Our own Blue Bell Bitter at 3.5% is brewed by Facers in Flintshire - a traditional amber bitter. Full bodied and well hopped to give a balanced taste. Great as it is or as a refreshing shandy.
Hops: 100% Goldings. Malt: Crystal, Optic malt & torrefied wheat.
We're now up to brew recipe eight. We thought recipe six would be it but price has become an issue so after a bit of tweaking of recipe seven we think we've got it, what do you think? We're trying to get good value and great taste in one pint but we need your feedback to achieve it.
We've added wheat to improve head retention and a little more crystal malt to make it slightly darker. Recipe seven was tweaked a little to reduce the bitterness as the Goldings were a tad too bitter despite what the book says.
In recipe five we slowly removed the Liberty hops from the recipe we started with (so called, we now realise, because the cost of them now is a liberty!). The hop recipe for Blue Bell Bitter is now 100% Goldings hops.
This is a huge change for the better in terms of the beer's carbon footprint, as the Liberty hops were grown in America but the Goldings are British. It's also helping us keep the cost down as the Goldings have only' gone up by a trifling 111% from £7.35/kilo last year to £15.50/kilo; they haven't actually confirmed the cost of Liberty at the moment, but we're expecting something like £25 - £30/kilo.
We used to use Maris Otter malt but price became an issue for the same reasons, poor harvest yields and some lunatic fringe growing fuel instead of food - Did you know that The Economist, End of cheap food, Dec 6th 2007 article stated that 'filling the tank of an SUV with ethanol [made with corn/maize] requires enough corn/maize to feed a person for a year,' it'll be the same with cereals too soon, OK rant over!
We actually think Optic malt comes out better in taste tests, what do you think? Your comments would be most welcomed here or over the bar so we can craft this beer not only to suit our tastebuds but our pockets as well!
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