Interview with James Roberts from Mobberley Brewhouse

James Roberts, co-owner and MD at Mobberley Brewhouse, talks in this interview about saving time and boosting accuracy by replacing the traditional yeast cell counting with Oculyze, about diversifying and keeping it relevant for drinkers of all ages and, of course, about the seasonal rich and chocolaty beers to be brewed soon.

Oculyze: Can you please tell us a few things about yourself and your role with Mobberley Brewhouse?

James Roberts: I’m a co-owner and MD, so I manage both our production & sales team in the route we take as a business and make sure everyone is always comfortable within their roles. I develop new beers and do all our artwork and this creative side is the most enjoyable part of what I do – why I fell in love with the industry in the beginning. As is the case with all breweries, our kit needs constant care, so I spend a lot of time cleaning & fixing stuff too!

Oculyze: Tell us a bit about your history with yeast. When did you start doing yeast cell counts and what was your process before Oculyze?

James Roberts: We started out traditionally with a microscope, but trialling Oculyze highlighted cell counting inaccuracy – whiles these were fairly small errors, we just immediately valued how consistent the Oculyze results & data were and how much time we saved using it.

Oculyze: Are you growing your own yeast or do you prefer to pitch fresh every time?

James Roberts: We use dry or wet yeast for an initial pitch, then harvest and repitch up to 5 times.

Oculyze: And are you monitoring your yeast just for quality control (and maybe repitching?) or is it also part of the creative / experimentation process?

James Roberts: The main reason for monitoring is viability & counting for repitching. It also really helps us with seasonal/speciality beers where we dial in the exact characteristics we want to see the yeast impart on the beer, for example more pronounced tropical fruit flavours from a specific cell count.

Oculyze: What, would you say, have been the most positive impacts of using Oculyze in your brewery?

James Roberts: Cost & time savings, as well as consistency are the invaluable impacts of using Oculyze. Yeast data & pitch rate calculations are created quickly and the ability to look back on historic sample data as well is very helpful.

Oculyze: You’re brewing a variety of “progressive cask beer”. Tell us a bit about what you mean by that and what’s different and special about this type of beer.

James Roberts: Cask beer is something that we have been so passionate about since we started out and are still committed to today, even now, when produce so much beer in keg & can. We have tried to keep it relevant and up to date for drinkers of all ages, which is why we always have a wide range of beers on offer, from best bitters & pale ales to tropical fruit beers & hoppy IPA’s.

Oculyze: Which are your go-to MBH beers and why?

James Roberts: I believe there is a beer for every occasion, so get crazy passionate about different beer styles depending on the setting. Seeing our 1924, a traditional amber bitter, on cask in a nice cozy pub with a fire roaring in winter, or in mid-summer you’ll never find me without cans of Incognito (our 3.6 citra pale) in the fridge at home ready for some laid back refreshment!

Oculyze: And, finally, what’s next? What do you have in store for your customers in the near future – such as new beers, collaborations, upcoming events, etc.?

James Roberts: Winter time is almost upon us which always means some really great seasonal beers will be getting brewed, so November & December will see quite a few seasonally themed beers which will include imperial stouts, red ales, speciality lager and one of our all-time favourites here at the brewery and among our customer base is Dark Winter, a rich, thick, toffee & chocolate cask stout. Cheers!

Many thanks, James Roberts and Mobberley Brewhouse!

If you’re interested in finding out how you can also use our technology to control fermentation and monitor your yeast, save work hours and improve the cost-efficiency of your business, drop us a line at [email protected] or check out our product page: Oculyze BB 2.0 (Better Brewing) Yeast Cell Counter App + Hardware

Also, you can now get access to a fully functional demo account to test your yeast via our Web App. Completely free of charge and with no commitment to purchase.

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