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Which pubs, bars, restaurants and take-aways do you avoid?
messageHome brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by helen_leigh 27 August, 2012 17:29

Hi

I am Helen, local lass and amateur beer brewer. I started the Brixton Beer Company, a project that grows hops in the community across Lambeth and Southwark and makes them into beer in partnership with the microbrewery in Herne Hill. Our beer, Prima Donna, will be debuting at the beer festival on Lordship Lane in October.

But... that's not why I'm posting (though do come along and say hi!). As well as growing beer I like to brew it at home. I've made bitter, wheat beer, stout, heritage pilsners, elderflower champagne, IPA and so on. But I don't know a single other person who does this as well! I'd like to meet up with other brewers to exchange samples and tips, and pass on recipes. I'm also thinking of doing a series of workshops, perhaps on beginner kit brewing, more advanced mash brewing and foraging for then making hedgerow booze (elderberry port time soon - yum!). I reckon these workshops could make good christmas pressies for those keen to learn. Just a thought...

So, are there any brewers out there or people keen to learn?

Get in touch and let's make some yummy (and cheap) booze!

Hic!

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by helen_leigh 27 August, 2012 19:46

Someone PMed me and asked about the beer festival and I've just realised it probably isn't public knowledge yet. I'll post more info when it is all firmed up - I'm not organising it and don't want to tread on anyone's toes!

But you'll find me at one of the participating pubs (or, let's be honest here, all of them!) on the 6th October ;)

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by KidKruger 27 August, 2012 22:05

I would like to learn how to brew my own beer.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by binary_star 27 August, 2012 22:54

I have brewed beer but only ever from malt extract (lager/wheat/pilsner/bitter) and with varying degrees of success. I once tried a ginger beer from scratch but had to decuple the recipe for a party and the result was awfully bitter as I managed to half the quantity of sugar needed, yuck!

Would like to get back into it and keen to learn more...

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by hpsaucey 28 August, 2012 00:57

My Dad used to make bl**dy good beer ... My OH and I used to make some beer and cider but only from kits. More recently I've been making gingerbeer ... not quite the same I know. I'd be interested in getting into it a bit more.

Elderberry port ... cor, lovely!

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by Ukjoncollins 28 August, 2012 12:48

I haven't brewed beer yet, not quite sure where to start... but me and my housemate are well up for learning. I've done elderflower champaign for the last couple of years and about to embark on fruit wine to use up all the pears in the garden. Maybe you could look at a more generic homebrew group for local produce? Would love to join in.

Jon

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by KidKruger 28 August, 2012 13:09

Yeah I wanna make it, who's gonna show us ?

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by Ukjoncollins 28 August, 2012 14:55

Maybe we could all teach each other how to make different homebrews? I'm happy to share my (small) skills in champaign and soon wine making. Would be a good outlet to discuss problems and workout problems as a group.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by KidKruger 28 August, 2012 15:41

OK sO who we got for a local beer brewing startup learners' posse ?!

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by DulwichFox 28 August, 2012 16:02

I would be happy to put myself foward as a Judge at any forecoming tasting session.

Fox.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by Jorik228 July 12, 01:08PM

What could be greater pleasure than learning to brew . I have passed some courses and get the certificate that I am a professional brewer. Now using a beer machine bought from here ( [www.machineapression.beer] ) I enjoy homemade beer and all my friends come every weekend and we stay long night talking and drink this perfect drink .What could be better , it definitely the best skill in my life

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by bobbsy July 12, 01:59PM

I did a workshop years ago, bought some all grain kit, and have never used it. Would love a bit of guidance!

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by zerkalo July 12, 04:20PM

That could be good idea for local aspiring home brewers to meet up. I started brewing beer about a year ago or so with a few mates. We use a place called Ubrew in Bermondsey where we can hire the kit and use the space.

I have always enjoyed drinking a good beer but learning how to make our own from scratch has been a great process. Sometimes the results have been very good, particularly with darker beers like stouts and porters, and other times we have had to deal with off tastes and other issues. But overall, the experience has been very good and I would definitely like to keep brewing more beer.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by TheArtfulDogger July 14, 11:01AM

Somewhere in my loft, I think I have a sealed dogbolter home brew kit from the firkin pubs ... It's got to be 25 years old but tempting to see if it is still works 🤔

--------------------
Artful

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by malumbu July 18, 10:17AM

I think that there is a broader discussion on tastes. I've seen the whole lot from the death of ale as the big brewers wanted a uniform national product cold and under pressure (keg), the rise of the regional brewers, the fall of the big brewers begetting the pub chains, the consolidation of the regionals as they have created new monsters (in descending order Greene King, Shepherd Neame and Marstons), the rise of microbrewers and their acquisition by the mega brewers.

Meanwhile I sense Emperor's New Clothes as beers get hoppier, and more bizarre in flavouring (peach, grapefruit or banana has a novelty but not on a regular basis). From time to time subtle is good, please! And is home brewing getting a bit too sophisticated nowadays and perhaps even cheating a bit.

Anyway what to I know, views please. And yes, Firkin, what great memories! David Bruce, a hero and anti-hero.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by fishbiscuits July 18, 11:10AM

I think the very hoppy American-style is here to stay, but at the same time, it has been something of a fad and we're a bit over-saturated. I don't think you need more than one tap in a pub selling that style (unless it's a 20-tap beer-nerd bar).

I think the flavoured beers are a reaction to that - people looking for something a bit different. Some work, some don't. Earl Grey IPA, or a saison with a hint of Gooseberry - great. Sickly peach lager, or vanilla mocha porter - gross, and you can't even taste the beer.

It wouldn't surprise me if traditional cask had a resurgence, though. Some American breweries are starting to import English hops and trying to create versions of "English bitter". American brewers are always looking for a new trend, and with the massive interest in artisan produce now, it wouldn't surprise me if fresh unpasteurised, uncarbonated beer started to make some headway overseas.

In answer to Helen - yes brewing courses sound great. I did a course at Ubrew, which was great, but would prefer something where you're encouraged to be a bit creative with hops and other flavourings and create something unique.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by zerkalo July 18, 02:42PM

Some very good points you are making fishbiscuits. I agree part of the recent trend for ever greater experimentation with beer styles and ingredients can often get a bit over the top and the results are not always great. But hoppy IPAs are here to stay. If I wanted to have a great selection of them to choose from (which I normally do), I would go to a bar that can offer just that. We are lucky that in the part of the world we live in there are many options available. That doesn’t mean there is no space for cask ale in this brave new hoppy world. Personally, it’s always great to find Jarl on tap – one of my favourite cask ales.

Brewing courses at Ubrew have always had mixed reviews (at best) and the business has been through some seriously turbulent times recently but seems to have a recovery plan in place now. That said, we always felt we’ve been able to be as creative as we wanted with the beers we have been brewing there as members, even if some of our efforts have been tainted with a number of issues that had to do more with the lack of robust processes from their side rather than our own sanitary practices.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by fishbiscuits July 18, 05:24PM

Yeah... I mean I'm probably not going to actually start brewing, as I have nothing like the necessary amount of time available. So for me, the UBrew course was something I did purely out of curiosity and thirstExclaimation for knowledge.. and I really enjoyed it. But I'd love to follow it up with something where I could maybe dream up my own beer idea, and an expert could help me make it.

Another thing I liked about UBrew was the bar.. I am not sure, but it seemed like a mixture of commercial beers and member creations. Had some really interesting beers there.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by malumbu July 18, 10:24PM

Interesting about American beers. I remember being in Colorado in the late 90s and being impressed by their small breweries and bars. And then similarly so at the Greenwich Union in the early days of Meantime. But then a mate said to me that they took European recipes and then simply went over the top, which now seems like some of our craft ales. And my brother out there said don't be fooled, most of the craft ales are made in beer factories owned by multi nationals, again feels a bit like what is happening here.

Anyway I'll watch this space with interest.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by fishbiscuits July 19, 09:30AM

malumbu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> most of the craft ales are made in beer factories owned by multi nationals, again
> feels a bit like what is happening here.

You just have to use some common sense. If it's available in Tesco for £1.70, it's probably going to be a large scale operation. And if it's an American beer widely available in UK, it's hardly going to be a lovingly hand-crafted product. But there are still smaller breweries too... both in UK and US.

Surely all beer is from an adapted European recipe. Not sure what the issue is there.

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by zerkalo July 19, 10:15AM

It really depends on one's definition of 'craft ale'. It can mean a lot of different things. There are many 'craft' breweries that started small and are now owned by conglomerates like InBev or SABMiller (Meantime Brewery for example) who increasingly want a slice of the craft beer pie. Others have grown to be massive players in the market though still independent, such as BrewDog. At the end of the day, what matters most is to have access to quality beer that you can enjoy drinking at a reasonable price.


fishbiscuits Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> malumbu Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > most of the craft ales are made in beer
> factories owned by multi nationals, again
> > feels a bit like what is happening here.
>
> You just have to use some common sense. If it's
> available in Tesco for £1.70, it's probably going
> to be a large scale operation. And if it's an
> American beer widely available in UK, it's hardly
> going to be a lovingly hand-crafted product. But
> there are still smaller breweries too... both in
> UK and US.
>

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by malumbu July 19, 09:17PM

My point was the American 'craft' ales exported here which are (or were) all the rage are not made by artisan brewers. Goose Island - Anheuser-Busch InBev. Anchor - Sapporo. It's like drinking Leffe and thinking that it is made in a small monastery. Another inBev brand.

Think it is safe to say that American craft ales are bottled, pasteurized (someone will prove me wrong) and strong flavoured.

My other point for the pedants out there is that these sort of beers take beers popular in Europe and often concentrate the flavour - super hoppyy, malty, stouty, sweety, thicky, strong, reddy, dry-y.

Craft means nothing in our consumer law but for many the sort of American style beers referred to above. Perfectly good beer for my tastes at Brockley, Canopy, Southwark etc, and long may it stay that way, and a lot cheaper too.

And as for the history of beer? Wasn't it Egypt. Didn't we adulterate our ale centuries ago by adding French hops? I recall a 'Tudor farm' reenactment series on BBC where they made beer for the workers by gathering wild yeast with their own malted barley, what would this have tasted like?

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by Seabag July 20, 01:09AM

I saw a doughnut beer on some menu somewhere

Really, come on. It’s on the slide once you start on stupid stuff

How many people go into the office the next day, and say “ Holy shit, I had one too many doughnut beers last nite, never again!”

Or “the last thing I remember was a doughnut beer, then bam!”

Just stupid, specially when high octane vodka is cheaper

messageRe: Home brewing - anyone else make beer?
Posted by zerkalo July 20, 10:26PM

malumbu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And as for the history of beer? Wasn't it Egypt.
> Didn't we adulterate our ale centuries ago by
> adding French hops? I recall a 'Tudor farm'
> reenactment series on BBC where they made beer for
> the workers by gathering wild yeast with their own
> malted barley, what would this have tasted like?

I had a taste of this beer on a visit to Ham House in West London a year or so ago. It's probably the closest I can think of to the beer the Tudors might have been drinking.
[www.ratebeer.com]


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