Last Sunday I spent the day with seven other men making beer. Mmmmm Beeeer. I had signed up for Brockley Brewery’s ‘Home Brew School’ course run by Joe Ringwood. Joe had come up with some recipe ideas but there was leeway to go out own way too (although as we needed to pair up, your partner need to share your beeric vision). I paired up with a chap called Andrew and we set about making a Pale Ale.
We were doing a full grain brew, so we had to get our mash on. In went the Pale Malt, Crystal Malt, Black Malt and the Torrified Wheat (we ditched the Flaked Maize) and like making a big batch of beer porridge we left it to mash for an hour. Then we learned all about sparging/ lautering an important step to make sure all your beery goodness is extracted from your grains before you decant to a big pot wack your hops in and make a hop soup – boiling away for another hour.
Hop wise we added Chinoock, Centennial and Cascade.
The you cool everything down and get your beer into something to start fermenting. In our cases these were into 4.5 litre plastic demijohns (2 each) which we got to take home to finish the job.
Yeast went in and now we wait. The fermentation should be done in the next week and then I’ll bottle up and leave for a few weeks before tasting and seeing if we have a winner or not. In the meantime, I’m starting to plan the next beer experiment. Let there be beer.