22nd June 2016 was unusual for at least a couple of reasons. First because Lewis finally managed to get out of his chair and brew a beer and second because of what was to happen late that evening.
It was a double brewday (1x 20BBL batch + 1x 5BBL batch) and the day didn't start too well. Lewis's memory tells him the 5BBL brew was supposed to be mashed straight after the 20BBL one was in but when Lewis arrived at 9am (post daddy duties) there was the 5BBL kit sitting empty and clean whilst everyone enjoyed a 9am coffee (that bit might not be true). This misunderstanding might be why Butch's lasting memory of the day is Lewis being in a bad mood.
The grist that got mashed at 0935 that day consisted of extra pale malt, Carapils and some oats, this bit was fine. It was in the copper (as we call it, as opposed to kettle) that the problems started. Since we don't whirlpool/use a hopback - we pump from copper to FV through heat exchanger - loading the brew with 100% pellet hops caused serious clogging of the heat exchanger and a very slow transfer time. So slow, I remember, that it Lewis who was last at the brewery that night.
I almost forgave the hops for taking up my early evening as they smelt so damn good. Three varieties were used and they were added throughout the boil (all pellets, did I mention that?) - Columbus, Bravo & Amarillo.
Fermentation went like all of our other fermentations (we only use one yeast strain - working on that) but there are some interesting comments on the brewsheet - "BITTER AS 'F'", for example. Other verbal comments I remember about this brew include 'murky crap' and 'it's only fit for the drain'.
Despite those comments it was racked to cask and stacked inconveniently in the cold store. Who knows why but no one got round to trying the beer again until last week (short on empty casks or something). The unfined cask that we tried was murky but the hoppy flavour was beautiful!
If you don't mind all the bad rap this beer has gotten and you'd like to try some of the murky crap for yourself then there's 13x9s available as of now. Chances are we'll not brew it again.
The other thing that makes 22nd June noteworthy is actually something that lasted until the following morning. Leonard Hill, second son of Lewis Hill, arrived at 0650 on June 23rd. (Leonard should not be judged or compared with this beer)
Thanks for reading, Lewis.