Yeastie magic beastie
We finish the journey from grain to glass.Read more:
Yeast plays the major roll in the miracle of beer.Read more:
Hello Little Weed
Hello again, thank you for joining me on the miraculous journey from grain to glass.Read more:
Old World Beer – How is your Wort?
If you read my last articles you now know that beer is brewed from grain, predominantly barley, and that fresh water is in fact very old.Read more:
South African Beer Culture
Today we are officially starting the South African Beer Culture and every day hence is Beer Culture day!Read more:
What is Beer?
It is amazing, when considering the volume of beer consumed in South Africa, that so few of us know what beer is.Read more:
So far we have crushed the grain, prepared the water, mashed the grist and, after working with nature for about two hours, produced a sweet wort. A soft sweet nectar of different barley malt sugars. When we add the hops this becomes a bitter wort.
The hop plant is a tall climbing vine (with a left-hand thread) that is a relative or cannabis – ‘nuff said! The plants are dioecious, this means that male and female flowers grow on separate plants. It is the female flowers or cones that are used in brewing - they have the appearance of a reject Brussels sprout and the aroma of ripe socks.
Legend has it that the medieval holy communities in Central Europe first introduced hops to beer. This bitter herb was added not only to balance the sweetness but also as an effective preservative. The flavours and aromas, imparted by the hops, became popular and almost all other herbs and spices disappeared from use. Initially, the ale brewers opposed this ‘wycked, pernicious weed’ but lost against public demand and the bitter beers became the norm. As you are probably aware, a pint of English bitter is not really bitter, but was christened as such because it was no longer sweet.
All hops give the beer three basic components – bitterness, flavour and aroma. In the different cultivars any one of these gifts may be more pronounced. The level of alpha acid present measures the bitterness. As a general rule the higher the alpha acid the lower the nobility of the hop. The noble hops, whilst low in bitterness are prized for the wonderful flavours and aromas they impart.
Many brewers use several hop types to create the desired flavour. This is especially prevalent in the ale breweries. At Gilroys we use English Northdown as our bittering unit which must be introduced at the start of boil, thereafter careful pitching of Fuggles and Golding create the flavour profile. As in all good things timing is critical. The brewer should always strive to achieve balance in the finished beer. For my palate a beer should accomplish a full and robust entry with an elegant well-balanced finish. Never bitter or sweet – more a wonderful almost sensual taste experience that dances on your tongue through a long uniform finish.
Talk about anything at all, it all comes back to Beer. A collection of "odes" by Steve Gilroy (and some special friends), about Gilroy Beer...and girls, the country, politics...but always about BEER.
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The premium dark ale - Gilroy Serious
A rich, strong ale for the serious drinker. The amber and dark malts yields a dark warm claret colour to Gilroy Serious. This is extremely well made and easy to drink. A rare handcrafted masterpiece from the southern hemisphere.
B J Lankwarden, SA Beer Drinkers Guide Rating: NINE
Gilroy Traditional is a Ruby Ale.
Our classic ruby ale - a magnificent explosion of flavours on the tongue. Great rustic flavour in the traditional way. A beer to come home to. Handcrafted red ale, elegantly rustic, a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
B J Lankwarden, SA Beer Drinkers Guide Rating: EIGHT
Favourite is Gilroy's pale ale.
A superb light ale brewed with paler - golden and amber - malts, and Gilroy's own yeast. This beer is well bodied, easy to drink - a session beer with a well-balanced finish. Underlying flavours of round summer fruits and slightly caramelised honey.
BJ Lankwarden, SA Beer Drinkers Guide Rating: SEVEN
This lager is a European type Lager.
The Gilroy Lager is brewed to the Rheinheitsgebot - using Czeck Saaz and German Halletau hops and Gilroy's wonderful lager yeast, matured for 8 weeks. A well balanced, flavoursome naturally carbonated lager.
A session beer which fills the mouth with great body and a long finish.