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Brewing a South African Amber Ale on the Grainfather and Braumeister – Real Beer Revolution

Hi welcome to real beer revolution my name is Mike and today we’re at The Old Potters Inn, in Greyton brewing the Rooinek Amber Ale. So we’re here with Trevor whose owner and part time brewer. So tell me about the story behind Old Potters, you guys have been going a year now? Yeah we had our first birthday in November it’s difficult to know when a brewery starts or when your relationship with your wife starts, I’m not sure what the initiating event is but for a brewery I suppose the moment of consummation is the license and happened in November, so we’ve been going for a year But prior to that there’s always a backstory of three years sitting in licensing offices and getting pieces of paper from departments of agriculture farms and fishery and as you can imagine there’s a whole long rigmarole to getting a license.

This is a 1850 monument so that that in itself the building took a fair amount of time so three years prior to that we’d started and two years prior to that we bought the property so in total its you know the story is about a good 5-7 years old I think there was a story of every brewery in South Africa, a lot of thinking before you eventually see the light of day. And we’re here obviously about the amber ale today the Rooinek so how long did this recipe take to develop? You know we kind of started playing with it a good two years ago and started refining it and playing with our a malts and our our hops and a lot of it is serendipitous development, you kind of start with a recipe in mind and certain hops are not available at certain times of the year as are certain malts not available at certain times And and so I would say it’s taken a good – 2 years to arrive at this particular recipe We’ve gone with SAB malts, very controversially, I know it’s not trendy to say you like SAB malts but they’re 30 kilometers down the road from us, all of the barley is grown in the surrounding area as you would have seen Mike when you drove in you would have seen all the barley fields that have just recently been harvested and are going to the malting house in Caledon So to us, it makes sense to have a local product.

That’s processed locally and we’re finding very acceptable extractions we haven’t found any bodies or tractor bits in our malt. We haven’t had any problems with our milling so we’re happy. And also we changed our hops quite a lot. We started off with a lot of imported hops and now we’re going predominantly with SAB hops, there’s a fantastic service in George, from there SAB, AB InBev team that give us tremendous service. It’s a very malt forward beer, I mean there’s a lot of a lot of caramel on the nose and a little bit of the tropical aromas from the passion from the Southern Passion but it’s a very malt forward beer. We wanted it to be mainly malt, we’ve got four beers we wanted one to be about the malt, which would be this one. We wanted want to be about the hops which would be our IPA.

We wanted one to be about the yeast which is the Saison. And then we wanted one to be well balanced the the Pale Ale. So yeah this one we’ve gone for a very malty, caramel, toffee wild honey kind of flavour. You can see the colour there, it’s a fantastic red for the Rooinek and that It matches the bits on your ears Mike! The name is what drew me to this beer to brew today you know the Rooinek, I get the Rooinek! But what was a story behind the name is there a character in particular that drew you to this name? Before we got our licensure you started serving beer for free. I don’t know if that’s legal or not I hope you don’t have any SARS guys watching.

As I was serving beers I was struck by the one being a very kind of balanced Pale Ale and then the other one was the Saison which I thought was a peasant beer and the name Plaas Jappie came to mind and I thought if we got the Plaas Jappie then the pale ale must be the antithesis to that, the city slicker and then when I saw the amber coming out like that I thought this has to be the Rooinek, so it’s not like there was a particular Story as to how that happened.

It was know to fit in with our range of names. Yeah, okay, and you’re keeping yourself busy, obviously brewings not your only passion or your only line of work? A lot of brewers in South Africa have got a day job. There’s guys in IT and funding the Kind of The folly through through a day job, and my day job is a kidney dialysis I treat people with kidney failure, and I put them on dialysis machines and I then try and arrange transplants for them and and look after them I don’t do the actual transplanting, but I look after them, after the transplant and so that helps pay for a bag of grain here and a vaccum packed bit of hops there. As we say in Afrikaans its Neirtjies en Biertjies (Kidneys and Beers). And you’ve also started off a festival here, a beer festival in in Greyton.

So we started the first time was last year I turned 50 and I didn’t want a birthday party so I said to my wife let’s just have a little small beer festival, and we invited a few of our local friends, to highlight Brewers in the in the area people like running Hoenenklip and and Old Harbor house and of course Folk and Goed and There’s also obviously Eric of Triggerfish And then I started learning about the others the Mountain Brewing Company and Red Sky so before we knew it we had a few Cape Town Brewers that were interested, Greg Casey from Afro Carribean and obviously our good friend Stef from Little Wolf, we can’t leave him out of anything so it was mainly meant to focus on the Overberg, but it’s spread a little bit wider I was proud that it was small and intimate and I was proud that the actual Brewers were there on the day they weren’t corporate people who didn’t really know what they’re serving so you’ve got a Brew festival for brewers made by brewers and I would like to develop that a little bit more this year Highlight a lot on the home brewing scene which is thriving in the Western Cape, Helderberg and the South Yeasters I’d like them to have a stand, I’d there to be an actual brew on the day and once again I wanted to Brewers themselves to be there and Actually, also have a festival beer as well that isn’t available anywhere else except at the festival.

So when and when and where is It it’s gonna be the first Saturday of April. Hopefully every year forever. And in Greyton? In Greyton, we rent a hall that’s that’s a bit bigger than our property that can accommodate 15-20 Brewers will also have a gin from our other Greyton friends the Bryant Brothers who do Six Dogs Lovely lovely gin, so we’ll have them as well and some local wineries will be there as well. So it’ll be a little bit of everything, but I wanted to stay mainly beer focused actually Perfect that’s coming 7th of April next year. Yeah, great. Well. Thanks very much Trevor Thank you for having us here, and then let’s go make some beer, yeah. Thank you! Cheers Ok so here we have the grain bill for a 23 litre batch of the Rooinek and We have 3 kilograms of pale malt one and a half kilograms of caramel amber malt 250 grams of caramel munich 3 and 250 grams of meloanoidin malt And here we are doughing in and I like doing it very slowly so I mix a jug in at the time Try and disperse it around the water quite nicely, and then give it a really good stir Make sure that the grain is coated with the water I think this helps efficiency quite a bit so moving on now This is towards the end of doughing in you can see it becomes much more difficult at this stage much more difficult to get the water mixed in with the grain but Yeah, if you move the mash pedal around quite a bit as I’m doing in the video there Then you get some quite good results at the end So here we are mashing in and it’s quite a simple mash schedule on this brew sixty-eight degrees C for 60 minutes and 77 degrees C mash out for ten minutes And we also brewed this on a 50-liter Braumeister system, we simply doubled the recipe for that so here we are mashing in on the Braumeiister and while that was mashing in we had a quick look around the brewery had some nice beers enjoyed the Rooinek and just enjoyed Greyton in general really.

There were some fantastic smells coming from inside the brewery this day, so I decided to check out what was actually going on and they were brewing a Russian Imperial Stout Really big beer lots of chocolaty smells in the air, I had to get a good look in there and see what was happening Okay, so we come back to the end of the mash and we are now mashing out, and you can see the beautiful red color Okay so we lift the mash pipe out from the Grainfather And as we do that then all the water starts to sparge down through the grain bed and into the boil kettle And then we’re going to sparge with some 77 degree water and we should spark very slowly It’s nice to Disperse that water all over the top of that plate there And those stainless steel marks you don’t want to get water above those marks, so spare with water and then let it drop down.

And here we are lifting the grain out of the Braumeister It’s definitely a two-man job on this system. It’s a 50 liter system, so it’s much heavier You would expect it to be much more difficult But yeah, we’re just out and sparging away So we sparge in exactly the same way on this pouring water over that mesh So that it cleans the grains nicely Okay, so now this kettle is up to the boil and you can see there was quite a bit of foam on the top from the protein so I like to just stir all that foam back into the kettle before I start my timer There I am stirring it all back in And our first hop addition the 60 minute hope addition, is 16 and 1/2 grams of African Queen If you can’t get hold of Africa Queen you could substitute with Polaris at this stage and give that a good stir, give the hops a good stir into the wort Make sure they’re all mixed in quite nicely and I just like to give the bottom of the kettle a quick scrape at this stage as well to stop any buildup on the bottom And once that’s done We’re gonna start our 60-minute timer on the Grainfather.

And here we are adding double the amount of hops into the Braumeister Okay so with ten minutes left of the boil you can add 10 grams of Cascade, make sure we get them all in. And again, we’re going to give it really good stir and i’ll give the bottom of the kettle another scrape at this point Okay, there’s only one minutes to go now I’m gonna throw in a whole 22 grams of Southern Passion and these are aroma hops so We’re gonna give them a nice stir in I did a bit of a mini whirlpool at this stage Just to make sure that they were all amalgamated nicely in there And I give the bottom a bit of a scrape again as well And now time is up The heater is off so we’re going to do a five-minute whirlpool on this It’s hard work, but it really does help so we do this for five minutes and then we let it rest for five minutes before we start pumping the wort through the counterflow chiller and into the fermentation bucket, and that’s it we’re gonna throw in our yeast, we used US-05 on this recipe And we’re gonna let it ferment away at 18 degrees It really is as simple as that Thanks very much for watching the video.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed making it We had a great time in Greyton at the Old Potter’s Inn And if you did enjoy it, please do give us a like and a share Check out our website realbeerrevolution.co.za And you can find us on most social medias @realbeerrevolution Until next time .