Posted in Daily life, From scratch - Recipes

Recipe: Beer (almost) from scratch

As you can see from the multiple recipes about different foods on this blog, we like making things “from scratch”. It is a lot of fun to understand, how some of the stuff you usually get from a bag are actually made, and to do this yourself.

So, naturally, when some of my colleagues told me that they were going to brew beer, I was all ears and asked whether they had use for an apprentice brewer in their group.

Luckily they had. So two weeks ago, we met at my colleagues place to get started.

Well, actually, we met in his garage. Apparently the smell of the initial brew can be quite pervasive, and his wife had made it quite clear that she did not want this in her house again.

And when I say “from scratch”, this is not quite accurate, either. We did not start with real hops, or living yeast. Rather the ingredients came in little packages and tins in a “home brewing packages”. But, oh well, you’ve got to start somewhere.

The ingredients come in a box, with easy-to-follow instructions. Just add water...
The ingredients come in a box, with easy-to-follow instructions. Just add water…

The first task of brewing is to make sure that all the equipment is sterile. Because the same environment that will make the yeast turn the sugar into alcohol (being in 30 degree water) is ideal for all sort of fungi to grow. And you really don’t want white, green and red stuff floating in your beer.

Everything is clean and set up, ready to go.
Everything is clean and set up, ready to go.

From there it was a pretty straight forward task: put [ingredient] into a big pot, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Then add [other ingredient] and leave on the heat for another 15. Plenty of time to sample some of the results of the last batch while waiting. (Yeah, it’s a tough job!)

Step 1: Bring some of the ingredients to the boil. On the barbie. Where else?
Step 1: Bring some of the ingredients to the boil. On the barbie. Where else?
Filtering the boiled ingredients is a good idea. Otherwise things might become a bit cloudy.
Step 2: Transfer to barrel. (Filtering the boiled ingredients is a good idea. Otherwise things might become a bit cloudy.)
Then just add water and some yeast.
Step 3: Add water and some yeast.

Once everything is ready, pour into a big barrel, add water and yeast, close the lid, and wait.

For about two weeks.

Clean bottles, ready to be filled.
Clean bottles, ready to be filled.

Then comes the slightly more demanding work of putting the brew into bottles, putting a lid on and putting them in the garage to mature some more.

Filling the bottles is also pretty straight forward.
Filling the bottles is also pretty straight forward.
Add a lid to the bottle and you're done.
Add a lid to the bottle and you’re done.
The fruits of our labour.
The fruits of our labour.

As luck would have it, Fathers Day is coming up right around the time the beer is ready to drink. And, since this is Australia, what is a beer without a barbie. I’d almost call that fate. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Recipe: Beer (almost) from scratch

  1. Hoe smaakte het bier van de vorige lading? Kun je dan ook pakketten kopen met verschillende smaken bier?

    Ik ben benieuwd .. Karin

    Like

    1. Hi Karin,

      The last batch was quite nice, even though I was not involved in the making. 🙂

      Yes, there are different boxes you can buy, and you can also vary the ingredients you actually use, producing a different taste. I’ll post about the opening and the taste when it happens.

      Oliver

      Like

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