Friday, 3 April 2009
Sometimes it's good to layer flavours. Last month I brewed our barley wine and got some nice malt, a little toffee (roast barley and chocolate malt make toffee), some lovely red berry notes from the rye and a deep bitterness from our hops.
Then I stored it on bed of 'Bramling Cross' hops to extract some light, fresh green notes for contrast.
Today we split the brew: half into french oak casks from the splendid chaps at Chapel Down Vineyard (big thank you to Frazer and Owen - there'll be a case for you when it's done) and half into another tank liberally dosed with a new variety of hop called NZ Nelson Sauvin. The former aliquot ought to gain vinuous undertones with perhaps a little oak and tannin, the latter, massive fruit and grapes if the early taste of these hops is anything to go by.
So at the moment we have two beers maturing, ready for bottling 'TBC', according to taste.
Layering is very much in this season.