The story behind Timanfaya

Timanfaya is a beer that I have dreamed about doing for ages.  It stemmed for my love for sours but my need to be creative…more creative than the next guy.  Since my first trip to Brussels, I was hooked on “sour” beer (tart is probably a better descriptor, but sour seems to be the term that everyone uses these days).  I had had them before, but until I had spent a day sitting in the tasting room of Cantillon sharing big bottles of beer with people I had just met, I had never EXPERIENCED them.  And a proper sour is an experience.  It was this experience, and many subsequent visits that solidified my love for sour beer and fueled my dream to produce one.

Traditionally, souring a beer is done in a coolship but unfortunately I was not in possession of one (unlike Elgood’s who have two fantastic coolships that they use to produce sours using semi-traditional methods).  Instead, I would have to come up with a way to produce this beer without the equipment that other breweries have.  There are a few other methods that can be used…inoculating a beer with “wild yeast” (in quotes because many times this inoculation is done with a known entity…ie, something from a vial from white labs), inoculation of wort in the kettle (this can be done before or after the wort has been boiled) which is called kettle souring, or sour mashing which is inoculating the mash itself.

The method that I decided to use was to kettle sour before the boil.  The reason was mostly because it is a way to keep from inoculating the entire brewery, but also because it was an easy way to use the souring agent that I wanted to use….a kombucha SCOBY.  To the best of my knowledge, up to this point in time, nobody in the UK (at least no production brewery) was using Kombucha SCOBYs to sour a beer.

The entire brewing process took 6 days, and then took another 8 days to ferment… and that was to produce Timanfaya.

El Diablo de Timanfaya will also be produced from this batch.  El Diablo de Timanfaya is the base beer (Timanfaya) which will be oak aged for ~3 months on cherries.

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