The Dizzy Pig Brewery.
The Dizzy Pig Brewery is, as we mentioned in the Dizzy Pig Story, a Grainfather "all grain brewing system". The system allows you to mash, sparge, boil and cool in one contained unit, producing up to 5 gallons of ale.
The Grainfather was developed by the innovative New Zealand company - Imake Ltd, who also produces Mangrove Jack’s brew kits and Still Spirits distilling products. The Grainfather takes the best brewing practices from craft breweries and puts them into a simple to use, all in one system to ensure anyone can brew a professional craft beer, no matter their brewing experience, even us at Dizzy Pig Brewing.
Beer Quote 1:
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." Dave Barry - Author
Beer Quote 2:
"Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep. Whoever sleeps long, does not sin. Whoever does not sin, enters Heaven. Thus, let us drink beer!" Martin Luther
Beer Quote 3:
"Beer: So much more than a breakfast drink." Homer Simpson
You can also turn the Grainfather, into a micro-distillery by changing the top parts and adding the Still Spirits Alembic Pot Still Attachments. At Dizzy Pig Brewing we never, never, ever purchased the micro-distillery conversion and even if we had accidentally bought such a conversion, we would never never use it to make our own spirits, because that would be illegal in the UK, wouldn't it? But if we had it would look like this:
As we stated on the Dizzy Pig home page, we are not a commercial enterprise, we just enjoy good fresh beer with no sulphites or nasty additives. We don't sell our beer, we share it and drink it.
We don't drink that much either (all things being relative)! Roughly once a month we set up the Grainfather and create an ale and between friends and family, a 5 gallon batch doesn't last that long, but while it does last, we are happy little smallholders and the woes of the world can be put on the back burner. As Homer Simpson once said:
"Beer: Now there's a temporary solution"
Our first few runs were from all grain kits, simply because of our lack of knowledge regarding the amount of grain we needed, what hops produce what type of beer, when to add hops for bittering, flavour, aroma and what about dry hopping? We learnt so many terms, we can mash, sparge, ferment and rack. We know the difference between grain and malt and we have got the hang of what effect different malts will have. We now know stuff about IBU's, EBC, SRM and alpha acids and who, at the end of the day, doesn't enjoy a good flocculate!
Whilst the kits got us going, we now buy in 25 kg sacks of Maris Otter malt as our base malt and add small quantities of other malts such as chocolate, crystal and cara malts, alongside experimenting with all sorts of "adjuncts" like torrified wheat and flaked barley. We are now brave enough to try out different hops to achieve the bitterness, flavour and aroma we like.
Our set-up now includes the Grainfather fermenter, a stainless steel fermenting vessel, housed in our own design of brew-box, which is double walled complete with sheep's wool insulation. The box is temperature controlled, allowing us to ferment at different, but precise temperatures dependant on the beer being made. Once fermented and cleared, we can then rack into Cornelius kegs for the perfect draught beer at home.
Ultimately we would love to grow our own barley and malt it ourselves, but that is possibly a step too far. However, 2018 saw us harvest our first crop of hops, including Cascade, Fuggles, Golding, Prima Donna and Northern Brewer. The Cascade was the most prolific and after picking, sorting and drying we had 260 grams of hops. This was enough for 3 batches of IPA. the others produced less. Since then, we have had a hop harvest every year and all the hops are vacuum packed and kept in the freezer. If you want to know more about our hop growing exploits check out the Pool Cottage Smallholding Blog.
We also have our own well, maybe one day we will have the water tested and be able to rival the waters of Burton-on-Trent.