Kimaya Brewing Co’s Buckwheat Ale
Back in May, we looked at Kimaya Brewing Company’s set up and launch – click HERE. Pune’s first to launch nanobrewery/boutique brewery is living up to it’s reputation of producing unique brews that are follow the Craft Local philosophy.
Craft Local basically means you produce a product made from as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Typically with Craft Beer in India, most Craft breweries tend to use 100% imported raw materials – base malts, specialty malts, hops & yeast. The only local ingredients would be the water and of course local spices & fruits (if used in the recipe).
Kimaya Brewing Co have created a new Beer that is very different from everything else in the market with raw materials that hold a special story and this Beer besides embodying the Craft Local philosophy also helps sustain the local community.
The recently launched Buckwheat Ale has a unique flavor profile & story behind it. We’ll start with the basics about Buckwheat then briefly look at the target profile the brewers wanted to create and discuss the outcome.
Buckwheat – What Is it and Who Makes It?
Buckwheat is a fruit seed usually grown in high altitude/Himalayan regions of Uttrakhand and North east but is also grown in Maharashtra by a company called Happy Roots.
Happy Roots Company Brief
Happy Roots is a national award winning social enterprise (received the award from the Honorable president of India) based in Pune. We partner with smallholding farmers and rural women to help them generate profitable incomes and self-employment. We manufacture and market gourmet snack food products made from local ingredients and conduct contract farming of high value indigenous crops.
Buckwheat is a part of Happy Roots’ seed conservation project in Maharashtra. Last year, Happy Roots as a part of it’s livelihood development programs, grew buckwheat in Maharashtra for the very first time. We grow this crop in the tribal areas of Ahmednagar that involves 50 women farmers. Buckwheat is a SUPER GRAIN and is known for it’s easily digestible proteins, antioxidants and other high nutrition properties. It is also gluten free. This crop has helped increase income of women farmers by 300%.
The Buckwheat that we grow in Maharashtra differs in size, color and texture as compared to what grows in other parts of the country. This seed variety is indigenous and has been conserved by farmers for generations.
(Excerpt & Images Courtesy: Happy Roots)
Developing The Buckwheat Ale Recipe
Saurabh and Sapan from Kimaya got in touch with Happy Roots to source their locally made Buckwheat.
For their recipe, the idea was to do a small test batch to check the outcome, do the necessary tweaks and then produce their 4,000 L production batch. This was essential since they had never brewed with Buckwheat before.
To find out what flavor profile would be attained post fermentation, it was important to brew a clean beer – a clean style that would let the Buckwheat reveal it’s complete flavor profile without interference from other malts, hops or yeast.
A Blonde Ale style was chosen with the grain bill consisting of Pilsner malt and of course the Buckwheat.
Since no flavor or aromas were needed from hops, only bittering hops were selected. Columbus was the choice along with a clean yeast from Fermentis – Safale US 05 that produces a clean, crisp flavor profile with no significant esters and phenols.
Conditioning the Buckwheat took a lot longer than the standard 14-21 days and took a complete month instead to develop a flavor profile the brewers were happy with.
Here’s a look at the test brew:
The buckwheat gave it a slick and smooth mouthfeel, and bit of haze.
The beer was definitely heavy bodied, but surprisingly easy drinking. It was obvious that all of this body was from the buckwheat.
But here is the exiting bit. It had a nice fruity aroma !! It also had this light tang as it finished on the tongue.
As a brewer it was super exciting to see that a grain can contribute fruity aroma and tangy after taste without using any funky yeast or hops !!
Buckwheat Ale Launch & Availability
Once the main commercial batch was brewed and conditioned, it was launched on June 22nd at the Tap Room – Malaka Spice Baner.
There are just 3 kegs of this magical brew left and you’ll find this at (do call ahead before you go):
If you’re wondering when I’ll be trying this Beer out, hopefully sometime this month or next month – they’ve put a little aside for me – thanks Kimaya!
They plan to use more local indigenous ingredients such as Ragi, Local wheat, Local rice verities as well as local fruits like Kokam, Mango, Watermelons, Musk Melons. They will also be doing ciders & meads in the near future.
Kimaya are staying true to what they promised to give Pune – hand crafted Boutique ingredients and the bonus is that they are giving back to the local community and really capturing the spirit of Craft Local means and yes they are “Brewing For A Cause”.
Puneris and visitors to Pune, please do visit one of the outlets Kimaya can be found at. If you’re not sure, message them on their Facebook Page HERE
Well done lads – keep it going!
Cheers & Stay Frothy!
JJ The Keg
All Images Courtesy: Kimaya Brewing Co, Happy Roots & Aaron Gerad D’Sa (Launch Photos)