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Archive for October 2011

Today I drove the 50-or-so minutes over to see Tara & Elaine at Mallinsons Brewery in Huddersfield.
If you’ve never heard of or had a Mallinsons beer you’ll be sure to enjoy them as they make some really well balanced beers, nothing too mental and they hit a lovely hoppy-middle-ground… Something like the Beer equivalent of the Goldilocks-Zone.

Have a look down their rather long list of brewed beers on their website & Check the brewery installation photos too.
Out of their beers I’ve had they have always been superb, bags of flavour & aroma, and a nice amount of body, and all hand-filled & bottled-conditioned (even veggie & vegan friendly) and they even sacrifice their office space to lovingly warm condition them before a cold conditioning phase.

Tara and Elaine started life as school teachers, Before starting the brewery Tara was experimenting with small homebrew batches making beer with Malt Extract & Hops before doing a 3-4 day Brewlab course and a Mossbrew course, then the first brew was done with David Porter… after that they were in at the deep end!  Doing 2 brews per week was all that one person could manage with sales / racking and deliveries, during this time Elaine was still working in her old job to help pay Tara a wage while the business found its feet. I think they’ve found their feet now and the all girl team is now three strong with Elaine now brewing too (When Tara is not around!).
They now brew four times per week to keep up to demand, a success story from Homebrewer to well respected commercial Microbrewery.

Here are a few snaps of the brew-house, this is the 6-Barrel Copper – Mash Tun – Hot Liquor Tank, all wood-clad / built & installed by David Porter:
Mallinsons Brewery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Another view of the kit:
Mallinsons Brewery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
The 4 Stainless steel Fermenting vessels:
Mallinsons Brewery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Sterilised bottles ready to be filled:
Mallinsons Brewery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
The simplistic approach to hand bottling, straight from un-fined casks, I thought it would be a bit more technical than this so its nice to see things kept simple & straight forward:
Mallinsons Brewery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me about brewing and process, it is always very nice to see how others work. 🙂

Centennial Blonde – A blonde ale made with mostly lager malt,  hopefully I’ll get somewhere close to ‘Centennial’, at least hop Flavour-wise.

Lager Malt – 79.1%
Wheat Malt – 7.9%
Oat Malt – 7.8% (using up a part bag, should add some fake body)
CaraHell (Weyermann) – 5.3%

Centennial Whole 11.5 % @ 60 mins – 25g – (FWH)
Centennial Whole 11.5 % @ 10 mins – 20g
Centennial Whole 11.5 % @ 0 mins – 30g – (20 minute Copper Stand with the boil just cooled a little)

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.036 (I actually got about 1038-1040)
Final Gravity: 1.009
Alcohol Content: 3.5% ABV
Total Liquor: 32.1 Litres
Mash Liquor: 9.1 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 36 EBU – I’ve set the hop utilisation in BeerEngine to 25% for this to see if things turn out a bit more realistic.
Colour: 5 EBC
Liquor Treatment: Gypsum 6.3g, Calcium Choride 6.3g, Epsom Salts 3.3g

Blended malts:
The garage brewery Corner, I thought I’d add a bit of an overview of my setup:
A few Centennial Hops, bag-ends from work are handy though this will last me for ages:
The Mash, lost 2°c over about 70mins:
Another view of the Brewery Corner, the other side of the garage is rather less tidy:
First sparge running into the copper onto the First Wort Hops, Just over 77% Mash efficiency:
Flameout hops going in:
The Money shot, hydrometer says a bit above what the Refractometer said:

All done and cleaned up in about 5 hours, Mashed in at 8.30am for 60mins, Batch Sparged, boiled for 60mins, Hop steep for 20mins, cooled, stood for 20mins then ran to fermenter and pitched Safale us-05 at 20°c

*Bottled 22nd Oct ’11 with 75g White Sugar – FG 1008 @ 18°c, tasting pretty good.

*Early taster was very nice last night, 27th Oct ’11, bitterness is much more believable with the 25% Hop utilisation figure and could maybe be set to 30% for subsequent brews. Though maybe one more brew at 25% with different hops and a higher IBU to double check.

These are my personal thoughts on the new rates of Beer Duty, I’ve sent this letter to both my MP and a slightly modified version to our MEPs. I sincerely urge you to spend 5-10 minutes and put your own thoughts to your own MPs and MEPs, the worlds brewers and beer lovers need you to keep a free and open market in all that is good about beer, brewing and drinking.
Click this, Write To Them
And also Sign the E-petition


“Dear Sirs,

Re: New rates of duty on high and lower strength beers

I am at a loss to see where these changes to Taxation will tackle the area of ‘Problem Drinking’ and instead I feel they are just another way for the Government to make more revenue.

I work for Saltaire Brewery in Shipley and am a very keen Homebrewer and avid beer enthusiast, I buy and drink a wide range of beers which vary in strength from breweries all around the UK and abroad. I drink responsibly, mostly in the comfort of my own home, I see this as the exploration of Flavour Experiences that the worlds brewers are able to offer.

Frankly these Taxation changes do nothing for me, they will limit the range of beers sold, at UK retailers and Pubs, that must have a knock-on effect on the importing of strong foreign beers from Europe and stifle trade in the European community and effect industry.

I hope I have given you some food for thought and I dearly hope you can have some influence in regard to this issue.

Thank you very much for your time

Yours sincerely”

I’m going to add this because its the most common sense article on Alcohol & Drinking I have ever read, Author: Kate Fox –  Government would do well to learn from things like this as its very far reaching.

Some other blogs about the subject…

Want your blog article featured in ever-growing-list? Let me know.

*One reply so far Godfrey Bloom UKIP MEP for Yorkshire & North Linconshire says:

I entirely agree, please visit the my website ‘pub policy’ and I feel sure
you will be pleased.

Kind regards

Godfrey Bloom

*And another:

Thank you for your email and comments regarding new rates of duty on high and lower strength beers.

I agree that the problems of binge drinking are complex, but do feel pricing does come into it.

In relation to influence, decisions about tax rates on alcohol are decided by the UK government so you may wish to address your concerns to your local MP Kris Hopkins at

Yours sincerely

Linda McAvan MEP

*And another:

Many thanks for your thoughtful e-mail which I read with interest.

I have passed a copy to George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with a request for a response.

I will send this on to you upon receipt.

Thank you again for getting in touch.

Best wishes

Kris Hopkins

*And another:

Many thanks for your email. These taxes are set by the UK government and not the European Parliament, and Mr Brons therefore does not have any power directly influence such legislation.

He thanks you nevertheless for bringing this to his attention as he too completely opposes the UK government’s fleecing if its citizens.

best wishes,

Chris Beverley
Assistant to Andrew Brons MEP

*And this helpful one:

Thank you for your email on new rates of duty on high and low strength
beers. Being in Brussels too I imagine that is something the Belgians
would be very much against should it ever be imposed on them…

I am familiar with Saltaire Brewery and enjoy some of its produce!

I am not sure at the moment whether something can be done on this as a
European level but I can look into it. Although these are goods,
taxation is usually a member state competence. Have you also contacted
your local MP on this and got in touch with HM Revenue and Customs

Since it has come from a British decision I would urge you to contact
Kris Hopkins, your local MP.

Kind Regards,

Timothy Kirkhope MEP

Chris Hopkins MP was good enough to send this reply from Chloe Smith MP (Economic Secretary) Scanned Letter PDF
Its all a bit vague and cover-all and the last sentence is the clincher for me!

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