On Sunday we began our Headfest Brew for 2012. Given that its not heather season yet we made do with just Bog Myrtle (Sweet Gale – giving rise to gale ale) as a hop substitute. The result will be what’s called a gruit ale.. ie. a non-hopped herbal ale. We also added a little yarrow for some additional flavour. This one should have about two weeks fermentation using an American Pale Ale yeast, two-three weeks bottle fermentation and then a week or so conditioning. It’s the clearest product we’ve produced yet as we’re getting a little more proficient in using our keggery (pictured above).

The process is straightforward. First we heat our water to 67ish degrees, add our milled, malt pale ale barley, and stir a little. We give that about 60 minutes at around 67 and then add our hot rock to give it a little caramelisation and a brief boil.. The rock chars and roasts some of the grain and should  give us a slightly deeper colour (!).

Lunch then courtesy of @Thepurplehen….

After that we recirculate and transfer to our kettle keg for boiling and flavouring. The remaining barley in our mash tun keg is then sparged using heated water from a third keg.

Then we boil.. Add our flavours, transfer to fermentation bucket, and wait….

We’re pretty hopeful for this one. It’s similiar to the ale we presented at Inishfood two weeks ago but much clearer and with a lot less sediment (although we’ll never have it fully filtered).

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