Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Adventure In Full Grain Brewing At Home

There's something very rewarding about enjoying a pint or three of your very own, home brewed real ale beer. With the combination of cheapo, plastic binge drinking venues serving lousy keg beer, increasing prices, the smoking ban and other things, local real ale pubs are sadly in decline.

I first ventured into the world of home brew in the late nineties and enjoyed many successful batches of beer brewed from readily available kits. 2005 found myself and wife along with our German Shepherd, Holly (nick named "The Wuppit" after a toy she had as a pup that made a noise like, "Wuppit! Wuppit!" when she shook it) up and moving across to France where we had bought a house the year previously in the Limousin, actually the Haute Vienne department (87). Our Holly has been plagued by allergies since she was tiny however and the resulting treatment for those has affected her immune system so she's really fragile, often loses fur due to skin problems but we love her to bits. To see her play you wouldn't think she was fragile and the whole thing doesn't seem to really bother her. So my brewery is going to be named Little Wuppit Brewery.

Don't get me wrong, French beer is nice. There's a wide variety available and we are fortunate to have local micro breweries within 15 minutes drive that both brew very nice, continental style beers. And that's where I began to miss a certain something about good olde English Ales.

The continental brews all have a very similar flavour running through them in my opinion, an underlying sweetness and in many cases although the colour varies the flavour is somewhat lagery and dare I say it, a little bland at times.

One thing I really miss is a good, robust and flavoursome real ale and so I began to look back into home brewing.

Having bought the excellent Home Brewing Self Sufficiency book by John Parkes of the Red Rock micro brewery I was hooked on the idea of starting full grain brewing.

So, being self employed and working from home I have the additional access to sneak away for an hour here and there and get brewing. With this blog I hope to catalogue my journey through brewing and equipment designing and building as well as share my successes and no doubt my disasters with you and along the way

My first task, to build a mash tun with incorporated sparging device... more on which, soon.

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