Hi ho 2014

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

IMG_0018Man this year has gone quickly!

Whats happened in the brew house so far, or should we say since the last post?

Christmas and a brew. Thats about as exciting as its been here at ManawaBrew. Sadly where we work in our real jobs has got rather busy, gotta love peaks seasons right, so there really hasn’t been much in the way of brewing.


The Triple Sea IIPA is….well, we’re not happy with it. The bittering IBU was just about tripled to give it a BIG smack, but it has failed to deliver. Its carbonated, but really low – nothing has changed in our bottling line, so maybe we didn’t give the Mangrove Jacks M44 yeast a chance to work it magic. Its a nice beer. Massive tropical nose, floral hit, nice long lasting passion fruit, peach and mango flavour. Needs something more though. We’re not sure if its the carbonation, or the bitterness, or both. Its very quaffable, you don’t really know you’re drinking a 8% beer, thats for sure. This will definitely be rebrewed to hone the recipe. For the record, NZ Cascade, US Centennial and Citra work REALLY well.

The two pilsners are all but gone. Definitely the best of the two is the WakaPils, bittered with Motueka and flavoured with Riwaka. Have been thinking this will become one of 2 house beers, without a doubt. Good drinker, good lawn mower beer, good after work beer. Just really good. Hard to explain, I say just brew one yourself!

The Styrian Pale Ale is gone, officially nothing remains of it. The last bottle had a trip to Auckland to visit Allan from Shadow Beast Brewery. Check out the action on his Home Brew Wednesday video below. Needless to say our brewhouse has gone through a complete was, soak and sanitize since then.

The Belgian proved to be a hit over the holiday period. Everyone that tried loves it. There are 5 bottles in the cellar (re brewery/garage) and the remaining bottles are in the fridge cold conditioning. The taste of this beer is amazing. We’re amazed at how the beer has changed so much over the months its been sitting. Normally a beer would loose flavour over time, this has gained so much more flavour. Cannot wait to see what its like in a year. The Belgian yeast really has done well here. Nice spicy hit, the alcohol doesn’t burn anymore (11%abv) and the fruitiness is still there. Really happy, really impressed. Seasonal. For sure.

Brew DayIMG_0027

Wellington Anniversary, a grey day, an earthquake and we brewed our Pale Ale. Cascade Motueka mash up. Brew day went well, the only thing that went wrong was a small crack in the immersion chiller. We’ll get onto fixing it, but this brew was a no chill beer. We got it into the fermenter and into the fermentation fridge to cool to 18 degrees as quickly as we could, still took all night. Hit the yeast up with some of the last runnings then threw that in the wort with a helping hand from the magic wand out the kitchen. Within 4 hours we had bubbbbbbbbbling! Its still in the fermentation fridge bubbling away. First dry hop after high krausen, then ANOTHER dry hop for a couple of days…..


Yep. We’ve got kegs. Well, they’re yet to get here, but Santa was the man and got us a keg setup for Xmas. To be completed, but we are on the way to kegging. Pretty stoked!!! Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter, when they’re here, EVERYONE will know!

Coming up, Irish Red Ale, Stout and a couple of brews for Mrs ManawaBrew (gotta keep her happy right?)

Cheers and happy brewing!

National Crate Day

Posted: December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

New Zealand National Crate Day a smoker and a re-brew of the Triple Sea IIPA. Tripel-Sea-WCIPA1

For those not from New Zealand the humble crate is 12 bottles, 745ml in size and in it was your favourite drop of beer. In this case, for this day, we chose Lion Brown. Refer to here why we didn’t get Tui.

Day started nice and early, smoker and mash in were going at the same time. Was a couple of lads bustling around at 8am on a Saturday morning. Queue the ever unpredictable kiwi weather, rain, wind a pretty good drop in temperature. Undeterred we carried on!

The brew day went really well, hit pre boil bang on, lost 4 litres in the 90min boil due to evaporation and missed our OG this time on the lower side, not the higher side. We wanted 1.078 and got 1.072. We’re in two mind here. The recipe this beer is based on has brown sugar added to it., just to boost the abv up a little. Little lost on this, I think in all fairness we’ll chuck it in once high krausen has passed and before the first of 2 massive dry hop additions. Whats the worst that can happen right? It’ll still be beer.

Being Monday night at the time of writing, the beer has been fermenting for a couple of days and on the higher side. Snuck in a sample this evening. WOW! Massive hit of everything tropical except the fish, coconut and white sandy beaches. It tastes amazing! The aroma isn’t as predominant as we recall, but again, still 2 massive dry hop additions to come, it’ll be coming! Watch this space for more regular updates on it.

Styrian Pale Ale

Is, just about all GONE. Its that good. Such a good beer for what it is. Technically it was to be a Single Malt, Single Hop (SMaSH) but we got a little carried away and threw some Fuggles in for good measure. Brilliant drop. This will definitely be brewed again and maybe again. Was also a REALLY good pairing with some freshly smoked salmon on brew day!


These puppies are now in the serving fridge. Lagering didn’t seem to really take all that long, or we’re impatient. Probably the later. Both are nice and clear and we can’t really find any off notes…yet…they may come.

The clear favourite is the MoPils. It has Riwaka as the bittering and Motueka for the flavour, aroma and a small dry hop. Note these are relatively young for lagers, so that may change.

Whats next?

Another re-brew is up. The American Pale Ale, or Papaioea Pale Ale as it’s been renamed to. Cascade and Motueka mixed to their finest. Note sure we’ll get a brew in before the new year, we’ll certainly try though. We’re also looking at an amber ale, maybe imperial to basically match the label and name we were playing with, keep watching this space to see how it looks.

For those who don’t follow us on Facebook, check out our first official published article from Jason. A review of the new book out detailing the life and story of the McChasin family. Check it out over on The Swamp Thing e-zine.

Shout out to Shady, cheers yet again for the treats. Will have to drop some beers over and do a swapsies.
Shout out to Chubby, cheers for the shout out, even if it sounds funny from your accent and you got the name of where we’re from wrong. Enjoy the beers dude, more coming your way.
Finally shout out to Carl for coming over on Saturday. For slaving over a smoker all day, for helping us brew, keeping the troops feed and bringing the family along as well!

Cheers and happy brewing!


Pils pils pils

Posted: November 14, 2013 in bottling, home brew
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WakaPils57 bottles of beer. Thats 48 745ml bottles, 8 500ml bottles, some for the bottler to ‘taste’ while bottling oh and one blended bottle a 50/50 mix of the two.

We’re a little concerned with the WakaPils. Couple of reasons. The smell coming out of her when bottling wasn’t all that flash, really can’t explain it. Tasted fine, might’ve been the dry hop we threw in there, or maybe it was that particular fermentation bucket had the Southern Star in it (bugs), or maybe we had a FUBAR moment on brew day for the ‘wakaPils?

The fermentation bucket we had the Styrian Pale Ale in was the one we actually needed for the Pilsner. So while we were chilling the WakaPils, it was a mad rush to siphon the Pale Ale out into the 3rd fermentation bucket wash and sanitize the 2nd fermentation bucket ready for the cooled Pils.

It’s beer, its now sitting in bottles awaiting carbonation before the lagering begins. So, we will have a taste before it lagers down, hopefully its ok.

So lesson learned from this? Make sure we have the right fermentation buckets for the right beers, more importantly, if we do a double batch again make sure its in the SAME style of fermentation buckets so they fit together in the fermentation fridge!

On a more happier (or is that hoppier) note, the Styrian Pale Ale is carbed and tasting pretty good if we do say so. Even Mrs ManawaBrew liked it! The nose, well, considering how much hops went into it, is pretty non existent. The taste is fresh but there is a slight hint of spice with some lime peel and maybe even some bitterness from the pith of a lime in there. Quite an interesting beer. Very quaffable for 5%. We’ll let it sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks to mellow out and then we’ll be all about it!

Next planned brew is a rebrew, with some adjustments, of our WCIPA on National Crate Day. We’re planning a BrewBQ the same day. Get some people over for brew day, we’ll have a smoker doing it’s thing to some meat and maybe we’ll squeeze in a second brew, another SMaSH with Simcoe, we’ll see how we go.

Have you got plans for National Crate Day? If so what are they?

Cheers and happy brewing!

Brewed out?

Posted: November 3, 2013 in home brew
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MoPils PilsnerFor those that follow us on the Twitter or the Facebook will know we brewed some beer in the last week. Across 3 separate batches we now have 18L of Pale Ale and 49L of Pilsner bubbling away in the fermenters.

Would we do it again? Bloody oath we would! It’ll push the boundaries when we bottle i.e will we have enough bottles but looking in the brew house we’re sure we do! Have we brewed ourselves silly? Have we brewed enough? I think not! More brewing I say!

The garden is certainly loving the spent grains, although in hindsight, I think the Highland Cattle we were looking after might liked it more…

Onto the Pilsners! This is the first time we’ve brewed a real lager, using lager yeast and using temperature control to get the ferment nice n cool. Had a sneaky taster of one this afternoon and its brilliant. Looking at dry hopping both of the Pils when we bring them up for a diacetyl rest in 2 weeks. One will get a healthy dose of Motueka and the other a healthy dose of Riwaka. Some might say why dry hop a Pilsner? We say, why not?

We dry hoped the Styrian Pale Ale today with a couple grams of Styran Golding and some Fuggles to give it a real kick. Still bubbling away and it might’ve been a little early to dry hop – its all about experimenting right? We’ll leave it until Saturday or Sunday and perhaps bottle it up.

Couple of shout outs:
– Anthony from Swamp Thing Ezine for popping over on brew day. Good to finally meet you and have a decent yarn. I promise brewing is more fun than just sitting and waiting for the mash!
– Anyone who tweets us, replies to our Facebook updates etc. It’s nice having that interaction, learning, sharing and just being a part of the brewing community!

And finally. Anyone from the Mighty Manawatu or more so Palmerston North, get in behind our awesome town and get on Twitter follow @GIGATOWN_PMN and use the hash tag #GigatownPalmNth to promote our town to #1 pot to get a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection – more details here

Brew day is done.

On a blustery spring Manawatu day we closed up the garage and brewed our first beer in a while. But its done. The recipe was a SMaSH, 5kg of Gladfield’s Pale Ale malt from Baylands Brewery, some Mangrove Jacks Burton Union Ale yeast from the same place and 2 different batches of Styrian Golding courtesy of the ManawaBrew freezer. Most of the hops went in the boil, but we’re planning a nice dry hop for it as well.

We started off heating the strike water and thanks to a cat in the rafters, had to be ditched mid way through being heated. The cat got the heave ho and we started again, albeit a little behind schedule. 60 minute mash, a degree over, but we cooled that down pretty well.

Sparge out, bang on temp and bang on 26L of golden wort into the kettle. Mission accomplished without a stuck sparges, without any hassles at all. Very happy with the brew house performance today!

Slight mishap with the recipe, well, maybe not. Based on a SG of 1.060 we hit an efficiency of 87%. While we don’t want to complain at getting such a good number, makes for interesting brewing and drinking, especially when you’re trying to make a session beer! Should this ferment out, 6% a session beer is not.

Keep an eye out for next weeks brews, 2x pilsners.

Shout outs:
Nikki from Baylands and Wife of a Brewer
Lisa, Lisa, Amy, Steph and Isobelle for playing Tuppware coincidentally, if you live in NZ and want Tupperware, let us know
Brian and Noah for popping in to say hi

Cheers and Happy Brewing!