JoCs ingredients

water Water

More than 90% of beer is water and it's this that will make the beer unique. Different styles of beer require different water profiles, so the first thing is to get a sample tested and a report on the water being used to brew. The effect water will have on brewing will be identified by six main ions; carbonate, sodium, chloride, sulphate, calcium and magnesium. At JoC's brewery we have a bore hole which is a great way to begin, the water (know by brewers as liquor) can be treated to achieve the brewing profile required.

malting barley Malt

Maris Otter is a 2 row winter variety of barley and is the main cereal ingredient in my beers. The variety was originally bred and introduced in 1966 by Dr G D H Bell in Cambridge. It was a great barley for English cask conditioned ales but went into decline as it came up against cross pollination issues.

In 1991 a consortium was formed between H Banham Ltd, just down the road from me in Norfolk, and Robin Appel Ltd in Hampshire, which approached PBI, who owned Maris Otter. Their objective was, to bring the variety back and readily available to the real ale market once again. This consortium bought the sole right to Market Maris otter seed.

In 2002 Maris Otter was bought outright by H Banham Ltd and Robin Appel Ltd who have continued to improve the variety. I choose to use Maris otter in my beers as it is a grain producing low levels of nitrogen, its thin skins absorb the water easily and it is a very reliable grain to brew with. At JoC's the seed, the field, the maltings and the brewery all sit within 5 miles of each other.

hops Hops

The first documented use of hops being used in beer for bittering is from the 11th century. Before this period, brewers used a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers. Nowadays hops are used extensively in brewing. They are used to balance the sweetness of the malt with bitterness.

The majority of UK hops are grown in Kent, but many hop varieties are grown world wide. Bittering hops have higher concentrations of alpha acids, and are responsible for the large majority of the bitter flavor of a beer. The impact of a given amount of hops is specified in International Bitterness Units (IBUs). The hops added later in the brewing process are for flavor and aroma. The terms used to describe these flavours may include "grassy", "floral", "citrus", "spicy", "piney," "lemony," and "earthy".

yeast Yeast

Yeast is a particularly important ingredient in brewing as it is this which turns the wort into beer. The fermentation process turns the sugars extracted from the malt into alcohol. The yeast type chosen will determine flavour in the beer, it can help with good attenuation (the amount of extract converted by fermentation).

It needs to be flocculent enough to easily separate from the beer at the end of fermentation when racking the beer into casks.

At the moment I use dried yeast as many small micro brewers do. It's reliable and takes far less looking after and carries less risk than cropping live yeast from one brew to use for the next. However this is something I would like to do in the future as it is another way to add individuality and identity to ones beer.


Find out more info and tasting notes on my beers, Norfolk Kiwi, Bitter Old Bustard and Knot Just Another IPA.

read more about my beer Norfolk Kiwi Bitter Old Bustard Knot Just Another IPA