My first unsupervised batch of homebrew

  • If all goes well and no gremlins get into the mix, I should have 40 500 ml bottles of tasty craft beer to quaff and share with my friends and colleagues in around 5 weeks’ time. Photo by Sean Woods
  • After receiving hands-on tuition at the BeerLab’s BeerSchool, I found following their homebrew kit’s partial-mash instructions to be a breeze. Photo by Sean Woods
  • The amount of debris I had to clean up once done was minimal. Photo by Sean Woods
Date:21 May 2014 Author: Sean Woods Tags:, , ,

Beer lovers the world over will identify with this one – that sinking feeling one encounters on opening the fridge only to realise all your happy juice has gone. Clearly, it was time for me to brew up another batch of the good stuff.

The thing is, I’ve only ever brewed one batch of erm, homebrew before. And that was under the watchful supervision of the BeerLab’s Lynnae Endersby and respected Cape Town-based beer judge Nick Birkby while researching my May PM article “Join the Homebrew Revolution”. Both of them ardent brewers of note, they run a beer school that offers a one day partial-mash homebrewing course for aspirant brewers such as myself.

This time around though, I was on my own. Would what they taught me hold up under the fluorescent light of my flat’s tiny kitchen? I wondered.

First job was to get stuck in and clean my kitchen, properly for once. The last thing I needed was to have some bacteria get inside my fermenter and ruin my 20 litre batch of homebrew. Bizarrely, I actually enjoyed the job. For the first time ever it didn’t feel like a chore – but I’m convinced that was only because in my mind’s eye I was making beer!

Next, I unpacked the ingredients and checked out the instruction sheet. The bullet points and their sequence made perfect sense – obviously, attending the course was already paying off. Things were looking good.

Happily, the same can be said for the rest of the five-hour-long process. In fact, I would even say, thanks to Endersby’s and Birkby’s earlier hands-on tuition, it was easy. I now have 20 litres of American Pale Ale fermenting away happily in my lounge – and I’ve got the bubbles in my airlock to prove it.

Now, if all goes well and no gremlins get into the mix, I should have just over 3 dozen 500 ml bottles of tasty craft beer to quaff and share with my friends and colleagues in around 5 weeks’ time. Keep your fingers crossed, I am.

To find out more contact the BeerLab on 084 031 2243 or visit www.beerlab.co.za