mrsmelwoodbeer

and her exploits in the world of hand crafted beer…..

Mega update 2015 to date!!

I have just visited my blog and am ashamed to say I haven’t posted in over 16 months!!!

I have been concentrating on the business and the website etc. though so it’s not as if I’ve been twiddling my thumbs for that long. Sometimes life gets in the way doesn’t it?

Anyway, to rectify things a smidgeon I will try to round up the events in my past 16 months with a whistle stop tour of everything that’s happened. The problem might be that I may not remember it all of course but I’ll have a go!

Feb 2015: We realised that our little brewery was just too small for us to attempt to do everything we wished to do so we set about trying to find larger premises – preferably within the Estate we were already on – so we asked Knowsley Estate office if they had any empty buildings which we could initially use as storage to free up space in the brew house. They came up with a great building, actually situated not far from the brew house.  When we saw it we first thought it could make a great new brewery but it would have needed a lot of renovating and it was damp and musty so storage was out until that could be sorted.

One day, however, we were speaking to one of the friendly security men on the Estate about our plight and he said ‘haven’t you considered the Kennels?’ ‘The Kennels?? Where are the Kennels?’ we said. Only 200 metres away behind the trees, up the lane!! He went and got the key and showed us around.

The rest is just about history if you look at our website you will see it took us ten months to actually move into the Kennels – which we did over Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016 – not a good idea let me tell you! (But we are in now and settling at last!)

February also saw us collaborate with Liverpool Guild of Students to bring local real ale (or hand crafted beer as we like to call it) to the students of the University of Liverpool in the Sphinx bar. We worked closely with them to ensure that the beer was right for them and we are pleased to say that it is still a great seller for the Sphinx and students are literally lapping it up!

March 2015: Another Melwood Shakedown at the Baltic Social which was a great success and we started supplying Knowsley Hall (as resident brewery) for their Weddings and Parties with ‘Knowsley Blonde’ on keg – our first venture into kegging beer!

April 2015: Stan Shaw – our part time brewer – reached his 1000th lifetime brew! We gave Stan free reign to devise a recipe for this brew which he duly did and he named it ‘1000 Up.’

May 2015: A further collaboration with Liverpool Guild of Students to bring their first Beer Festival with beers from Melwood, Liverpool Organic, Milestone, Dancing Duck plus many others. Well supported by the students and public alike.

June/July 2015: Were spent keeping stocks going and supplying the lovely pubs in our area and perfecting our art really. We did an event for a friend’s swimming club annual awards ceremony, which was very good for us and we enjoyed taking our bar out into the sunshine for this great event.

Still really stifled in the small brewery we were looking forward to the move to the Kennels which we had anticipated would come sometime in September. We were wrong of course :-{

August 2015: Summer Shakedown was upon us again!! And our great friends at the Baltic Social housed us perfectly as always with a great turn out of support for us and the bands that played.

September/October/November 2015: Works on the Kennels took a long time to get going and a long time to finish then we had the added hiatus when an emergency asbestos survey had to be undertaken! It was an uncomfortable interval for us while we waited for the report. Luckily all was well and we were given the go ahead to move in! Once we licensed the property and advised HMRC of moving dates for the stock we were good to go!

Late December 2015: We were in the Dog House at last!

January – April 2016: We have settled into our lovely new home! We now have a brew house, cold room, bottling room, workshop, office, kitchen, toilets and more storage space than we could have ever hoped for! We are starting to bottle more and John and I have been brewing more and utilising all three of our fermenters at last! We are using the conditioning tanks we purchased at the end of last year. In an effort to reduce the need for isinglass finings we are transferring beers straight to conditioning tank for this very reason.

We have started bottling again! We have our own designated bottling room and will be utilising this more and more over this year. We have an IBC tank which we hope to bottle straight into as well sometime later this year.

We have been kegging beer more and more and are regularly supplying a new bar opened recently by our friends called the Dead Crafty Beer Company. We had a recent review  which said the beer  we supplied here, kegged Mojo Risin’ 6.0%,  is the best they’ve ever drank from Melwood! – that’s from a CAMRA stalwart too! We are so happy!

So that’s where we are up to. Work is increasing, time is precious and we are forging ahead.  Roll on the summer because the Kennels is sure gonna be lovely in the sunshine fully armed and operational

JJ

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Derby Stout

Today we brewed a beer that we haven’t tried before-a stout.
This one is an award winning recipe that we hope will form part of our core repertoire.
It was very strange brewing this one because it was so black – like liquorice! We are normally used to blonde and paler beers so this was a new brewing experience. Anyway hope it goes down well. Here are some pics from today’s session:

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Little post at the start of advent

Just a few pics of today’s brew for you. Advent has started but this is not our winter ale. It’s a very pale ale but it’s name is yet to be decided. Anyway can you see my name in the froth?

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Actually our winter ale, St Stephen, is going down very well so try to catch it at The Caledonia and at the Black-E beer festival! Salut!

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Ooo it’s cold and wet down’t brewery!

Still we had a laugh today with our Melwood Hats on! Loads of cask washing done in between the showers and a lovely rainbow emerged overhead.

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Time flies when you’re having fun! Salut funksters!

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St Stephen’s day

Just a few more pics from today’s brew day

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St Stephen. Dark and Mysterious

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Bubbles

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Melwood Van

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Signage

It’s was another long brew day but it was worth it. This beer is gonna be a cracker!

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The Brewery lookin fine – Knowsley Sunshine

Thought I’d share with you just how lovely it’s is round our place. Today we are brewing our winter ale St Stephen but just look at the weather! These seasons are crazy man!
Here are a few pics….

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Sure is a mighty fine place to be on a sunny day! Ciao my lovelies x

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The boys are back in town

It’s been quite a while and we’ve missed them but the rams are finally back in the field outside the brewery! Not the same rams mind; these ones are new young ‘uns with loads of hormones! Watching them is a bit strange because they don’t seem to care if the attentions they are so readily forcing on their field mates are on fellow rams!! There’s a lot of rutting noises and biting goin on! Do sheep rut? Maybe that’s not the right word but whatever they are doing I’m putting down to their male hormones! It’s not even spring!
Anyway we’ve been casking a good old favourite English Pale Ale, Equinox, for your delectation folks so you’ll be able to find that in the finest hostelries in Liverpool City centre and in St Helens in a few weeks time. Brewing again tomorrow so no rest for the wicked!
Oh and it’s the Liverpool Beer Festival at St George’s Hall next weekend so try to check out our beers which are on there. We’ve got the mighty CITRADELIC , Father Ted, Fools Gold and Stanley Gold. Tickets are almost sold out now but you never know your luck if you try to get the last ones available for Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be there with Mrmelwoodbeer so say hi if you’re going!
Here’s those naughty rams and those cheeky casks of Equinox for ya! Salut!!

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Burn Baby Burn

What a week I’ve had!!

Mr Melwoodbeer and I went off to Worcestershire to attend the Annual Hop Walk at Stocks Farm, Suckley.I’m blogging about that in the next post but let me tell you what happened last weekend.

We were out delivering on Saturday morning to our fave pub The Caledonia in Liverpool. We’d had a good morning and we were brewing in the afternoon. After a few hiccups (temperature probe not working and general carelessness) everything started to go well. We knew it was going to be a late finish as we’d started the brew late in the day but nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen!
It was 9.30pm and we were just about to start the transfer from copper to fermenter. As I had gloves on MrMelwood asked me to unhook the pump from the re-circulator and disaster struck. We’d left the tap open on the copper and as I unhooked the pump boiling hot wort (beer before the yeast is added) shot out onto my hand. Unfortunately the gloves I was wearing were non-reinforced backs and the wort immediately scalded the back of my hand! SCREAM!!!!!!! it scalded me big time! as you can see from the pictures below it looks yacky but it’s healing now nearly one week later.
After initially holding my hand under cold water for ages we managed the transfer and went home. The pain was unbelievable and I just didn’t know what to do. MrMelwood wanted to take me to A&E but I knew I’d just be sitting round for hours in the same pain so I opted not to go. Instead I put some pure Somerset honey on the wound and covered it in cling film. I went to bed whingeing, I won’t hide it. It was the worst pain since having my children I can tell you! But next morning there was NO PAIN! The honey worked amazingly!! I have the utmost respect for the Glastonbury bees as that was where I’d bought the honey and will continue to use it. It’s brilliant and better than all those chemical creams I could have put on it. I was really glad I didn’t go to A&E.

It’s given us a real wake up call as it could have been so much worse. ALWAYS CLOSE THE TAPS MrMelwood!

Immediately after the scald
Immediately after the scald!

The morning after
The morning after.

Monday
Monday.

starting to blister
Starting to blister!

Wednesday after the hop walk - blister burst
After the Hop Walk. It filled with fluid and I had to burst it!!

Friday- a few knocks but getting better!
Its had a few knocks but it’s getting better!

So let that be an important lesson. Safety is paramount!

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Stanley Gold

This is the pump clip for our latest offering, Stanley Gold. It’s a nod to a number of things – our surroundings, our logo and a good friend. Enjoy peeps!

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Also remember I said we’d been bottling well this is CITRADELIC just waiting to be labelled! You know you want it!

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Get some wonderful beer

Been a bit quiet on the brewing front haven’t I?
Well it’s been all go at Melwood behind the scenes! Had a couple of blown casks due to the heat we’ve been having lately in this ere summer but I’m not complaining honest!
CITRADELIC has gone into The Caledonia along with Knowsley Blonde, Fools Gold and the saintly Father Ted. Sent some beers off to Manchester and we’ve been bottling! Yes folks bottles coming soon!!
Leave me a message if you’d like some delectable beer brewed with love remember ❤

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