What is a Coolship?
Well, 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 fermentations 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 the building are a big part of all of our barrel-aged beers.
Several batches were brewed in January 2017. They undertook a very slow fermentation and flavour development into what we have here today. Patience has been the key to this beer!
Our Coolship 2019 will be arriving this summer...