Spontaneous + Pale + Time
In January 2017, we brewed our very first Coolship beer. Inoculated in 2 stainless steel vats overnight, the wort cooled naturally.
After 2 years of fermentation and maturation in oak wine barrels, 3 were carefully chosen, alongside an 18 month barrel of coolship beer, to create our first 100% coolship and spontaneously fermented beer.
We feel that this is a beer created in our style as opposed to the traditional Lambic style and that this reflects our place in Somerset and our development as a brewery.
In order to cool the wort, we used an ex-cheddar vat as our ‘coolship’, which seemed fitting given that we use an ex-cheddar store as our barrel house.
This beer is 100% spontaneously fermented by the microflora in the air making this a true Somerset terroir beer.
What is a Coolship?
A Coolship is the name given to the vessel; usually a large open top steel or copper pan, that is used prior to the fermentation process to cool down the unfermented wort.
The Coolship is filled with hot wort and left overnight. Due to the large surface area of the Coolship, it allows the wort to cool down naturally.
Unlike most of our beers, which are cooled down through a chiller directly into a tank, maintaining control of the yeast strains used and fermentation profiles, using a Coolship is the traditional method and allows the wort to gather micro-flora and airborne yeast. By exposing the wort in this way, it creates an environment for wild bacteria to develop and thus a variety of exciting, spontaneous and different flavours can form during the fermentation - perfect for sour beers.
Due to the temperature, brewing beers using the Coolship will only be done between the months of November - March inclusive, when it is between 3.9℃ - 8℃.
The dream for a brewery like ours is to release beers that have been spontaneously fermented by the local micro-flora, a true beer of the terroir. This is our first release on our way to fulfilling that dream. It’s a beer that takes a respectful nod to the wonderful breweries and history of Lambic beer, but also celebrates the beautiful Somerset countryside surrounded by orchards, vineyards and blackberry laden hedgerows.
Why wait 6 years to release this some might ask?
This style of brewing is the “final frontier” to us, and we felt we had to learn our trade, understand fermentation with fruit skins and other wild yeast strains before we could commit to brewing this style of beer. We have used our own recipe ideas and techniques, and most importantly, this has fermented and aged in our barrel store that used to house Westcombe Dairy’s Cheddar. The unique cultures that have developed in our barrel library are a huge part of all of our barrel-aged beers.
After undertaking a very slow fermentation and flavour development the beer is ready. Patience has been one of the absolute key ingredients to this beer!
RELEASED ON OUR WEBSHOP THIS FRIDAY.