Jordi Oude Egberink

VA Brew - Crafting our own flavor

By Jordi Oude Egberink


One day, much to my surprise, I was standing in front of the VA crowd giving a speech without any real preparation. As you may know, giving a speech without preparation can make you spurt out things. And that's what happened to me: I told my colleagues I would brew a VA beer. I had already thought about doing this, however now that I said it out loud,  it became a promise.

So yes, next to a VA pen, a VA book, VA stickers and VA sneakers, we now have our very own VA beer! I can already hear you think from behind your screen: 'what makes the VA brew special and why a VA brew?' I named it like that, that's the short version.

The VA brew is homemade, it's amber (which makes the marketing department happy, because: branding) and the beer counts around 7% alcohol, making it all special.

VA brew 3


For my fellow home-brewers who are interested in the recipe, please scroll down. For the people who want to know how it's made, i'll explain the basics in a minute. And for the ones wondering why I made a VA brew: Well, because I can. Moreover, there are some touchpoints where the VA brew can come in to play. Let me illustrate: 

  1. When you and your fellow designers are posed with a challenge of conjuring a creative solution out of thin air. Just take 'some' sips of beer. That's how we basically came up with the concept behind Munnypot.
  2. When you have one of those company meetings with an agenda that becomes longer than it should be because of certain speakers ;)
  3. To celebrate a successful Go-Live… well not really special actually.
  4. But most importantly it’s handy to have a couple of these bad boys in the fridge when the team is faced with a challenge and the client says: ‘I think it’s time for beer’ and you can surprise them with your own brand of beer.
Anyhow, it’s not hard to think of many other reasons to enjoy a good artisinal beer ;-)

How to brew beer

There are several ways and styles to do it, however I brew 'all-grain'. The principle is easy. Though, keep in mind that books can be written on every step. And they have. So this is just an overall glance:

  1. Rinsing: one of the most important aspect is rinsing your equipment. Rinse. Everything. You. Use.
  2. Mashing: You take malted grains, grind them, put them in heated water in a large enough pan/kettle, heat them (in several temperature stages) to get all the nice malt sugars and essences out of them.
  3. Boiling: The sugar solution (wort) is filtered and is boiled with hops (and sometimes herbs, such as with the VA Brew) for seasoning. 
  4. Fermentation: the boiled brew is cooled and filtered and put in a fermentation barrel. Yeast is added and will convert the sugars into CO2 and alcohol.
  5. Lagering: the young-beer is transferred into a secondary barrel where gravity will make sure residue will go to the bottom and clarify the beer.
  6. Bottling: the beer is bottled and a little sugar is added to provide for carbonation. On goes the label and after 2 weeks or so on the bottle, enjoyment begins.
  7. Don’t forget to taste and measure: The 'specific gravity’, the beer’s density compared to water is measured before fermentation (original gravity) and after (final gravity). Sugar increases density, so the difference in value is fermented sugars and so the the alcohol can be calculated.

 VA brew 4VA brew 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

The VA Brew recipe:

This recipe is created by me, but it is based on a beer I once brewed before. The base malts are pils (lager) and wheat malts. It has a little Cara 120 malts for its amber color and a hint of caramel. Together with the T58 yeast it forms a soft character. To balance it, Cascade and Challenger hops, together with orange peel, were used for a hoppy and fruity combination. 

Description

Value

   

Name recipe

VA Brew

Brewing Date

10-05-2018

Beer Style

Tripel

Volume

20.2 l

Begin SW

1.060 SW

Calculated color (Morey)

23 EBC

Calculated bitterness (Rager)

31 IBU

Brewery yield

75.0 %

Cooking time

60 min.

 

Water and brewing salts

Quantity

Ingredient

18.00 l

Water 

8.69 l

Rinse water

 

Quantity

Name

Malt house

Color

%

3.000 kg

Lager malt

Dingemans

3 EBC

58.8 %

1.000 kg

Light wheat malt

Dingemans

3 EBC

19.6 %

0.600 kg

Cara 120

Dingemans

120 EBC

11.8 %

0.500 kg

Granulated sugar

Supermarkt

0 EBC

9.8 %

 

Mash schedule

Description

Temperature

Step time

Rest time

Batter thickness

Beta-amylase rest

62.0 °C

1 min.

40 min.

3.9 l/kg

Alfa-amylase rest

72.0 °C

5 min.

20 min.

3.9 l/kg

Mashing

78.0 °C

10 min.

5 min.

3.9 l/kg

 

Hop

Quantity

Name

Type

% A-acid

Cooking time/adding

Bitterness Unit

29.0 g

Challenger

bellen

6.7%

60 min.

28.9 IBU

22.0 g

Saaz

bellen

3.0%

10 min.

2.0 IBU

 

Other ingredients

Quantity

Name

Type

Usage

3.00 g

Coriander seeds

spice

cooking

10.00 g

Orange peel, sweet

spice

cooking

 

Yeast

Quantity

Name

Type

200.0 ml

SafBrew Specialty Ale (T-58)

Ale yeast