Thursday 16 Feb dawned as the day to finally brew my Christmas present from Brother John. A brewvolution pack of grain, hops etc. to make the Scottish heavy ale traditionally known as "Wee Heavy". This ale uses a huge 8kg grain bill in order to produce an ale around 7.5% ABV.
"Wee Heavy" Label
Time will tell if we can achieve such a monster ABV, but just in case, we intend to bottle the beast rather than use a Cornelius keg. Hopefully, drinking the odd bottle rather than filling a glass too often from the keg may prevent too many monster hangovers. Common sense at Pool Cottage, never!
We also decided that in a slight break from tradition, our Wee Heavy, would be christened "Heffalump" Ale, since AA Milne's character is indeed small but heavy.
Following racking and pitching the yeast, the wort was transferred to the Pool Cottage designed and manufactured fermentation chamber (No patent pending!). This is a double walled box lined with sheep's wool, heated by a heat belt. The belt is automatically switched on or off by an electronic controller, which can be set to a precise temperature, depending on the type of beer and yeast being used. The Heffalump ale will be fermented at 18C, which is the bottom value on the controller. The upper value being the actual temperature at any given time, as it allows the temperature to go above and below the set value by 0.5C.
In 7-10 days we should have a great 6th brew which we will rack into a clean barrel to clear. After a couple more weeks it will be time to bottle and we will discover just how strong and tasty Heffalumps can be?.