During Sydney Craft Beer Week 2015 we were very lucky to be able to brew a beer with Willie The Boatman. The beer was served at Public House Petersham for the week and we were extremely grateful to have had the chance to experience having a beer on tap.
The beer that we brewed was a Schwarzbier, which is a dark style German Lager. They are pretty much a dark style beer which is session-able enough to be drinking in the summer months. It was a much needed addition to the taps around the neighbourhood as we are starting to get a bit over drinking galaxy hopped up pale ales. They usually have a hint of toffee or roasted chocolate flavours but this is not meant to be overpowering or as pronounced as in a stout and the abv is traditionally around the 5% mark.
We made many prototypes at Beer Creative of this beer before upscaling it at Willie's. We brewed different variations with different malt combinations, yeast, hop additions and fermentation profiles. We wanted the beer to be represented in it's truest form and went to lengths to do justice to this classic style.
WLP862 CRY HAVOC YEAST
Due to the valuable real estate we were taking up in one of Willie's tanks we couldn't justify the lengthy ferment schedules we had been playing with in our prototyping. We ended up speeding up this process by using a hybrid yeast known as Cry Havoc. This is the yeast is the home brew yeast culture of Charlie Papazian, known as "The Godfather of American Home Brewing and Craft Beer". In this post Charlie reveals that this yeast as it turned out was cultured from a Keg of Budweiser. The great thing about Cry Havoc is that you can get a faster lager fermentation and it is a great yeast to have on hand as it is diverse enough to ferment at both ale and lager temps.