We cracked open the first of the homebrew last Monday. It’d been bottled for two weeks – not very long. My first verdict is that it could do with longer. It’s not spicy, certainly not what I’d consider spicy anyway and it has a slightly odd aftertaste (which I really can’t describe). It’s a lovely golden treacly colour – I’m not sure how much this has been influenced by the golden syrup and brown sugar I added. Head retention is poor ( but this is quite normal for my brews :-/) I’ll probably check back in a couple of weeks to see if/how it has developed. At this stage it’s not the best brew I’ve ever made, though I’m fairly sure it’ll still be drunk 🙂
You may remember I started a vat of homebrew in late November (the 30th to be precise). I was hoping it’d be ready for Christmas – a week or so fermenting, a couple of weeks bottled, and it could have been ready in time (if not really matured). However, it was not to be – not by a long shot. This brew spent a full four weeks fermenting. TBH, I’ve never seen anything like it. Very little happened in the first week – and I was a bit worried there was something wrong. However, it started bubbling vigorously in the second week and it kept that up until a few days ago, when it finally slowed. I kept an eye on the specific gravity and, while it did go down, it was the slowest I’ve ever seen and the brew remained very sweet until the final measure. Bubbling finally started slowing in the last few days, and after attending to various Xmas commitments, we found time to bottle last night (and it was definitely done by then). I took a quick test sip and I think it seems promising, although not particularly spicy – time will tell.
Anyway, let us spend a few minutes appreciating the newly bottled beer…
Thanks to a monster spreadsheet Russ sent me, I can tell you the beer is ~5.5% (v/v) alcohol and my 29 x 750 mL longnecks represent 94.3 standard drinks. Not to be drunk all at once 🙂
I’ve been homebrewing intermittently for about 6 or 7 years. Very intermittently for the most part – I was living in the UK for a good chunk of this time and was limited to a single brew a year when back in Perth for my holidays. I’ve now been back in Perth for good for almost 18 months, however, and I still haven’t got round to it!
Anyway, with the imminent approach of Christmas, and just enough time to get a brew ready for the holidays, I finally got my act together and brewed some beer yesterday.
(This is an action shot of me adding the ~20L cold water).
I am not hard core. I buy a beermaking kit, add sugar and water and then wait to bottle. My Dad has stories of boiling hops and such and, while I’d like to try it in theory, I don’t imagine I’ll ever get around to it. Still, it was very appropriate that this post was made on Boing Boing a few days before I brewed. Homebrew is different every time you make it. As well as getting supremely cheap beer, it’s a surprise as well – not just for each batch, but within each batch too, as the beer matures in its bottles. This time I’m making Cascade Spicy Ghost Draught. However, instead of adding 1 kg white sugar, I’ve used 170g golden sugar, 330g brown sugar, and the rest white. Because I could 🙂 This has upped the specific gravity from an expected 1040 to 1050, though I don’t think that’s necessarily due to extra sugar. I’ll see what it gets down to as it brews.
The beer is producing gas now and I expect it to be bubbling nicely over the next few days. Hopefully I’ll bottle next weekend and then we can all enjoy homebrew for Christmas! (Well I can 🙂