Surly Brewing update: Surly Sÿx and Furious IPA floaties

In: News

7 Jun 2012

What is the latest from Surly Brewing on Surly Sÿx?

After the label went up a couple weeks back, Head Brewer, Todd Haug, fielded some questions about the beer. Haug told one Twitter user that he hoped for a late June release. He reported that Surly (again, “hoping to”) will fill around 12,000 750mL bottles. The beer is currently aging away on wood “honey combs.”

Minnesota-based Black Swan Cooperage provided Surly with what it calls the “Honey Comb Barrel Alternative.” In addition to supplying wooden barrels containing these honey comb-grooved slats along the inside, Black Swan also supplies just the slats themselves, the so-called “alternative.”

Black Swan’s Heidi Karasch says that they have a variety of sizes and that the slats are meant to go into any vessel from a carboy to a fermentation tank. The advantage being advertised to brewers is that the honeycomb grooves expose more end-grain from the wood which enables a beer aging on them to pick up flavor much faster than it would in a typical barrel. Karasch says that this happens in as little as six weeks. The company has a patent pending on the honey combs.

Surly is not the first brewery to work with Black Swan. Karasch says they have a couple clients in the East and South but primarily work with Midwest breweries.

Surly is aging Sÿx on six different species of wood out of the eight that Black Swan supplies. By the time the beer hits bottles, it will be 15% ABV, the most alcoholic beer that the brewery has ever produced.

In other news, there have been a few reports of floaties in some cans of Surly Furious IPA. Haug posted that the beer is fine:

Yup, we are seeing precipitate forming in the package. It’s the malt proteins and hop polyphenol’s fault. No excuses! The easy thing would be to filter or fine and we are not going to do that. We are close to getting the new centrifugation process refined to eliminate this! Thanks for your patience and understanding!

For those wishing to order Furious IPA online from outside of Minnesota, France 44 has the beer back in stock after running dry over the holiday weekend. That said, the store is running low on the just-released Hell Lager.

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