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Microbrewery We show you how!

PALE ALE

Aus v USA

A GUIDE TO

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28 GREAT AUSTRALIAN

BOTTLESHOPS • Where to buy your beer! •

HOMEBREW 101 Everything you need to know to get started

BEERS & CIDERS

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PLUS! COOKING WITH CIDER | MCLAREN VALE BREWERY TOUR | 11 HOMEBREW RECIPES TO TRY


CONTENTS

inside... Autumn 2015

FEATURES 22 Style Notes – Pale Ale Beer & Brewer takes a look at different styles of pale ale. History, flavour profile and some great examples to try

30 How to Launch a Microbrewery The first instalment of our threepart series, here we tackle the pros and cons of making the leap into commercial brewing, planning and insurance

82 Entertaining – Food Five mouth-watering cooking with cider recipes to try at home

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HOMEBREWER 55 Welcome 56 Letters 57 Q&A How to make your own counterflow wort chiller

38 Great Australian Bottleshops We traverse the country in search of Australia’s best craft beer bottleshops

46 A Guide to Belgian Beer Kirrily Waldhorn, aka Beer Diva, delves into the wonder that is Belgian beer

60 Recipes for the Season Brown ales receive the No Rulz treatment

62 Homebrew 101 We take you through concentrate, extract and all grain brewing, with tips and simple recipes for each home brewing style

52 Travel – Beer, Bikes & Belgium Seven Sheds Brewery’s Willie Simpson takes us on a journey of beer and food discovery through the historic Western Flanders region

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Travel – McLaren Vale, SA We head to McLaren Vale in South Australia to check out Goodieson Brewery, Ekhidna and Swell Brewing Co.

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Brewery Profile

67

68 Brewery Profile Chris Thomas chats with John Keeling, head brewer at Fuller’s Brewery in the UK

80 Meet the Maker Ashley Huntington from Two Metre Tall talks naturally-fermented sour beers

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Beer Judging Chris Thomas looks at the differences in beer judging, city versus country style

We murder a thirst at Wagga Wagga’s first microbrewery, Thirsty Crow

72

“The beauty with beer is, after three weeks, your trial is out amongst the crowd. I’m listening to my experiments every day. Wine is slow, beer is instant gratification.” – Matt Rechner, Ekhidna

Equipment A look at the latest homebrew hardware

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74

Entertaining – Cocktails Three cider cocktails to wow your mates

Homebrew Club We check out The Melbourne Brewers and its club president Andy Davison

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REGULARS 8

The Brew What’s happening & things to do

13

News The latest in Aus/NZ & awards

16

World News

18

Beer Cultures

19

Bits & Bobs

20 Venues 88 Tasting Notes Amber ales, red ales & new releases

94 Directory 98 A Pint with…Andrew O’Keefe

Check out our mouthwatering recipes 78

Autumn 15  7


1. Eagle Bay Pale Ale Eagle Bay Brewing Co is a familyowned and run microbrewery and restaurant located on the family’s working farm in Eagle Bay, Western Australia established in 2010. All beers are handcrafted and slow brewed in small batches on site. The Eagle Bay Pale Ale is a sessionable and lively hop fiesta, featuring bold aromatics of citrus, stone fruit and pine needle from the hops. It’s a classic ale, which is refreshingly tasty, featuring caramel malty characters and drink-me-more bitterness on the finish.

2. Southern Ocean Pale Ale The warm malt character of this pale ale is shaped by the Australian, UK and German specialty malts at its heart. A unique combination of NZ and US hops provide fruity aromatics with zingy grapefruit notes, which give way to a cleansing wave of bitterness.

FOOD MATCH Fresh caught ocean trout or salt and pepper squid ABV: 4.6% RRP: $19.95 per 6-pack Southernbay.com.au

3. Coopers Sparkling Ale The ale by which all others should be measured. With its famous cloudy sediment and its distinctive balance of malt, hops and fruity characters, the ‘Red Label’ is a tasty slice of Coopers’ history. Little has changed since Thomas Cooper produced his first batch of Coopers Sparkling Ale in 1862. As a traditional top fermented ale, it’s still brewed naturally and conditioned in the bottle with residual ale yeast that gives ‘Sparkling’ its fine cloudy appearance. No additives. No preservatives.

FOOD MATCH

FOOD MATCH

Wood-fired venison, chorizo and rocket pizza

Spicy dishes, barbecued foods or Italian-style dishes

ABV: 5.1% RRP: $25 per 6-pack, $70 per carton Eaglebaybrewing.com.au

ABV: 5.8% RRP: $18.99 per 6-pack, $49.99 per carton Coopers.com.au

A GREAT BEER STYLE ALL-YEAR ROUND, WE ASK THE BREWERS FOR THE RUNDOWN ON THEIR PALE ALES AND WHAT TO TEAM WITH THEM

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4. Little Creatures Pale Ale A pale ale style that is made using specialty Australian malts, malted to Little Creatures’ specifications, combined with Cascade hop flowers from the US and Galaxy hops from Australia. Through the infusion of the hops in the hop back, there is an intense floral, citrus aroma and flavour. Another unique quality of Little Creatures Pale Ale is that it is bottled conditioned.

FOOD MATCH Chilli Mussels ABV: 5.2% RRP: $22 per 6-pack, $70 per carton Littlecreatures.com.au


PALE ALE PROMOTION

5. Hawthorn Pale Ale This pale ale presents a rich and complex malt character, derived from a blend of five different types of grain. Lightly kilned, the use of specialty malts gives this beer a deep golden colour. The malt character is balanced by the inclusion of five varieties of hops from the new and old worlds; these hops deliver a fruit and spice flavour; whilst a generous addition of hops late in the boil presents a floral and citrus aroma.

FOOD MATCH Everything from a meat pie and burger, to spicy Asian dishes ABV: 4.7% RRP: $19.99 per 6-pack Hawthornbrewing.com.au

6. Beechworth Pale Ale Bridge Road’s benchmark ale, the Beechworth Pale Ale is a beer dominated by its aromatic hop profile. Often the yard stick of microbreweries, this beer is based on classic American-style pale ales, crisp and refreshing, a mouthful of aromatic hops. The beer is a hand-crafted ‘new world’ pale ale bound to satisfy hop heads and make a definite impression on those new to the craft beer scene. It is dry hopped with Australian, US and NZ hop varieties and the recipe is tweaked from season-to-season to get the balance just the way they like it.

FOOD MATCH Spicy food or oily dishes ABV: 4.8% RRP: $20 per 6-pack Bridgeroadbrewers.com.au

7. Moa Session Pale Ale

8. Coopers Original Pale Ale

Moa Session Pale Ale is an easy-drinking, balanced, new world style pale ale. A blend of crystal and pale ale malts are complemented by Kohatu, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade and Motueka hops, producing a beer with toasty malt flavours and earthy, yet tropical fruit hop tones.

FOOD MATCH The ‘go to’ beer for slightly spicy dishes ABV: 4.7% RRP: $17.99 (NZ), $19.99 (AUS) per 6-pack Moabeer.com

Guaranteed to turn heads, this is the beer that inspired a new generation of ale drinkers. With its fruity and floral characters, balanced with a crisp bitterness, Coopers Original Pale Ale has a compelling flavour, which is perfect for every occasion. Naturally fermented in the “Burton-upon-Trent” style, a secondary fermentation creates the trademark sediment that gives ‘Pale’ its fine cloudy appearance. No additives. No preservatives.

FOOD MATCH Stir fries, salads or poultry and seafood ABV: 4.5 % RRP: $16.99 per 6-pack, $44.99 per carton Coopers.com.au

Hops courtesy of Hop Products Australia

Autumn 2015

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PALE ALE

Different

Shades of Pale LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT TWO VERY DIFFERENT BEER STYLES: THE INTERNATIONALLY LOVED AMERICAN PALE ALE AND ITS LESS WELL-KNOWN, AUSTRALIAN COUSIN. JEREMY SAMBROOKS REPORTS

22

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BROUGHT TO YOU BY

T

he earliest beers to use

low to moderately high malt character that

the name pale ale were

can be bready, toasty and/or biscuity, but

made in Britain sometime

the balance is typically towards hops and

in the early 18th century.

bitterness. Fruity esters can be moderate

Maltsters had recently

to none and it has moderate to high hop

begun roasting malt with

bitterness with a medium to dry finish.

coke – a type of fuel made from coal – which

Since its early beginnings in Californian craft

resulted in beers that were lighter in colour

breweries, American pale ale has gone on to

than the popular porters and milds of the

enjoy global popularity – until the recent IPA

time. Some of these beers were referred to

boom, it was the most popular style of craft

as pale ales, while others were called bitters

beer. Australians first got a taste for the style

and in no time, the terms had become

just after the turn of the century, when Little

synonymous. It has since become customary

Creatures wowed local palates with its bold,

for British brewers to identify their cask

hop-driven pale ale. Since then, it seems that

beers as bitter, while labelling the equivalent

almost every Australian brewery is making a

bottled product as pale ale. These days, pale

pale ale in the hoppy, American style.

ale is a rather loose term that can refer to a

Nick D’Espeissis is the brewer at Eagle

wide range of beers from all over the world.

Bay Brewing Co. in WA’s south-west and

Considering the ubiquity of the style today,

his American pale ale was recently awarded

NATURAL CONDITIONING ‘Natural conditioning’ or ‘bottle fermenting’ is a technique used for centuries, where beers undergo secondary fermentation after the beer has been bottled or kegged. While only a handful of breweries in the world still have the skill to do it properly at scale, natural conditioning actually extends the beer’s shelf life, helps to enhance its flavour and eliminates the need for preservatives or additives. It also consumes any residual sugars and oxygen, naturally carbonating the beer and increasing its alcohol content slightly. Coopers is one such brewery championing this process with its ales and stouts undergoing bottle fermentation.

it may surprise some that American pale ale

a gold medal at the 2014 Perth Royal Beer

Tradition you can taste

is a relatively new beer style. The late, great

Show (PRBS). “I’ve always enjoyed European

beer writer, Michael Jackson claimed that

and English style brews, which the majority

Anchor Liberty Ale – first brewed in 1975

of our core range at Eagle Bay are based on,”

using American Cascade hops – was the first

says D’Espeissis. “However, after travelling

modern American ale. However, the first

to the United States in 2007, American pale

brewery to use the name pale ale for a beer

ales became my firm favourite. One of the

in the American style as we know it today is

pale ales that stood out for me during that

Sierra Nevada, whose pale ale is listed as the

time was Dechutes Mirror Pond. Eagle Bay’s

number one example of the style by the Beer

pale ale has changed over the past four years;

Yeast doesn’t just produce alcohol and CO2 during fermentation. There are lots of other by-products that contribute to a beer’s flavour profile. These by-products include compounds called esters, which produce distinct aromas. One of the most important jobs a brewer has is to monitor the health of their yeast. If you keep the yeast happy and healthy, it makes magic happen during fermentation.

Judge Certification Program (BJCP).

we’re always making slight adjustments to create a bold but balanced and approachable

LET’S GET TECHNICAL The BJCP describes American pale ale as pale

beer to be enjoyed by all.” Another West Australian having success

gold to light amber in colour and generally

with the style is Mash Brewing’s head brewer,

quite clear with a moderate to strong, often

Charlie Hodgson, whose Mash Pale also took

citrusy, American hop aroma. It should have

out gold at the 2014 PRBS. “Ours is what I like

IF YOU LIKE PALE ALES…

You might also like these beers:

Altbier: A wellbalanced, bitter yet malty, clean, smooth, coppercoloured German ale. The traditional style of beer from Dusseldorf.

California common: Also known as ‘steam beer’, this is a lightly fruity beer with firm, grainy maltiness, toasty and caramel flavours and woody Northern Brewer hops.

Amber ale: Similar to American pale ale but with more body, more caramel richness and a balance more towards malt than hops. Stronger, hoppier versions are often called red ales.

India pale ale: English versions are more balanced and can be less hoppy than American pale ales, while American versions can have intense hop aroma and bitterness.

Did you know? Coopers has been cultivating its yeast for 150 years! Successive generations of Coopers have been collecting yeast from their most exceptional brews and handing it down from one generation to another. The resulting yeast is literally a living tradition you can taste every time you enjoy a Coopers ale or stout.

Let the good times roll Having done its job, the yeast falls to the bottom of the bottle or keg as a fine sediment. When that happens we know the beer is ready to be enjoyed. To have the complete Coopers experience, people are encouraged to roll their bottle before opening it. This helps move the sediment through the beer, enhancing its flavour and giving it that signature, cloudy appearance.

Autumn 2015

23


BELGIAN BEER STYLES

WITBIER (BLANCHE) First produced in the 18th century and more recently revived in the 70s by a passionate milkman turned brewer, Pierre Celis, in the village of Hoegaarden. A lovely, delicate yet complex, beer style that is the perfect elegant refresher on a warm summer’s day the ‘wit’ or ‘blanche’ (Flemish equivalent), is an unfiltered, pale wheat-based beer. Its uniqueness comes from the spices that are added to the brew, typically herbaceous coriander and zesty orange peel. International       • Hoegaarden • St. Bernardus Blanche • Dieu du Ciel Blanche du Paradis • Blanche de Namur        

Australian • Feral White • Wicked Elf Witbier • White Rabbit White Ale • Murray’s Whale Ale • 3 Ravens White • Kooinda Witbier

Fun Fact Australian brewer, Warwick Little from Little Brewing Co, adds a third secret spice to their witbier… all we can tell you is that it is West African! Food Pairing  The citrus component of a Belgian wit really enhances the citric nature of a fresh goat’s cheese, whilst this delicate brew will also perfectly balance seared scallops. A dish such as Thai prawns will highlight the coriander notes in the beer and for something completely different, a wit is the perfect partner to a zingy lemon cheesecake.

FLEMISH SOUR ALE (FLANDERS RED ALE & OUD BRUIN) One of the more intriguing of the Belgian beer styles and hailing from Flanders, are the Flanders Red Ales and Flanders Oud Bruin. They ooze in complexity and flavour characteristics can include cherry, prunes, plum, which when combined with smatterings of malt driven toffee or caramel plus a reasonable level of sourness, create something quite beguiling. The Flanders Red is typically aged for a couple of years in oak barrels, whereas the bruins are not. International • Liefmans Oud Bruin • Rodenbach Grand Cru Australian • Bacchus Frambozenbier Food Pairings  A great alternative to red wine, these sour ales work brilliantly with tomatoes and rich Italian cuisine. The more gamey meats such as duck and venison will hold their own against this very extraordinary beer style. And… cheese of course, blues and pungent goat’s cheeses are a match made in heaven.

BELGIAN PALE ALE The Pilsners of the Belgian beer scene, these are the most commonly consumed styles in Belgium. Slightly lower in alcohol, with a range between 4%-7%, these golden glories allow the yeasts to show their true colours. Fruity, spicy yet mild and refreshing with a smattering of aged hops for balance. International    • Leffe Blonde • Duvel • Westvleteren Blond • Orval

Australian • Red Hill Belgian Blonde • Moo Brew Belgo • New Norcia Abbey Ale • Black Heart Belgian Blond

Food Pairings  Herb crusted chicken or fish is great with the Belgian pale ales, particularly if using herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme. A light prawn and mango salad will also enjoy the fruitiness found in these beers or alternatively, push the boundaries with salted caramel glazed donut holes!

48  www.beerandbrewer.com


BELGIAN STRONG ALE (PALE & DARK) The Belgians are experts at creating impeccably balanced higher alcohol brews whereby the alcohol levels can be quite deceptive. These beers are pale ales and dark ales on steroids whereby the yeast and malt characters are accentuated resulting in rich, full-bodied and highly enjoyable beers. International • De Ranke Guldenberg Belgian Strong Ale • Delirium Tremens • Achouffe La Chouffe

Australian • Red Hill Brewery Temptation Food Pairings  Hearty pairings are required for these big brews such as beef or lamb shanks, slowcooked, with an addition of the beer in the broth. For the paler of the strong brews, smoked ham works wonders as does a gooey Brie or even the “can’t be matched to wine” troublesome veg, the humble asparagus!

SAISON Meaning ‘season’ in French, these farmhouse ales were first produced to quench the thirst of the hardworking farm hands in Wallonia and keep them safe from the non-potable water. Funky, tart, fruity and wonderfully refreshing, saison is a style that everyone needs to have explored at some point in his or her lives! International • Saison Dupont • De Ranke Saison De Dottignies Saison • Du Bocq Saison 1858 • Silly Saison Australian • Bridge Road Chevalier Saison • Prickly Moses Saison • La Sirène Saison • La Sirène Wild Saison Food Pairing  Saisons are wonderfully robust yet at the same time, perfectly refreshing and are able to pair with a variety of foods. Think farmhouse style cooking; roast chicken with all of the trimmings, rustic pâté, mushroom risotto, French onion soup are all delightful with the delicate complexity of this beer.

LAMBIC, FRUIT LAMBIC & GUEUZE Lambic is a style of beer that is created using the same process as some of the first ever beers. Employing a wild yeast strain, Brettanomyces, this beer is spontaneously fermented meaning the brewing tanks are left open and exposed to not only wild yeast, but a whole number of unrestrained microorganisms. Along with the tainted barrels, this creates a crisp, yet tart brew, which to the uninitiated can have them questioning whether this style is “really a beer”. The beer is then aged for a number of years in wooden barrels, creating a wonderfully, mysterious concoction of flavours. Whole fruits, such as cherries (kriek), raspberries (framboise), blackcurrants (cassis) and peach (pêche) are often added to this style, adding a level of fruity sweetness, which for some make this beer exceptionally palatable… great news that they are often only around 3% alcohol. Lambics can then be transformed to create a gueuze, using a blend of approximately one-third young lambic and two-thirds aged lambic, which is then aged for a further couple of years creating a distinctive fruity beer, which is almost wine-like with a lovely dry finish. International    Australian • Timmermans Kriek & Pêche • Hargreaves Hill Cherry Harvest Sour Ale • De Ranke Kriek • Bacchus Sours • Cantillon Gueuze, Kriek & Iris • Boon Kriek • Lindemans Kriek, Pêche, Cassis & Framboise • 3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek • 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Herfst • Oud Beersel Oude Geuze • Timmermans Oude Gueuze Limited Edition Fun Fact The Lindemans Brewery in Belgium relocated an entire wall of their brewery when they moved, in order to ensure the same wild ecosystem would find its way into their beers in their new location. Food Pairings  These funky, tart, sometimes fruity beers are great food partners. The sourness will cut through creamy mussels, crab, Belgian waffles and poached cherries.

Autumn 2015  49


No Rulz Brewz Brown

OFTEN FORGOTTEN BETWEEN AMBER AND PORTER, BROWN ALES RECEIVE THE NO RULZ TREATMENT IN THE LATEST INSTALMENT BY MARTIN POTTER

T

hese days when the boundaries of beer are being pushed to the limits in all directions, the humble brown ale has largely escaped the attention of the modern generation of hipsters. But brown ales don’t have to fade quietly and unloved into the history books. It’s time brown ale put its fancy pants on and went to town.

While the weather is still sweltering in many areas of Australia, it’s

important to get some brews on for the fast approaching cooler season. Let’s make something big, dark and tasty so that it’s ready and lurking in the back of the fridge when you need it. Here are a few winners for the cooler months ahead. TIP - If you like the look of one of the recipes but it’s not in the format you brew, take it in to your local homebrew shop and they’ll adapt it for you.

60

Home Brewer


RECIPES

English Brown All Grain Expected Brew Figures

English Style Brown Ale

Lightly Smoked Brown Ale

Concentrate Expected Brew Figures

Extract Expected Brew Figures

OG: 1.047 FG: 1.012 ABV: 4.6% IBU: 22 Volume: 23 litres

OG: 1.053 FG: 1.012 ABV: 5.4% IBU: 18 Volume: 23 litres

OG: 1.049 FG: 1.012 ABV: 4.8% IBU: 44 Volume: 23 litres

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

1 Mangrove Jack’s Traditional Series Brown Ale Pouch

1.5kg Briess CBW Traditional Dark Malt Extract

1.5kg Briess CBW Golden Light Malt

1.5kg Weyermann Bavarian Rauch Malt Extract

4.3kg Bairds Maris Otter 340g Briess Caramel Malt Extra Special Malt 230g Flaked Corn

200g Briess Extra Special Malt (milled)

200g Briess Carapils

20g East Kent Goldings Hops

200g JW Roasted Barley

15g Fuggles T90 Hops

15g Challenger Hops

25g Bramling Cross Hops

11g East Kent Goldings Hops

Safale S-04 English Ale Yeast

Whirlfloc Tablet

Method

Safale S-04 Yeast (or grab a bottle of Fullers ESB from the bottleshop and do a stepped 2L starter with the yeast)

1. Put the grains in a hop sock and steep in 2-3 litres of hot water (about 65°C) for 20 minutes. Lift the bag out and give it a gentle squeeze

Method 1. Mash in for protein rest at 53°C for 15 minutes 2. Step to sacch rest 66°C for 60 minutes 3. Step to 72°C for GP rest* for 20 minutes 4. Mash out at 76°C 5. Boil for 60 minutes, adding Challenger hops at the beginning 6. With 15 minutes remaining in the boil add the East Kent Goldings hops and the Whirlfloc 7. Whirlpool, chill to 18°C and pitch the yeast 8. Ferment until target gravity is reached or close to and consistent over consecutive days and bottle Note: Challenger Hops at 60 minutes for 18 IBU, East Kent Goldings at 15 minutes for 4 IBU *GP (Glyco-protein) rest used to enhance head forming proteins

2. Bring the remaining liquid to the boil and boil for 20 minutes 3. Add the East Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops with 10 minutes left in the boil 4. When the 20 minutes is up, remove the pot and surround it with ice cold water in a sink to rapidly bring the temperature down 5. Add the liquid to your fermenter, along with the beer kit contents and the malt extract 6. Stir well and add cool tap water to bring it up to 23 litres 7. Pitch the yeast and ferment at about 18°C 8. Add the Bramling Cross hops on day seven and leave in for seven days. Check with hydrometer to ensure final gravity is consistent for consecutive days and bottle

200g Briess Caramel Munich Malt 60L 18g Centennial Hops 20g Simcoe Hops 75g Citra Hops Whirlfloc Tablet Safale US-05 Yeast

Method - 60 Minute Boil 1. In a large pot, heat the strike water to around 65°C. Put grains in a hop sock and add to the pot to steep for 20 minutes. Remove grains and give a gentle squeeze 2. Gradually add malt extract while stirring continuously, then allow liquid to come to a rolling boil 3. Add Centennial hops and start the timer for 60 minutes 4. With 10 minutes remaining in the boil add 10g Simcoe, 15g of Citra and Whirlfloc tablet 5. After the 60 minutes turn off heat source and add 10g Simcoe and 25g Citra. Whirlpool the wort and chill as quickly as possible 6. Once the wort has reached 22°C, transfer to fermenter and pitch the yeast 7. Ferment at 18°C for seven days 8. After seven days add 35g Citra hops in a sterile hop bag and allow to sit at 18°C for a further seven days. When gravity is consistent for consecutive days bottle

Autumn 2015

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EDUCATION

Homebrew 101 FOR ANYONE WHO PICKED UP A HOMEBREW KIT FOR CHRISTMAS OR IS THINKING ABOUT GETTING ONE, HERE’S A GUIDE TO THE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN MAKE GREAT BEER

T

here are way too many homebrew kits sitting

dormant in garages and sheds around the country. The recurring reason is that the first batch was ordinary and the brew kit was retired to the shelf. So if you’ve got a new kit, or one that needs a dust off, hopefully this can guide you to making

beer you actually want to drink. After all, it’s easy to make beer, but much harder to make good beer!

SO YOU’VE GOT A BREW KIT… In your basic homebrew or DIY beer kit, there are a number of generic items to help with your brewing. These will generally include: • 30 litre fermenter (with tap, airlock and grommet) • Hydrometer and test-tube

Concentrate brewing - yeast, hops and specialty grains will improve your brew

• Big white plastic stirring spoon • PET bottles and caps

sugars or dextrose is outlined on the side of the can. Essentially, you

• Sanitiser

just boil a couple of litres of water, pour it into the fermenter, then

• Bottling valve and tube

add the contents of the can and the sugars. Give them a good stir, top

• Bottle brush

it up to 23 litres, add the yeast from under the lid and wait until it’s

• Adhesive thermometer

ready. This is when the gravity reading is about 1.010 and is the same

• Instructional book or DVD

over two days. Finally you bottle, wait a couple of weeks and enjoy!

• 1.7kg can of concentrate and 1kg dextrose The beer that most people first make is the one that arrives with the

PIMP YOUR CONCENTRATE

kit. Generally it’s a lager. And a quality lager is bloody hard to make!

Many people have been brewing like this for a long time and swear by

There’s no wall of massive hops to hide behind in what is traditionally

it. But it can be improved with a few simple steps.

a very clean and crisp beer. Many of these debut batches carry undesirable off or cider flavours, while others are just very plain. There are solutions to these hassles. Like my old footy captain used

Change the yeast. The yeast that comes under the lid is usually a generic yeast and for $6 you can pick up a yeast that will vastly improve the beer. Given you’ll be making over two slabs worth, this is probably about 15c a bottle and you’ll be glad you made the change.

to say, “Do the one percenters!” In brewing, there are plenty of one

The Fermentis range is a sure bet. If you’re trying to make a US pale

percenters, which can have a big impact on the quality of your brew.

ale, a Safale US-05 yeast is a great start.

In Homebrewer we present three different brewing approaches: Concentrate, Extract and All Grain. Let’s have a look at each of these methods and we’ll throw in some

Instead of a kilo of white sugar, replace it with brewing sugar or better still, light dried malt extract. This should help remove the cider flavour, and depending on the mix of brewing sugars should give the

tried and true recipes as well.

beer better body and head.

(1) CONCENTRATE

of concentrate for about $9. If your goal is to make the cheapest beer

This is the easiest way to make a beer. It is often called Kit & Kilo

possible, this is your ticket but it’s not going to help you produce the

brewing because at its most basic level it involves brewing with a can

best beer you can.

Go with a more expensive kit. You can pick up a homebrand can

of beer concentrate (‘kit’) and a ‘kilo’ of sugar or dextrose. This can make a perfectly ok beer that is sessional and quenches a thirst. The way you brew with a can of concentrate and a kilo of brewing

62 Home Brewer

Add hops and specialty grains. Like better yeasts, you’ll find these at your local homebrew shop. Brewing this way you can add aroma hops to improve the aroma and flavour of your beer – Cascade or


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