A few years ago, inspired by my parents, I used to brew my own beer. It started off as a nostalgic interest for me, with a very basic set up which progressed to a far more regular hobby with more equipment. I say nostalgic as my parents used to brew a lot of their own beer and ferment a lot of their own wine, and hearing from them about it sparked my initial interest.
At one point I had a full set of barrels with a couple of different batches of beers at different stages of the brewing process. However life moved on, I moved house and had to get rid of my gear due to lack of space. Following a trip to the Adnam’s brewery in Southwold with Sarah on our honeymoon, I really began to think more about brewing, missing the satisfaction and pride in brewing. And of course the enticing economics associated with making your own. I’ve recently found an old notebook I used to keep of all of my brewing notes, including a running total of my expenses and number of pints I brewed to give me a price per pint. As you’ve guessed when I worked out the economics of growing your own veg I do enjoy a good number crunch. Seeing that I was brewing beer for less than 50p a pint and turning out some nice ale was a geeky little trip down memory lane.
Having made plans of where in the house I can do this, Sarah got me a brewing kit as one of my Christmas presents. Everything I need is in the kit, from the barrel you start with, through the ingredients to the bottles and caps. It will allow me produce 20 bottles of ale. Once this first batch has been brewed I will start to get more bottles and more kits to carry on brewing. The kits I’ll get brew around 30 pints on average. In each kit you get some syrup, which is the result of boiling up the selected recipe of malts and hops and the yeast.
Eventually I would like to expand my equipment to take me beyond brewing from beer kits, to cooking up recipes from the very basics. Since our inspirational trip to the Adnams brewery I’ve researched methods and recipes, and realised how achievable it is to make a decent ale from scratch, a process that would have been far more familiar to more people when you jump back a few generations.
For now though, tonight is the night where we begin brewing again. We will keep you posted! Thanks for reading people.