I met Stefan from Haand Bygerriet in Norway at their tap takeover at Micro Beers in East Sheen. After a night of drinking and talking about beers, Stefan said we should brew a beer together. Both teams soon were very excited about the new endeavour. After a lengthy discussion on email, imperial stout was decided upon and the planning began.
Brewing an imperial stout on our brewhouse requires two mashing runs.
We start our first mash at the break of dawn and transfer that to our lauter. Then comes the sparge and transferring of the wort to the kettle. After, we crush the remaining malt and get the process started all over again. The lauter needs emptying and rinsing before we can transfer the second mash to it though. This means a full all hands on deck job with everyone involved.
We had everything prepared and Ole Richard Lund came over from Haand Bygerriet to help us on the day. Julio had already got the smoker in and loaded it up. An imperial stout brew day is a long one and it inevitably involves everyone in the brewery. We are a small team and when these big days come about, we all work together. You’re guaranteed two things on these days; a long day and a feast to break it apart or end it. Smoking meat accompanying extended brew days is a tradition at Moncada. This time we broke the day up. We had a great meal and then all fuelled up we headed back to finish the transfer, boil and finally get the beer into the fermenter.
Once we had done this, we naturally all sat down on the brew floor on a fold up table and chairs and proceeded to raise a glass to a successful day. Ole had brought their beers and he sampled ours. That’s when he tasted our Impy Custard Stout and insisted that we do something similar with our collaboration. That’s how the inspiration for Big Ole Beer Horchata Imperial Stout was born.
The day was great fun. The one complaint we all had, not enough time, not enough beers. Next time we promise to have more of both for Ole.
Article by Raph Basan, Brewer