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The Friday Question Crosses The Channel

Thanks to everyone for their answers this week. Last week finished with batch number 3337, making CDoubleIPA the winner of a growler of Oliver Ale and a 3 Lions t-shirt. Congratulations sir. As usual, this week I have a growler of Oliver Ale up for grabs, as well as a bottle of Union Jack IPA from the Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Ca) generously donated to the cause by previous Friday Question winner Bryan F. (many thanks Bryan). The question is this … today Brian (Stillwater Ales) and I brewed the Channel Crossing Vol. #2, which is a Belgian take on an English Nut Brown Ale. One of the ingredients was Belgian Dark Candi Syrup …. how many pounds of this did we use in our 7 barrel brew? Have at it and good luck.

Speaking of the Channel Crossing, the brew day went well. I have to say, I’m particularly excited about this one. Nut Brown Ales are a favorite of mine so having the opportunity to experiment with the style and brew with Brian again was a real treat. Any brewer will tell you that brewing the “bread & butter” beer in the portfolio is all well and good but the opportunity to experiment and maybe step outside the comfort zone is what it’s all about! I willingly admit that I don’t have much experience of Belgian Ales and it’s only in recent years that I’ve started to appreciate Belgian beer (and for that I must tip my hat to Max’s incredible Belgian Beer Festival) so it is particularly interesting and educational for me to work with our local “gypsy brewer” (TM) .  My day started at 5.15am with preperation of the brewing liquor and malt grist. We had finalised our recipe a few days prior to brew day and were working with some classic English malts (halcyon pale ale, crystal, chocolate and malted wheat) along with Belgian Biscuit malt and Belgian Dark Candi Syrup.

Brian at the mash tun

Mash temperature was 152F (single step infusion mash) and the mash was held for 90 minutes before commencing run off to the kettle. Wort was run off over 2 1/2 hours and was wonderfully bright, first runnings gravity being 1.085 (and was delicious) and last runnings 1.009. The wort was hopped with First Gold (bittering) and Kent Goldings (finishing) and Kent Goldings were also used in our hop-back. .

Leaf Kent Goldings in the hop back

Brian samples the first runnings

Belgian Dark Candi Syrup was added to the boiling wort 10 minutes prior to boil finish. We collected wort in FV#7 at 68F and pitched with yeast generously supplied by Steve at The Brewer’s Art (as used in the legendary Resurrection).

Wort transfer to FV

Pitching "Resurrection" Ale Yeast

So that’s it … Channel Crossing #2 brew day in a nut-shell (ha,ha). The beer will likely be in the fermentation vessel for 7-8 days at which time casks will be filled and the remaining beer will be transferred to conditioning tank (at which point roasted chestnuts will be added) where it will remain for 3 weeks prior to carbonation. We will release Channel Crossing Vol. #2 at The Pratt Street Ale House on the evening of Thursday October 7th, immediately following the opening tap ceremony for Baltimore Beer Week (held at The Museum Of Industry). As with our previous Channel Crossing release there will be limited souvenir glassware available (this time featuring the Channel Crossing logo) on a first come/first serve basis for $5 (including first fill) and for the remainder of the release party both draft and cask versions of Channel Crossing will be available at the special price of $3. We will have a pin on gravity pour, most likely with cacao nibs or oak and a firkin on the beer engine. Both Brian and myself will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have so please come along and start Baltimore Beer Week in style (and hey, the next day is Friday, nobody really works on Friday!)



  1. Peter says -

    Ummm, sugar will go a long way, right. So as a total guess, 25 punds.