Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Lees Brewery, Middleton Junction, Manchester

After an early morning of short tempered exchanges on Twitter I needed some shopping.  I took these photos while waiting at traffic lights, to and from the supermarket.  The clock is wrong though, by two hours!

Hopefully nothing to argue about there.

Click the photos to enlarge.

Cask conditioning?  If it is all done in the brewery, I have one simple question.  How come there is so much badly kept  cask beer about?


Cooking Lager said...

that's not a clear sky, looks a bit cloudy/ Why is there no warning of a cloudy sky before you accept a new morning?

Tandleman said...

It's always a bit cloudy in Miggy. A cross we have to bear.

StringersBeer said...

"How come[...]?"
Dirt + Incompetence. Stupidity + Greed.

Tandleman said...

Surely not? Just bung a peg in and serve. That's all there is to it. The beer is ready. Isn't it?

The Beer Nut said...

If that were the case, you'd never get a gone-off pint of keg beer and wine (fined and stabilised) wouldn't change as it aged.

Just because conditioning isn't happening doesn't mean there aren't all sorts of other biochemical shenanigans going on in the cask.

Tandleman said...

Well keg is different in that there is a widespread supposition that it lasts and lasts. It doesn't.

I think the shenanigans are more likely to happen in the cellar, but of course that affects the cask, so it's a moot point.

There is a more serious point of course in that it should be easier in theory not top cock up a supposed brewery conditioned cask beer than it obviously is.

I suppose it all boils down to good products served and kept badly. Didn't that famous beer writer chappie, Grey or Green, or something like that make this sort of point recently?

The Beer Nut said...

" it should be easier in theory not top cock up a supposed brewery conditioned cask beer"

Quite the reverse, I would say. Why do bottle-conditioned beers age better, in general, than filtered and/or pasteurised ones? Why do breweries shipping beer abroad for bottling ship it live, to be pasteurised at the bottling plant? Because the flavour of beer with live yeast in it is better able to survive injuries. It heals. The price for this robustness is occasional inconsistency.

Tandleman said...

I did say in theory. Of course these beers aren't going all over the world, but even so.

I sound like I'm arguing against myself. It is the wider point in a different argument.

I agree with Nick. I mean you.

StringersBeer said...

I think it might be something to do with yeast protecting beer by mopping up trace oxygen. That and brewers choosing to bottle condition beers that have good aging potential (darker, stronger, less hop-forward?) Of course, excess yeast can produce more-or-less unattractive flavours cos of autolysis and that. So it's not without problems of its own.

Most bad cask beer I've had (that wasn't frankly infected) was just flat, or stale and/or warm. With occasional outbreaks of "not really dropped bright yet" and "a bit green".

Erlangernick said...

Always sensible to agree with me!

My Twitter feed is apparently hosed, because I only saw bits and pieces of whatever back-n-forth there was.

I nearly always prefer bottle-conditioned ale to non-b-c, if only on principle, that it's more natural, less industrialised.

IPA-obsessed kids at places like r8beer today apparently think filtering is better for keeping hoppy beer fresh and whinge whenever an IPA is bottle-conditioned. The sort of kids that think you have to drink such beer within a week of bottling, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Beer is complicated and conditioning doesn't simplify it. Levels of residual fermentabiity, yeast counts and yeast health all make a big difference. Ideal conditioning time can vary hugely between breweries and beers.
One way of keeping it simple is to employ a committed and skilled cellar person who handles, understands and tastes the beer.(Not some twerp who thinks filter pans are acceptable practice) JC