The first in a very special series of beers that capture the essence of Wild Workshop. Two parts New Zealand grown pilsner malt to one part raw wheat go through an extended brewing process to yield a wort that is rested in a traditional open coolship, then fermented entirely using the wild yeast and microbes present in the air.
A coolship (or koelschip) is a large shallow copper or stainless steel open pan. These vessels were one of the original methods for cooling wort after it was boiled. Clever in their simplicity, hot wort is pumped in and the large surface area to volume allows it to cool relatively quickly. Having said that, it still takes around 16 hours.
At the Wild Workshop we only do these brews on nights where the temperature drops below 5°C. Hot wort is pumped up to the coolship on the second story and we throw open the windows, letting the cool night air in. Dave, our Wild brewer has also taken to setting up a sleeping hammock beside the coolship so he can nurse it overnight. As well as cooling the wort, during this time wild flora in the air settles on its surface inoculating it with a whole ecosystem of yeast and bacteria that will ferment the beer and give it its utterly unique flavour. In the morning the cooled and inoculated wort is dropped down to the ground floor and pumped into 500 litre oak puncheons and left to ferment. There’s something a little magic about the whole thing.
This spontaneously fermented beer is traditionally aged for up to three years, often blending older and younger barrels to achieve the desired flavour. This first release of Random Acts of Kindness is a special blend of one year old barrels. It may be ‘young’ but this spontaneous blend has produced a unique and beautifully balanced beer, that really is a true expression of our inner city terroir. We could all do with a little bit of kindness.