Thursday, June 4, 2015

All was quiet on New Year ’s Day!

On a wet New Year ’s Day, with the Year not even 12 hours old I had my first brewery tour. It could possibly be the some sort of record, but who knows. Gordon of 9 White deer was very kind to agree to show me around the brewery. On our way back to Dublin, after spending New Year ’s Eve in Kenmare, we passed through Ballyvourney. The home town of 9 White deer, we stopped off to meet Gordon and have a look around the brewery. 

The brew house its self is a 22 HL system, Gordon was very active in the design and build of his brew-house. Which can be seen reflected in the design of the heat system. The kettle is heated via a steam powered external wort boiler which to maximizes the entire kettle. Which I was told is fairly unique for a system of its size. Something you’re more likely to seen with the bigger boys. As the external boiler is kept at 105 deg C there is no scorching of the wort. 

A glimpse of the rakes within the mash tun

They have range of different fermentation vessels. Four double brew 45 HL and two single 25HL. Which in total give a capacity of 300 hectoliters or 30,000 litres.  Gordon added his own cooling system to the fermentation vessels. Copper coil was placed around each fermentation vessel that supplied glycol for cooling/heating.  Which was the insulated to maintain the correct temperature.  

Walkway for ease of access to the fermentation vessels. 

They have added a state of the art bottling line can fill 1700 by 500ml bottles per hour. There is very little oxygen pick-up as each bottle is double flushed with carbon dioxide. Give the rate of bottle, I suspect it keeps the people working on it very busy.

The Home brewing system, from which it all started with. I was very envious when I first was the system over on Beoir. Gordon’s ability to fabricate such a system and having it to play around with. It has now been promoted to become the pilot brew house from 9 White deer and an assist to the brewery 

Lots of lovely shiny kegs. They went with the brewery name on the kegs over the somewhat traditional method of a color code on the kegs 

Stag Ban a 4.5%, 30 IBU's. It’s a pale- gold beer with a nice white head. The aroma is of citrus and lemons, which finishes with a little fresh cut grass. The hops used are First Gold, Amarillo and Cascade. Which would add the citrus notes noticed the nose. It has a medium body, dry, with almost with a clean enjoyable lager quality to it. Ban very much reminded me of some of the classic golden ales and a very drinkable beer.  I suspect Ban as a base beer would be a good platform to experiment with some single cask hopping.  

Stag Rua a 4.5% Irish red ale. It’s a dark ruby in the glass, with some caramel aromas. But this much dryer beer than some Irish reds would suggest. There is a little caramel flavour which is then firmly backed up with a roastiness from the grain paired with hop tannin's and bitterness. Some different for the Irish red ale lover and welcome addition the Irish craft beer scene.  
Photo via 9 White Deer
Thank you very much to Gordon for venturing out on a cold and wet News Years morning to show me around the brewery.  For disclosure I did receive beers to review. 

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