Well well well, looks like yet another one of my blogs fell by the way side, left without content for a year. Since my last blog post I’ve become quiet interested in brewing beer so I plan to post my brewing logs here so that I may track what I’ve made.
So where did it all start? I’ve always been interested in trying it out some day, but it was one of those things that I had no way into and I have far too many hobbies to begin with! A friend of a friend does a lot of brewing at home and it was after discussions with him I decided to take it up; he helped me out by pointing out what would need and preparing my first batch. I started with a start up kit from Young’s, the kit had most of what I needed and was very cheap at £26. (Wilko’s have them). Four weeks latter, I had some really nice beer in a cask which I bought for £24.
The ways that home brewers make beer can be rougthly split into three categories:
All Grain – Starting with the raw malted barley, sugar is extracted from the grain in to water with a process called mashing. After mashing the water (now known as wort ) is boiled for over 1-2 hours, during this hops are added to bitter and flavour the beer. Following this the beer is cooled and yeast is added, the wort then sits in a vat for 14 days where the yeast converts the sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Lastly the beer is bottled or barrelled then left to mature or/and drank.
Extract Brewing – This is the same as the above except that mashing has been done for you. The wort comes in can which you mix with water and continue with boiling as above.
Beer Kits – This is the easiest way to brew beer but lacks flexibility the taste is pretty much set. Like Extract brewing the mash has been done for you, but additionally the hops have also been done, this limits how much the beer can be changed.
I’ve mostly stuck to beer kits at the moment, although I’m going to move on to all grain latter this year, now that I have my foot in the door. Apart form the initial kit that came with my equipment I’ve brewed St. Peters Ruby Red Ale, and BrewFerm’s Triple. I’ve also bought a glass demijohn and brewed a ginger beer (more on this next post).
Brewing has been a really good source of fun and interest for me, I’ve really enjoyed researching the science behind the brew. I’ve still got a lot to learn but I’ve had good results so far. Latter this year I plan to build a Mash tun which will allow me to go to all grain, in my next post I’ll be talking about Ginger Beer, and share the recipe I’m working with and adjusting.