Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Home Brewing & Thoughts On Taking The Plunge


Currently I don't have the space to try homebrewing but over the years I have gathered many a home brewing recipe book. Many of these are the old Pengiun guides that used to sell in old money that were either gained via my late Dad or from the odd rampage though a secondhand bookshop. Contained within them are barley wine beer, porters and carrot scaping beer recipes have for sometime been a source of thought but where to start brewing? Do I head straight into the stouts and porters which are my favourites or do I start with a bitter which seems to be the 'easier' of the recipes I have a post-it note by?

Of course I have attempted various small brewing recipes such as Elderflower Champagne and once Nettle Beer both of which exploded in the shed. This did not make me popular with my parents but at least I wasn't out wreaking their car.


  1. Try a regular starter beer kit (can of hopped malt extract & yeast sachet), do not add the bag of granulated sugar (sucrose). Either brew to 2 gallons or add dried maltose (brewing sugar) for the full 5 gallons.

    You will be pleasantly surprised at how it turns out. The "homebrew" taste comes from a reliance on added sucrose. If you do not add it you end up with a decent grog that is far easier than faffing about boiling stuff up in mash tuns and cracking wort.

    A few kettles worth of hot water & cleaning chemicals to wash out the kit. A few more kettles worth to wash out the can when making up the liquor. Top up with cold water, add yeast & cover.

    Easy peasey.

    Modify the recipe with added flavours on the second batch.

    Though it's easier to buy cheap grog at Tesco.

  2. I used to brew quite a lot. At my peak brewing period, I'd like to have 150-200 pints ready to drink at any time, all in bottles. We had a big cellar in those days.

    Personally, I think the easiest way to start is by using a kit to get the hang of the basic process, and then branch out into recipes. But if you're already past that stage, ignore me and good luck.

  3. You only need a kitchen to brewing and it's very easy from extract. Go for a stout as dark beers are more forgiving and check out Jim's beer kit for a wealth of information:

  4. I didn't realise that dark beers are more forgiving, admittedly I just assumed bitters were because the amount of recipes and homebrew kits I have seen. It's good news for me though and thank you Ed for the link. I forsee autumn brewing ahead just need to get certain time consuming events out of the way first.

    And Cookie I didn't realise you have done homebrewing yourself!