Monday, 13 September 2010

Brigstock Beer Festival 2010

Beer, Cider, Perry or Pimms. The choice is yours at this years mighty Brigstock Beer Festival (Sat 18th Sept). In addition to all the beer, music, stalls, and yes, Pimms Bar, there will be a choice of local-ish ciders from Churchill of Huntingdon, Jollydale of Stamford, and most local of all, our very own Rockingham Forest Cider. There will also be a brand new, never tasted elsewhere barrel of Rockingham Forest Perry. It's a limited edition of only two and a half barrels, so get it while you can.

This particular perry has become known as the 'Mystery Perry' on account of it not appearing on any of my extensive records. A lost and lonely fermenter, languishing unloved in a dark recess at the back of the ciderhouse. Poor thing. I've reason to believe that it was made from a late harvest of assorted perry pears, possibly including some Red Longdon, possibly not!

Now perry being such an unpredictable drink to make, you never quite know what you're going to get until you lift the lid as it were. On lifting the lid on this one last weekend I was met with the sight of a strange, rubbery mass floating on the surface. Strange indeed, though not necessarily a bad thing. I've seen this sort of thing before, and it seems to be quite common with perry, but even so, it was quite a surprise. After I'd managed to carefully remove the offending 'pancake', the perry lying below turned out to be crystal clear. Even stranger still was the almost total lack of sediment at the bottom of the fermenter. It seems all the yeasty residue which would normally settle on the bottom, had floated to the surface... and stayed there!

So there you have it. It's a tasty perry for sure, and will only be available at the Brigstock Beer Festival.... and Billesdon Local Food Lunch.... and maybe Brocks Hill Apple Day if there's any left. Never fear if you do miss it, there's still the Malvern Hills to come, and that's a stunner, though lacking the pancake on top!

1 comment:

Karen and Mark said...

Rubbery Cap Update: Noted beverage scientist and top cidermaker Andrew Lea, he who helps all and sundry with the more technical queries on the Cider Workshop, has helpfully explained that this 'cap' is the result of 'perry tannin... (being) much more polymeric than in apples'....

In other words, the tannin molecules stick together and form chains. The reason it's on the top, rather than the bottom of the fermenter where you would expect it to be is presumably that the CO2 generated by gentle Summer fermentation has forced the tannin and yeast residue to the surface, where it's stuck together and floated. Ta-da!