“We’re filling up the barrel today with the Saison. We’re transferring the season through the chiller and while we do that we’re filling up the wine barrel.
This year we’ve added Lactobacillus which is a bacteria and we’re hoping this will form a bit of acid which will help with some sourness in the finished beer. The beer was fully fermented in tank and then whatever residual sugars remain the beer will get mopped up with any wild yeast that remains in the barrel, and this will further dry out the beer and with the Lactobacillus it will further add some sourness to it.
This year we’re planning to put a little bit of Pinot Gris juice during harvest. Just by the brewery we’ve got the Hau Hau vineyard which is my brothers Pinot Gris from Petane Station. While the beer is in barrel it evaporates over time. In the past we’ve topped this up with Helles but this year we’ll top it up with grape juice from the 2016 harvest. Again, we hope this will add a depth of flavour to the beer, but it’s all experimental, and a little bit of fun for us here at the Brewery to see what happens.”
“What happens, happens and then we bottle it for everyone to enjoy.”
“How many bottles do you get from a barrel?”
“220 litres in a barrel so we get a bit over 400 bottles so they pretty limited.”
“Is that the only barrel you’ll be doing or are there other styles?”
“We’ve got a red wine barrel that we’ve picked up from Esk Valley that’s had merlot. We’re going to add London Porter to this. Again we’ll age it in the barrel. We’re not adding any Lactobacillus to this one, we’re hoping the Merlot and Oak flavours will add to the beer. We’ll do the same releasing this in a few months time once it’s had some good aging, again just the 400 bottles.
We’re looking to release this beer August 2016. We’ve currently got the 2014 out at the moment, that’s almost gone. We’ll probably hold back a couple of cases and see how that ages and see how the flavours change over time.”