Pilot Brewing at Nod Hill
Release the Yeast
Where to start? Seriously, if you were to open a brewery, what would be your first steps in developing your recipes? Not an easy task, but when we thought about the defining characteristics of some of our favorite breweries, we thought about their yeast.
Our pilot system gives us a great opportunity to run split batches to test multiple yeast strains. We’ve sourced ten different yeast strains just for developing our house hoppy beers. Now the struggle is selecting our favorite.
Each batch is brewed the same way, then split into 3 small fermenters to eventually receive doses of highly aromatic hops. Once that batch is carbonated and ready to serve, our trusty tasting panel accurately determines the overall best beer. That beer/yeast combination will then be compared to the winners of the previous batches and we have a house strain!
… And then the process begins again for our line of Trappist-inspired Belgian ales.
A frequent conversation for us, in the infancy stages of the brewery, is how to develop beers for our first year. We want to maintain a few cores beers that we love to drink year-round, while also offering one-offs and truly seasonal beers. In the previous post, we established our desire to brew hoppy beers tailored to our liking. Beyond the green beers, we plan to regularly produce beers inspired by Belgian methodology and ingredients.
One of our collective favorite styles of beer is that which comes out of Trappist monasteries. Unfortunately, this style doesn’t get the same production and distribution as many other styles. Our solution is to take matters into our own hands.
We’re using the same bottom-up approach in developing our Trappist-inspired beers as we are with our hoppy beers. We’re working on comparing multiple different yeast strains first. Then we’ll look at malt, candi syrup, hops and water profile.
A personal goal of ours with these beers is not to clone what the trappist breweries have already done, but to consider their methodology and build our own versions that expand on the style. We’re carefully selecting ingredients in order to represent our own vision of these beers.