and a change I will make when I do this recipe again is to remove as much of the rub as possible before putting the meat into the smoker, as it was a little salty if you got a bit too much if the rub when you bit into the meat.

All in all I was very pleased with the first effort; next on the list will be lamb shoulder closely followed by some pork ribs.

Will post further pictures and details of smokes over the coming months.



Building a brew shed at the end of the garden – part 2 almost ready to brew

It’s been another bust 5 weeks and although progress on the brewery shed is slowed I’m not too far from getting the first brews on.

So what has been achieved? Well the building is clad in the Siberian Larch, the electric supply is in, as well as water, and there is even a sink! And most importantly from the view of the missus the back room now had a dining table and all the brew kit is in the shed.

So the shed from outside is looking smart, clad and it even has doors!


The only thing missing now is the patio but that may be a while due to what could be best described as renovation complications in the house, lets just say the roof has been leaking for a while and when the windows were taken out some of the lintels were a little rotten and in some cases non-existent!

The floor has been painted, the block walls have also been painted


The walls behind the brew kit have been covered in 2mm hygienic plastic cladding


One of the most important (and expensive) jobs was getting electricity to the shed, and now there is a 60amp supply run from the house via a nice bit of 16mm2 armoured cable. I have a 32 amp supply for the control panel, 12 double sockets, and 5 LED strip lights all running from  the sheds own distribution panel.

The brew kit is in its new home with the main brewing vessels in about the right place.


A water supply has been hooked up, along with drainage and the RO machine has been mounted above the sink and plumbed in, along with a UV filter with has yet to be plumbed in. A sink was bought via ebay and is in and working – cold water only. But from the picture below you will see the plug socket needs to be moved, bit of a miss calculation on my part there! Hopefully in the future I will get a small wall mounted hot water heater just need to find the right product.


And this is why i need an RO machine – total disolved solids (TDS) in is 350 and out is 11! The water where i have mooved to is very hard – not ideal.

My barrel collection has taken up residence at the back of the brewery, so far 5 barrels have been moved in, of the 4 wine barrels I had 1 of them looks to have been lost to an infection. It may be salvageable but I need to wait and see what happens after some intensive cleaning, worse case it will be recycled into a couple of planters. And once I get properly sorted out I should have room for 10 barrels at the back of the brewery if needs be.

These barrels are the future of any commercial aspirations I may have and will be filled shortly with a range of mixed culture sour beers and also hopefully some truly spontaneously ferment wort.

Most of the fermenters are where they will spend the next few years and now they all need connecting up to chillers and temperature controllers and will then require a deep clean before use.


The main brewing vessels have already been CIP’ed with Caustic at 80degC


The store room is full already but a good sort out will again create some space.


The clean room still need a window but it’s taking shape slowly.


The biggest job left now is to have a major sort out, and then sell off some stuff I have not used for a long time or am unlikely to use in the future; it appears I have amassed a lot of stuff and a lot of it shinny! I did wonder at one point if the brew shed was big enough :- )

The focus now really has shifted from building too sorting/organising and simply getting the brewery up and running. I think another day or 2 of sorting and prep work and I should be good to go. Or to put it another way – the time it takes to grow up a yeast starter of Wyeast 1318 for a 80 L batch of Pale Ale and I should then be good to go. As always tho work has gotten in the way again and the starter won’t happen for a couple of weeks. But I cant complain to much as work has made all this possible.

So what going to get brewed, well once I start brewing I want to fill barrels as fast as possible as well as replenish stocks as we have pretty much run out of kegged beer. Currently we are drinking a Belgian Pale Ale which must be 6-8 months old and has been treated badly in the keg due to the house move but despite this it’s still very drinkable, and would still score 34-35 points in a BJCP comp, its not outstanding but still has no major issues and drinks very well on a hot day sat in the garden. The Belgian Pale Ale was brewed with WLP 530 it’s a very resilient yeast just like WLP565.

So very soon on the brewing schedule is:

  • Golden sour base beer, 240L batch fermented with Brett and Lacto – this will then be transferred to a first use white wine barrel
  • American Pale Ale 80L batch fermented with Wyeast 1318
  • Dry Stout 80L batch fermented with Wyeast 1318 top cropped from the pale ale
  • Imperial smoked Porter, 140L batch, this will be aged in a ex Jack Danial’s barrel, the yeast for this will be cropped from the stout
  • Red sour base beer, 240L batch fermented with Brett and Lacto cropped from the pale sour base – this will then be transferred to a first use red wine barrel.

So hopefully some 760L of wort will be produced, 3 barrels will be filled, and keg supplies will be replenished!

Well thats the plan, guess there will be a part 3 now showing one of the upcoming brews!

Cheers for reading


Building a brew shed at the end of the garden – part 1 getting the building up

So at the end of March the missus and me bought a house and on the 27th April we packed the house in London into removal vans and headed West into the sun! We had two removals vans one for the house and one for the brewery – I really have managed to amass some home brew kit it seems!


One minor snag, the house we had bought had nowhere suitable for me to brew, so the simple answer to me was to build a brew shed and by shed I mean a 6.5m x 5.7m monster of a brew shed. One catch, the missus is an architect so it has to look good from the house, all I will say here is Larch is not cheap!

The house we had moved out of had the better part of a triple garage and I had managed to fill that so I needed to get organised to fit it all into the new shed, I was also adamant that I wanted a clean area where I can propagate yeast and do some basic lab work away from the dust and dirt of the brewery area, and also to keep the missus happy and not have yeast starters going in the kitchen!

The obvious answer to me was to divided the shed are into three, the main brewing area, a store room (which is bigger than my first bedroom as a kid) and a yeast lab/clean area.

Here is a CAD drawing with a general layout and arrangement of equipment – it’s amazing what can be built under Permitted Development!

shed plan

In blue is the brew kit, red is the fermenter and barrel area, and white is storage and yeast lab.

When we moved in the house did have a shed at the bottom of the garden which was the width of the garden and about 3.4m from front to back but it was in a shocking state and even came with a cement/asbestos sheet roof. As the shed formed the boundary on the back and the sides it was decided to keep those walls but the rest had to go! What follows is a series of photos and comments as the demolition progresses.

This is the origional shed with the windows and door removed – its lovely!


And a bigger hole!


So with the demolition done the first thing to do was prep the ground for the new concrete slab and to install the threshold drain across the front of the building.

Its even, well almost straight and level ish!


Then came the fun of the concrete pour, and how do you get 3.5 cubic metrers of cement into the back garden of a house with no real rear access? You pump it through the front door, up the hallway, through the dining room, kitchen, out the back door and down the garden! And it worked a treat here is a few pics of that operation in action, i have a video but this will have to come in part 2, i cant download it where i am at the moment!

This the pump truck and concrete wagon


And through the front garden goes the pipe!


And the start of the pour, had help from me best mate Steve,  Ken (Father) and Uncle Steve, all avid drinkers of the brewerys produce!


Not quite so clean nearer the end of the pour!


And a couple of hours later you end up with this. The concrete was specked for light industrial use but was also reinforced with plastic fibres, god help anyone that wants to remove this concrete base in the future!


And the following day the concrete has gone off very nicely!


2 days later we laid one course of blocks for the new timber frame addition to sit on.


Then it was time to start the timber framing


Followed by more framing and the roof joists, which are 195mm x 67mm JJI Joists which gave up to a 4m span at 600mm spacing. The biggest span in the shed being 3.6m.


Then it onto the roof build up, I went for whats known as a warm roof, on top of the joist went 18mm OSB. Tea breal time and stress tested the joist too!



Followed by a self-adhesive vapour barrier.


Then 25mm of insulation stuck down to the vapour barrier.


Then on top of that a 1.5mm EPDM rubber roof. Luckily the weather played and this all went down without any rain falling, thats untill it was just about down, but not totally finished! At this point I went to the pub!


The roof was on and now we had tomake it water tight, the outside was covered in a membrane and battened over to keep it secure. More battens will be added for the cladding


The new timber framed sections then got filled with 50mm of foam insulation and then a vapour barrier.


Then all the internal and external stud walls were lined with OSB – finally taking shape


It was at this point, about 4 weeks since the start of the shed build, and 5 weeks since moving in I had to go back to work for a few weeks, so the build is now on hold for 4 weeks then it will be full speed ahead again as I want to get brewing in July and drinking fresh homebrew again by early August!

On the to do list now is:

  • Paint the floor and wall
  • Line area closest to brewing vessels with white plastic
  • Make doors
  • Clad the new addition in Larch
  • Dig a soakaway
  • Sort out drainage for the sinks – need to get it to the house drains!
  • Electrics – 60amp supply is needed!
  • Get water supply to the shed
  • Move in brewing equipment and get set up
  • Lay patio as summer is coming only a small one 2m x 6m – accordong to the missus this is very important

Not to mention working on the house and the front garden, needless to say I’m going to be even busier over the coming months!

Part 2 of this blog post should be published towards the end of July or August time – fingers crossed!