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Keltek's Gatekeeper: the kelp'siodine content dissipated in the boil

Seaweed additions Keltek’s latest brewing innovation

A Cornish brewer has collaborated with a seaweed harvesting firm to make sure it gets enough of the special ingredient in its latest brew.

Rob Jones, head brewer at Keltek Brewery in Redruth, is also a scuba diver and was going to collect the edible kelp himself to put into his Gatekeeper Porter, but in the end turned to experts at the Cornish Seaweed Company.

“I wanted to do something that’s a bit different for us,” he said. “We tend to be quite middle-of-the-road so it’s a chance to prove we can do more, and our range was missing a porter.

“Originally, it was seaweed and vanilla. We thought it would be like salted caramel. But we discovered the seaweed was sweet anyway, so we left the vanilla out.”

The seaweed is cut into strips and steeped in the mash at a higher than usual temperature to extract flavours that would be lost in the boil.

According to Jones, who worked at Sharp’s for five years before joining Keltek via Harbour Brewing, “it has a very strong liquorice-type aroma, and it tastes the way it smells”.

Kelp contains non-fermentable sugars and “a lot of iodine, which was a concern, but it dissipated in the boil”.

Gatekeeper, which weighs in at 5.6% abv, has been appearing at beer festivals, and if it performs well it will join Keltek’s core range. There are also plans to bottle in next year.

Jones is now working on a red wheat beer and an IPA based on berry-flavoured hops.

Meanwhile, the brewer is celebrating a listing in local J D Wetherspoon pubs for its 4% abv Cornish lager, Swifties.

Phil Mellows
23rd January 2018

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