Have you tried your hand at home brewing? I’m not talking about kit stuff here; I’m talking proper full grain mashing, hop boiling and all that jazz. It’s massive in the US – I urge anyone to look up the many podcasts and vodcasts available on iTunes (for free) – and we all know how microbreweries are springing up all across the UK (800 plus). See below for some recommended resources.
Speaking personally, I’m 15 months into a Stalinesque five-year plan to set up a microbrewery and aim to chronicle my progress here at TheGuestAle.com. The most recent step was attending the excellent Brewlab course up in Sunderland recently, which I thoroughly recommend to anyone keen to brew beer.
After several failed brews and following a recipe in a book I found closely, I finally struck gold this week with a breakthrough beer which I swear tastes a little like Summer Lightning from Salisbury’s Hop Back Brewery. It was also clear as day – something I’d never achieved in previous brews, there was always some cloudiness. And that was after one week’s fermentation. I cannot wait to taste it in a few weeks’ time after some bottled fermentation.
I will be using this breakthrough recipe (pale and crystal malt base, Fuggles in the bitter, Citra and Fuggles in the aroma) again to see if I can repeat it. Oh, and I forgot to measure the ABV, but I reckon that’d be around 4%.
Brew Your Own British Real Ale (Graham Wheeler)
Home Brewing (Kevin Forbes)