As I said in my maiden post to launch this blog, the main reason I’ve decided to finally take the plunge – after years of umming and ahhing – and brew my first batch is because it’s always been in me.
My grandad (RIP xx) – a real role model to me growing up – was born into a long line of brewers and although it skipped a couple of generations, the stories he told me when I was growing up planted a seed in my head that is finally flowering.
I’ll tell his story another day, but it’s safe to say, his influence looms large.
The real trigger, the epiphany, the why now? moment, came during a chance conversation with a colleague about the story we were working on for our business magazine, In Business, just a few weeks ago.
When I told him about my family line, he just said “so why aren’t you brewing then?” and he was right. So I’m taking the plunge.
You can read that article here. It’s fascinating (if I say so myself!), gives great insight into the brewing sector in the place I live and highlights just what can be built from small beginnings.
It was the kick up the arse that I needed. I’ve thought about it long enough. Now I’m going to do it.
I’ve amassed the kit – save for one small, but hopefully not too vital – piece of equipment and went on an ingredient raid this lunchtime.
The lovely lady at the Love Brewing store in Chesterfield was extremely patient with me and my noob questions, even though they are in the process of moving premises. I came away with a sparging bag and the following:
- 5(ish) kilos of Maris Otter
- 500g Crushed Crystal
- 17g target hops
- 8g Challenger hops
- 8g Northdown hops
- 11g East Kent Goldings
- Some Mangrove Jack Craft Series yeast – M10 (Workhorse) – a good all -rounder, by all accounts.
- Plus a few other sundries.
I’m aiming for a simple British bitter of around 5% ABV for my first brew and should have no problems achieving that from the above. I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I really don’t, but I’m looking forward to the journey.
Whatever happens with this brew, I’ll go from there. And I’ll post the results (good or otherwise).
So, thanks to the East Bank Holidays, I’ve got four whole days ahead to get my first batch of homebrew on, but after doing some reading and research in preparation for the big day, there is one piece of kit I’ve overlooked, which may deliver a fatal blow to my brew if I don’t sort it.
I’ve not got a wort chiller. Several books, blogs and webposts mention the need to coll the wort as quickly as possible using a chiller, before pitching the yeast, so I’m kinda thinking it’s a big deal.
If time was not an issue, I’d have a bash at making my own, because it sounds like the geeky fun sort of project I am into, but I want to get brewing in the morning.
I’m off on a shopping raid this lunchtime to pick up a final couple of bits of kit and my ingredients for brew day tomorrow, so I’m thinking I should pick one up.
So, I’m making a plea to any seasoned brewers out for some simple advice: “To chill or not to chill, that is the question?”
Any help, guidance or insight appreciated. I follow back and link to anyone who helps me out.
Welcome to my new blog and thanks for stopping by.
My name is Jon and I’ve always wanted to try brewing my own beer.
I come from a long line of brewers and beer lovers. My dad enjoys the odd tipple. My granddad – like his brother, Reg – was a true beer aficionado.
My Uncle Reg was a pretty mean homebrewer himself, whilst their father and grandfather brewed commercially, earning a strong reputation for their fine ales in the Black Country, where the family pub was and where my ancestral line begins.
So, I’ve always had the desire to brew my own, but work, life and everything else got in the way.
I’m the editor of a business magazine as part of my day job and one of the features we did recently – on microbreweries in the East Midlands – got me thinking, what if…
So, I’ve finally decided to take the leap. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been amassing most of the equipment I need to mash my first brew and I’m almost at the point where I can get my first boil on to see what happens.
I’ll be using this blog to chart my journey from brewing novice to…who knows?
It may be glorious, it may all go down in flames, but either way, I’ll have fun doing it and I’m looking forward to enjoying the ride.
I hope you do too and look forward to seeing you here again.