Litt utpå kvelden under fjorårets Publikumsfavoritt – arrangert av Norbrygg Rogaland – begynte det å summe om en kaffestout. “Har du smakt den?”. “Du må smake den!”. “Pale Whales. Sykt god.” Ølen ble selvsagt Publikumsfavoritten, mannen bak var Alex Voake, og vi har tatt en prat med ham.
1.Hvordan startet interessen for øl?
My interest in beer began on my 18th Birthday.
2. Hvordan begynte du med brygging?
My younger brother took me beer tasting at Tiny Rebel Brewery in Wales where I am originally from. I had never really tried craft beer, but loved it and started brewing at the end of 2017. I persuaded my wife that it would save us money on beer. That isn’t working out so well!
3. Har du deltatt i konkurranser og har du noen meritter?
I was lucky enough to be voted winner of the Norbrygg Publikumsfavoritt 2018. No idea how that happened, but it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to this year’s RØL. Getting to brew my beer with Yeastside was a lot of fun!
4. Hva ved brygging er det som fascinerer deg mest?
It’s going to sound weird, but fermentation! After all, that’s what makes beer. It’s cool to see what even a slight temperature difference makes, but when you start looking into mixed fermentations, wild cultures, brett, lactobacillus etc. anything can happen. Hops and malt get too much credit for some of the best flavours in beer. I am a real airlock sniffer! I ferment in a small room and there is nothing like the fruity smell of a nice Vermont ale yeast (my personal favourite).
5. Hva slags utstyr brygger du med/på?
I brew on a Grainfather, ferment in an SS Brewtech brewbucket and temperature control with a Brewjacket. My next property will have space for my mini brewery but for now it is all driven by space. The Grainfather packs into a bag, and the Brewjacket is a lot smaller than a fridge. I think the stainless steel fermenter has really made my beers taste cleaner. In contrast my sour and wild beers get fermented in plastic buckets in my loft, it’s a bit less scientific…..
6. Brygger du helst alene eller sammen med andre?
I like to brew with a beer in my hand, does that count?
7. Er du medlem av Norbrygg eller en annen bryggeforening?
I am a member of Norbrygg. It’s great to see the effort Eirik, Lars Rune and the other guys go to. I also read homebrewingforum.co.uk a lot. It has tonnes of useful recipes, advice and information. I am also a patreon of Brulosophy. I think reading their articles makes you a lot more relaxed about not conforming to the myths of brewing.
8. Hva foretrekker du å brygge og hvorfor?
I like to sample as many beers as possible, and then try and incorporate them into my recipes. If I want a lager, I can buy one of those from the supermarket. This time last year I took a trip to Jester king Brewery in Austin, Texas and it blew my mind. They make American style open fermented wild beers with all local ingredients. I would love to replicate that in Norway. That is the joy of home brewing – I don’t need to make a beer to sell. I can experiment, get things wrong and it doesn’t matter.
9. Hva er den største bryggetabben du har gjort?
I haven’t been brewing for very long and luckily haven’t had any huge disasters yet. The worst beer I ever made was because I tried to take a recipe in imperial units without doing a conversion. One oz of Crystal Malt became one lb, and my blonde beer became… not blonde, and not good!
10. Hvordan reagerer omverdenen på denne altoppslukende hobbyen?
Almost all my friends brew, and those who don’t seem to be happy to drink my beer! Most importantly my wife loves to drink beer, and our favourite thing to do for a date was to go and have a flight of beer samples. “Unfortunately” she hasn’t been able to drink beer this past year because we had our first baby in January.
11. Beste tips til nybegynnere?
Find a group of friends who brew. I am really lucky to work in a big company where ! have an extended group of friends who are almost all home brewers. We have a Whatsapp group to ask questions and get together every few months after brewing the same style of beer and have a mini tasting competition. If you don’t know brewers then go to a competition like Heimabrygd/RØL or a Norbrygg meeting and meet like-minded people.
12. Hva er det beste ølet du har brygget – og kan vi få oppskriften?
The best beer I ever made was the coffee stout You’re Malabarred! which won Publikumsfavoritt last year. It is currently being brewed by Yeastside Brewing, so I don’t think I should share the recipe just yet! My personal favourite beer to sit down and have a bottle of after work is an English style IPA. Here is my go-to recipe:
HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: Welsh IPA
Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: English IPA
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 20 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 23.5 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.059
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)
Original Gravity: 1.069
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV (Standard): 6.95%
IBU (Tinseth): 45.71
SRM (Morey): 6.54
3.28 kg – United Kingdom – Golden Promise (51.9%)
1.52 kg – New Zealand – Vienna Malt (24.1%)
0.57 kg – German – Wheat Malt (9%)
0.32 kg – American – Caramel / Crystal 10L (5.1%)
0.63 kg – Torrified Wheat (10%)
9.6 g – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 2.04
27.2 g – Pilgrim, Type: Pellet, AA: 11, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 35.14
6.4 g – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 20 min, IBU: 2.28
25 g – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Whirlpool for 0 min at °C, IBU: 6.25
56.67 g – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
26.67 g – Pilgrim, Type: Pellet, AA: 11, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
1) Infusion, Temp: 67 C, Time: 75 min, Amount: 15.2 L
2) Temperature, Temp: 76 C, Time: 5 min, Amount: 0 L
3) Sparge, Temp: 76 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 7.7 L
Starting Mash Thickness: 3 L/kg
Mangrove Jack – Liberty Bell Ale M36
Attenuation (avg): 76%
Optimum Temp: 16.67 – 23.33 C
Fermentation Temp: 21 C
13. Hvis du måtte holde deg til en øl resten av livet, hva ville du ha valgt?
Life is too short to pick one beer! For IPA nothing comes close to Verdant Brew co., and for something a bit special, I always keep something from Jester King or Brasserie Trois Dames on my shelf.
Alex sitt øl vil snart være å finne på kran på Fermenten hvor det nå står på tank hos Yeastside og godgjør seg. En del av batchen lagres på et Bourbon-fat, og vil slippes senere.