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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Ted has something brewing



... and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and all I needed was a consenting adult to partake with me.  Well I found one (who shall remain nameless won’t you B) and we did it in the presence of other consulting adults and I think we all enjoyed it … in fact I’m sure we did because we have a second date.

Alright everyone … just calm down it's all totally legitimate.

I’m talking about brewing beer. We’ve been brewing beer since time immemorial, from an ancient discovery to the middle ages where it was brewed to a low strength as a way of making the polluted water safe to drink. Recently it’s seen a resurgence that has even outstripped the heady heydays of the 1950’s and 60’s industrial beer production era. Today craft beer and real ales rule in many countries and it’s all about provenance, flavour, and removing “industrial” from the equation – although as B and I were about to discover that does not mean that you are not industrious and precise in its making.

Brew Club in Clapton is all about providing the facilities for home brewers to brew their own craft beer as well as running brewing courses to teach the uninitiated how to do it. So we rocked up full of expectation, and after choosing the beer style we thought we might like to make we were given full instructions on the equipment and the process and a recipe that looked like an excerpt from a chemistry test paper. Then Joe (our brewer professor) treated the water (secret tricks) so it resembled the natural water of Burton on Trent, as this is considered the best water for the lighter beer styles we’d all chosen to make. Off we went head first into the malting stage, which essentially involves measuring out large quantities of different malted barley's into a large mixing container until you’re covered from head to toe in white dust and look like a baker.

You put that into your “Braumeister” (wonderful German made gadget that does all the work) and let it simmer away for a carefully controlled “bit of time”. Pour over as many litres of warm water as the recipe says and then remove the malt from the meister.  Contemplate momentarily if you could be bothered to dry out the spent malt and make muesli bars or if that would make you look like a hippy, and then move straight into the boiling stage. Add the carefully measured hops (in pellets) at different times and in different amounts into the boil … then go up the road and have a lovely sour dough pizza for lunch, while it all boils away, as expected in the boiling phase I guess ... smelling dreadful.

You’ve probably guessed that this is a series and that as we go along you’ll discover the art of brewing and all sorts of interesting facts that you’ll never know how you survived without for so long … as well as what our first attempt turns out like … stayed tuned … we do the bottling in a few weeks …

5 comments:

Sharon Anck said...

What a fun thing to learn to do! I can't wait to hear how it turns out.

jabblog said...

Wow! That beats the old plastic tubs and pipes and all the other gubbins.

Linda said...

Pizza and beer...great combination! :)

William Kendall said...

There are a good number of craft breweries here now too.

Jack said...

This was popular when I was young but seemed to go away. I am fascinated that beer has become so elite these days. Most of my life it just had to be cold, bubbly, alcoholic and cheap.

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