Saturday, 15 September 2012
Had a lovely invite from @leedsbrew (of twitter fame) to join him on my first proper brewing experience (with greater involvement than making cup of tea for the intrepid brewers). I haven't found an interest in brewing yet.... I find my self switching off a bit during conversations about brewing, mostly due to a lack of understanding about the topic. @leedsbrew has made some really yummy beers, which I've had the pleasure of trying. For a real understanding of the beers he brews, check out his blog, it has a lot more sciencey clever stuff on it than mine!
I'm keeping this post short as most of you will know far more than I, but this is the story from my eyes.
We missed the inception of the beer, the recipe was concocted, thought through and researched before we arrived.
When we got there, job one was measuring out the ingredients.
Then we put the malts in a big cool box (mash tun?!) with some pretty hot water and left it for an hour whilst we had a speedy impromptue visit to Saltaire Brewery where @SaltaireBrewAde gave us a quick tour, and I got to see what @leedsbrew has set up in his brewing shed, on a much much much larger scale.
Then we drove back to brewing HQ and put the malty water stuff (wort I think) in a big Burko boiler where it set to boil for a bit.
At certain times different hops were added in as per the recipe, as well as some fancy New Zealand thyme flower honey. After the boil was over, it was cooled really quickly using some contraption device thingamajig.
We weren't able to stay for the next step, putting the special yeast in, although were able to sample a bit of an earlier brew, which although wasn't quite ready yet, was pretty delicious!
I found it interesting, it has helped me learn a lot more about the process, and really appreciate the science behind it. My understanding is still pretty limited as I'm sure you can tell, but it has increased. I'm not sure I'm set to become a master brewer, it still isn't a natural thing for me to get into (for example it was only after we had finished that I thought to ask what type of beer we were making.. a New Zealand hopped honeyed Saison). I would like to be involved with another brew, from the perspective of having a little more understanding and maybe to be find out more about the conception of a beer and the ideas that come together to make it happen. Thanks very much @leedsbrew for letting me help, I hope that I didn't infect it!