Posted by Luke Bennett on 16/10/19
We’ve decided to pull back the curtains and let you see how our first release, Haná Malt, was developed. From the initial revival, the malting and how we assessed the malt flavour profiles, here’s the story of how we brought Haná back!
A small handful of Haná barley seeds were selected in 2014 and grown up over successive generations, on prime Norfolk land. This marked the beginning of the revival of the 1842 Czech Moravia variety, the pin-up for Pilsner lagers, and one of the world’s most important and influential two-row brewing barley varieties.
During the testing period, the barley was micromalted and then analysed to ensure the malt is of the highest quality and will perform as it should do on a larger scale. We also wanted to know if the malt will be suitable for brewing.
Finally, in 2018 we harvested an excellent batch of Haná barley to produce 14 tonnes of the malt you have used and loved today.
We made the decision to complement the heritage grain by malting Haná with our 1870s Floor Malthouse. The barley was slowly and carefully steeped, germinated and gently kilned to achieve a distinct low-colour and enhance the variety’s unique flavour.
Flavour is a critical criterion that we need to get absolutely right. Using the Crisp “Malt Tea” method, Haná malt was organoleptically assessed by our New Product Development panel. Each flavour attribute is identified and marked against a scale of intensity.
The result; a smooth, sweet wort with strong aromas of freshly baked bread. Delicious!
But, does this make a good beer?! We had to find out, so we put our Haná through the ultimate test on our brand-new brewing kit. The answer, to our delight, was yes! With the expertise of our Master Brewer Carl, we brewed two identical lager beers, however changing the base malt between Europils and Haná, see our recipe here. This was to highlight the key differences, including flavour (blind tasting), of these malts and check that the malt processes through the brewery well.
We found Haná’s performance in the brewery and organoleptic assessments passed with flying colours, so by this point we were very confident the malt is going to be popular.
Haná took roughly three weeks from the date we launched to selling out. We were confident, but not that confident! Obviously, the whole team at Crisp were very proud of what was achieved, and it was such a pleasure to see the hard work, from so many different individuals and teams over the last few years, lead to such an amazing malt. As the phrase goes, it’s not a “goodbye”, but a see you later, Haná…
A big thank you goes out to everyone involved and all the breweries and distilleries supporting our Small Batch Series. If you haven’t already, make sure to register here for the latest news and releases. You might want to keep an eye out this month…
Ciao for now!
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