A new Sheffield beer is born.
Being the CAMRA brewery liaison officer for Exit 33 Brewing I jumped at the chance when I was asked to help brew a brand new beer with them. I’ve home brewed before but never on a commercial scale. For those of you who don’t know Exit 33 Brewing started life in Sheffield in 2008 as the Brew Company. They recently moved to larger premises and rebranded and I was cordially invited along to witness the birth of a new seasonal beer, a porter called Pitch Black.
The founder of Exit 33 Pete Roberts explained the idea behind the porter recipe ‘we wanted to brew a rich flavoursome dark beer for the cold dark nights ahead. We love hop forward pale ales but we also like dark malt bombs and we wanted this porter to have moderate strength, a medium body and high drinkability’ To do this they had selected specialist malts from Bamberg in Germany. With a base of English malt these specialty grains add to the complex malt profile. It will have none of the astringent roasted flavour associated with some porters and will be smooth and mellow but with a great combination of malt flavours.
Our brew day started on a dark early morning mashing the grains with water into the mash tun. Soon the smell of steamy malt filled the cold brew house and after an hour the black wort was transferring into the copper ready to boil. I then had the task of digging the spent grains out of the mash tun ready for the farmer to collect for animal feed.
I added Northern brewer hops to the boil to balance the porter with a soft bitterness and after a one-hour boil the wort was transferred to a fermenter and the yeast pitched.
There’s a lot of hard work involved in brewing but Pete and Dean made the day fun and informative. I taste tested the dark wort and it was sweet and moorish so I can’t wait for the finished beer which will be on sale from the end of January.
Brewery Liaison Officer