Monday, November 27, 2006


Having recovered from the backslapping we'd given each other over the perfectly executed first fermentation, I sat down with a few good books and a very good beer only to discover that our hitchless first attempt at brewing may have been, in fact, NOT PERFECT AFTERALL ! (Cue Dramatic Music).

You see, as necessity is the mother of invention, so too is assumption the mother of all stuff-ups.
Being keen to convince ourselves that we were already beyond the qualifications necessary to become first time homebrewers, we confidently strode ahead to step two brewing - replace sugar with malt extract. As sugar tends to thin the brew and adds nothing in the way of flavour or character, malt extract adds both flavour and head retention and so should logically replace the sugar. Right ? Yeah but not ALL OF THE SUGAR !

We had decided to start brewing in a logical fashion - begin with a brew kit to get the feel for the equipment and stuff and then experiment with hop additions, wort boilings and maturation ( see, we know all the big words) as we became more adept. I had looked at the ingredients in the kit and ASSUMED that the 1 kg of malt extract was for the brew and the 1kg of brewers sugar was for priming at bottling time. In went all the malt, out went the over confidence. Some advice from my Brew Mentor at the home brew supply shop stopped us from becoming dejected - "It may take a little longer to ferment out and be a little lower in alcohol but you haven't broken it."

Two important lessons here ;

One, Take the time to understand the role of all the ingredients and,

Two, Make sure you get first hand advice from a home brew shop.

Having said all that, the brew is into day six of fermentation at a steady 22 degrees celsius and is already at about 2.5 % and smells just like beer - which is good - so we're guessing all is not lost.
Anyway, must prepare for bottling in a few days by sourcing empty bottles. Luckily I have an empty bottle kit in the fridge.

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