Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Today I’m brewing our weakest beer; Mawkin Mild at 2.9% ABV. Everything seems to be happening slowly today. Having casked up a load of beer to make space in a fermenter for today’s brew, I realised that yesterday I must have taken more heat out of the store than I’d thought. This means lighting our wood boiler to bring to store up those few more degrees I need to mash at 66°C sparge at about 78°C and then final heat to 80°C+ before the boil.

As for the beer, well it’s black (almost) and modestly hopped with a Fuggles and Goldings. The malt gives this beer its flavour. I think its 11 different types I all, lots of dark malts give it a good roasted flavour, while I use malted oats to impart some body. I had no idea what this would turn out like first time I brewed it, but it was good (well, I liked it, so it was good).

Mild is not an easy sell to the free trade but we sell it all the time in our pub and a few outlets take the occasional cask and of cause it fly’s out at CAMRA beer festivals. Some people bemoan CAMRA and their beer festivals but without them small breweries would less adventurous in the styles of beer brewed. Unless a brewery is into bottling in a big way it will struggle to sell beers that aren’t brown or gold between 3.5-4.5%, beer festivals give these beers an outlet. For that I forgive the socks, sandals beards and farts!

Monday, 29 June 2009


It’s hot today, very hot! I’m doing my least favourite job, cleaning casks. It involves spraying a lot of hot water about. Wearing wellies and cycling to work was a bad idea, I’m sweating like a bastard.

On the plus side the solar panels are collecting those rays; these are connected to a heat store which is used to heat the water used for cleaning and the liquor used for brewing. At the moment the 3000L store is at about 80°C, sure that will come in useful. We have an interesting setup here involving solar panels, a wood boiler, heat exchangers and pipes running though that heat store to heat the liquor to various temperatures during the brewing process. One day I’ll explain it all on here, but for today back to spraying smelly dregs with solar heated water.

Friday, 26 June 2009

What to expect

Hopefully lots of interesting stuff will be happening over the coming months; otherwise this blog will become a bit dull. I hope to be able to update regularly on goings on in Mill Green Brewery and the White Horse. I will also be sharing my opinions on various debates in the beer world and maybe talk about some nice pubs I visit and great beers I try (and maybe some not so good). On top of this we I will be looking at some new projects that I’m involved in.

Over the past few months the family and I have been working on growing our own ingredients for the brewing process. We have a 14 acre field and have planted some barley that we hope to malt, either ourselves or by getting someone else to do it. We have also, in a corner of the field, planted 200 hop plants (25 of 8 varieties). Although the harvest this year will probably be non-existent we hope, in the long run, this will save us money as well as being a great selling point for the beer. I hope through this blog I will also be able to chart the progress of my family’s first tentative steps into farming.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Long time no post

Having given up trying to do a blog two years ago I’m back. A lot has happened over those 24 months.
At the time of posting my last entry on this blog I was working part time as a teaching assistant. At the eng of July that year my contract finished and almost the same day the landlord at our pub (The White Horse Edwardstone) and his girl friend decided they would leave….. overnight.
Me and Becky where the only candidates willing and ready to take over, so we did. Being a publican was hard work and required us to work long and always unsociable hours. In October, after a few false starts, we found a nice young couple to run the pub more permanently and I was allowed to go and play in our newly build brewery next-door.
The brewery is now fully up and operational and our beers are getting better and more consistent (even award winning in one case).
In this blog you can follow what I’m doing and brewing on a daily basis (with terrible spelling and punctuation guaranteed).