So, beer! This is a new section in the blog se we'll see where it leads us.
Question: What do you get for Christmas when you can't think of anything you want?
Answer: A beer kit!
The idea was that since I don't drink anywhere as much beer as I used to do, and then mostly craft beers, IPAs, etc, I could actually brew my own beer. I already had some of the equipment and some of it came with the beer kit, even though I'd only asked for the basic chemicals.
In the past I've made wine from fruit that was common at the time of year. A particularly lively strawberry, and nice redcurrent and a medicinal apple were memorable. I made some beer too which is why I have some of the equipment already. You can see from the date of the wine label above that the equipment is not the latest, but wine making is almost as ancient as the techniques that were used to make and print the labels. We've moved on since then.
The first kit was an IPA from Brewferm and was fairly easy to put together. The result was 12L of IPA bottled and now stored in the garage to clear. It will be ready around April 17, at which time a Barbecue for the family has been planned with pulled pork on the menu and IPA as the tipple. The chances are that this will consume all the IPA, at least if it's drinkable.
Since drinking all the IPA at the barbecue would leave me with nothing, I've made 16L of Belgian Gold from BetterBrew. I followed the recipe except that I went through a clarification in a second vat and added sugar before bottling in the vat rather than sugar in each bottle. This is the same method as the BrewFerm kit. It will be interesting to see if it worked. One of the problems is we have nowhere that maintains a constant 20DegC so the fermentation time is longer that specified, but that just takes patience, and regular measurement of the beer to see if it's ready. The Belgian Gold should be ready about the same time as the IPA but it can wait a little longer.
OK, this label is not in the best of taste but it fits the theme of the Christmas label.