So far (fingers crossed!) the beers I've sent out have been a success.
'First Brew' which was a really grapefruity, lemony zesty pale at 4.3% went down very well indeed. We've bottled bucket loads of it, although we've added too much priming sugar to it so it's super fizzy like a lager. Although this isn't how bottled beers are meant to be, my lager-drinking consumers are saying it's lovely and they want loads of it. It is a lovely beer, although really very similar to what many microbrewers are producing so I'm reluctant to keep it as a core product - maybe just a special brew every so often.
Henrietta is going down a storm, it's a very easy drinking pale which is well balanced. Good fresh hop aroma with a subtle bitterness, and a decent bit of body. It drinks like it's well over 4%, despite only being 3.6% - a good trick I think. Very pleased with that one, and it'll be a keeper. Not sure about a permanent name though. Henrietta? Henrietta Harley? Something totally different? Thoughts please.
Ernest George (4.2%) is also going really well, it's very different from your usual microbrewery ale. It's a very deep ruby bitter which has plenty of dark crystal, roasted, chocolate and black malts, and Challenger, Bramling Cross and Willamette hops. In my neck of the woods, this is going really really well because it's different. Not sure if the recipe could do with a little work but I probably need to sit and drink a couple of pints in a good pub to decide. Not having a brewery tap is a bit annoying. This one is the brew which got stuck and wouldn't ferment any further. With a little persuasion it got down to 1011 which was OK - meant it was very very lively though and not quite the right ABV. Second batch is now cooling and behaved much better!
Red Feather (3.9%) amber bitter is brewed with loads of crystal malt. I think it's OK, but the style of beer, ABV, and recipe don't seem to be winning me many customers. People are saying it's OK, but I've got loads to sell this week so we'll see what they say after this batch has gone out. Not sure if it's a bit safe and averagey.
Then there's the black beer - attempt one is called Portland black. This one also got stuck but at 1013, and unfortunately is very very stuck. I've tried everything and today repitched it with an extra 2kg of yeast which I'm hoping will make it drop by 3 degrees to 1010. Fingers crossed. Also, it's not black enough. Anywhere near in fact. I'm going to speak to Nigel (Kelham's recipe God) about it tomorrow to get some advice. I want a teeny tiny little play plant which I can practice recipes and do fun stuff on.
Anyway, enough ramblings for now, just thought I'd keep you updated.