Introducing the best thing since sliced bread, Toast Ale is the UK’s first ever bread to beer ale. Brewed by craft purveyors Hackney Brewery, the innovative and great tasting ale uses fresh, surplus bread otherwise thrown away by bakeries, delis and sandwich makers.
Nearly half (44%) of bread in the UK, including 24 million slices a year in homes, is thrown away. With Toast Ale using a slice of bread in every bottle of expertly brewed beer, enjoying a cold one also helps you to do good. Celebrity fans embracing this innovative way to enjoy craft beer whilst helping to end food waste, include food waste champions Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
The brewing process of this fresh and unique beer is so simple you can brew it yourself at home. Bread is sliced, then mashed to make breadcrumbs ready for the brewing process. The pale ale is brewed with malted barley, hops and yeast. The bread adds caramel notes that balance the bitter hops, giving a malty taste similar to amber ales and wheat beers.
Here’s the recipe for you to try at home:
The first stage is called the mash, where you steep your grains in hot water. What makes Toast Ale special is that the amount of barley malt is reduced and replaced with bread.
For this recipe, you should use 3.5kg pale malt, 1.5Kg dried crumbed bread (or 2.5kg fresh sliced bread), 150g CaraMalt, 150g Munich Malt, and 500g Oat Husks. Steep them in 15.7L of water at 67°C. Cover and leave for 60 minutes. (To buy these ingredients, try brewuk.co.uk.) Revel in the malty, caramel aromas.
Next is the sparging phase. Using a mash tun or a brew-in-a-bag technique to drain the liquid from the mash tun while rinsing the grains with 78°C water from the top. You want to sparge until you’ve reached 25L – we think you’ll use about 20L of water. Ideally, you sparge using a watering can or a colander so that the water comes out in nice evenly distributed droplets, instead of a continuous gush of a hose. While sparging, you may be tempted to push the wort through the wet grains. Resist this temptation, as you don’t want to get any bits of the grains in the wort. If you do, they may create an unwanted tannin taste.
Next is the boiling phase. Bring the wort to a boil. Put the German Hallertau Tradition hops in immediately. These are the ‘bittering’ hops that give Toast Ale its lip-smacking bitter taste, which balance out the caramel notes from the bread and the papaya and mango notes from the aroma hops that you’ll add later on.
Fifteen minutes before taking the wort off the boil (so, 75 minutes in), add 1 tsp Protofloc, also called Irish Moss, which makes a brighter tasting wort.
Five minutes before you take the wort off the boil, add 12g of Cascade hops and 10g of Centennial hops. As you take the wort off the boil, add another 25g Cascade hops and 10g Centennial hops, and also put in 25g Bramling Cross hops. These are the aromatic hops that add a fruity, refreshing punch to Toast Ale.
Once this is done, you want to cool down the wort to 20°C. Some people use an ice bucket, but don’t mix any unboiled water with your wort, which has been sterilised by the boiling and is now a nice, clean environment for yeast to get to work.
Speaking of yeast, it’s now time to pitch the yeast into the cooled down wort. We recommend Safale US-05 Yeast (rehydrated).
The next key phase is to let the yeast get to work fermenting. During fermentation, try to keep your wort at around 18°C for seven days. Five days in (so, two days before fermentation ends), add another 60g Cascade hops and 35g Bramling Cross hops. This addition reinforces the fresh mango, passion fruit, and kiwi flavours.
Pour into bottles after this week of fermentation. Leave the bottles for two weeks at around 12°C (a cool dark place is great). This waiting period allows the bottles to condition (continue fermenting) in the bottle, creating more alcohol, reducing the sugar and adding fizz.
Finally, it is important to drink your beer and savour the balanced bitter, caramel, fruity flavours of your very own Toast Ale.
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.010
Recipe Type: all-grain
Yield: 25.00 Litres
Toast is available to buy at ToastAle.com with an RRP of £3.00. The list of stockists is growing every day as craft ale retailers, pubs, bars and restaurants join the bread to beer ale movement. Check out their website for a full list of stockists http://www.toastale.com/stockists/ .