Week No. 1 + Citra Simcoe IPA
What a first week! Our first deliveries headed out on Friday. By 8pm that night, we'd already had multiple venues reach out to us to inform that they had sold out of our flagship beer from our initial can release. The beer was Galaxy Mosaic, a 6.5% hybrid IPA blending both East and West coast beer styles. An East-coast malt and hop profile fermented with American 'Chico' yeast to dry things out a little. Great news for day one in the wild!
On Saturday, things got even better. Chester Beer Blog hosted their annual beer awards at DEVA Tap in Chester. We'd already delivered a minimal amount of our beer to a couple of venues within our vicinity a couple of weeks prior to launch while we were getting our kegs ready; and our Galaxy Mosaic IPA was very graciously nominated for the 'Best Local Beer' award for which it went on to win. We were loving life! The event itself was great, and we were able to make friends with some beer bods in the local beer scene including the lovely guys at Chapter Brewing Co. from Runcorn. We also pencilled in a stand at the upcoming Chester Craft Beer Festival courtesy of Beer Heroes.
Galaxy Mosaic IPA 6.5%
Galaxy Mosaic was the very first beer we brewed as LOKA POLLY, and it will most definitely return once we can get our hands on the latest season's Galaxy hops from Australia. When, exactly, we don't know as we haven't got any on contract with our suppliers and probably won't have access to them for some time, mainly thanks to a certain famous Dublin brewery.
Finding our style
Our first beers consisted of Cascade Zeus, Chinook Simcoe, Galaxy Mosaic, Citra Ekuanot and Aurora Espresso all in cans. Each beer was fermented with different yeast strains and we've now come to know what yeasts to avoid altogether. We wanted a quick, vigorous fermentation with plenty of yeast esters for our juicy pales and IPAs. In reality, none of the yeasts we had used so far gave us any of these characteristics.
We wanted something way juicier and a bit more delicious from our next batches. These beers would be Citra Simcoe IPA, Huell Melon Pale and Hallertau Blanc Saison. Excluding the Saison, for which we used Belgian yeast - we wanted to blend two English yeasts to create a New-England character to our beers. We had previously tried the new LalBrew New England yeast but it wasn't for us, despite all the hype it created within the industry. We wanted more esters than what we got from that yeast in our Citra Ekuanot NESIPA. So we put together this blend and are more than pleased with the results. We will be looking to implement this blend in pretty much all of our hoppy Pales and IPAs going forward.
Citra Simcoe IPA - Keg - 6.1%
We wanted to brew a juice bomb; the sort you expect from Verdant, Cloudwater etc. A beer that looks and drinks more like pineapple juice than beer.
For the brewers: 2:1 Chloride / Sulfate ratio water profile, Whirlpool-only hopped with Citra and Simcoe at 6.4g/litre. Double dry-hopped at a rate totalling 17g/litre. Malt bill was fairly straight forward; Maris Otter Extra Pale, Oats, CaraPils and Acidulated.
We hadn't blended yeasts before. Both were traditional English strains. We decided to ferment hot, maximising ester production. We knew these esters would iron out and help saturate the hop flavour from the soon-to-be added large dry hop addition. Yeast was pitched at 24 degrees C and brought down to 19 just past half way through fermentation, then brought back up to 22 to finish off. The first dry hop charge was added at 1.028 s.g at 19.5 degrees C while the final dry hop charge was added at 1.018 (final gravity) at 22 held for 5 days during which the temperature dropped naturally to 17 degrees C. The dry hops were roused gently with CO2 twice a day for 5 days.
To the left is a photo of what we think is our best beer so far. We couldn't possibly add any more aroma with our current kit. We probably couldn't add any more haze to it too. We absolutely love this style of beer, and want to keep brewing to this standard going forward.
Next time: We feel like it could do with a few more ibu's - Probably by using a longer whirlpool at flameout. We will also invite Mosaic to the hop party to add some berry to it's character.