Friday, 15 June 2012

New Project.

Partly due to reading some interesting blogs by the home brewers of Twitter (I'm looking at you David) and partly just due to wanting to understand a bit more about how brewing works, I'm thinking about having a go at brewing some beer at home.

I'd rather not take up space in the house if I can avoid it, and having a baby crawling around the place means it wouldn't be a great idea to give her something else she can get into which she isn't supposed to! I do have a cellar though, and if it's feasible to get a small set-up in there it would be ideal.  I first mentioned it to a few people the other week, and Graeme of Chromosphere blog fame kindly suggested brewing lager would be a better idea because of the cooler temperature. From what I've been told/found out so far a starter kit would probably do the job, but it sounds like I'm going to have to make sure there's a lot of yeast available.

At the risk of sounding like I want to get everyone else to do my research for me, I want to get everyone else to do my research for me (Well, not entirely). So where do I start? Any pointers/helpful websites I can be directed to etc. would be appreciated.

Here's where I am so far:

  1. I have a space, although I obviously need to do some sorting out! You can't see it in the picture but there's a tap in the garage next to the cellar.
  2. The Flagon & Cask home brew shop is near me so I should hopefully be able to get whatever equipment I need quite easily.
  3. My mate Darryll's used some sort of brew kit before, I'm hoping he'll be able to help.
That's it. Go!


  1. I massively under estimated the amount of cleaning. Not just the sanitary stuff but getting rid of the grain, and hops and sticky beer everywhere!

    BIAB is a great method, not as low in efficiency as people beleive but greatly cuts down on your brewday equipment.

    Also, try and get your head around the way a brewday changes when you dont have as much wort as expected, the IBUS change and the gravity changing also affects this!

    1. Thanks Alec. I do remember reading somewhere that most of it's about the attention to detail (ie. the hygiene of things) rather than the more rock 'n' roll mad inventor stuff!

      I'm going to try and keep things as simple as I can to start with. BIAB certainly sounds like a plan. Problem I've I've had form nosing round on the internet is that it tends to be problem solving a lot further down the line - way too advanced for me!


  2. good luck- would like to have a go at homebrewing to help me understand it all a bit more... will join someone else though, you can't fit a person in our shed let alone equipment, and we are cellar and garageless. Keep us up to date on how it goes!

  3. I agree that BIAB is a good way to start. You don’t need much special equipment and can pretty much brew any beer you want.

    The main things you need are:

    • Brew pot
    • Fine mesh bag
    • Fermenter with airlock
    • Thermometer
    • Sanitiser
    • Ingredients (malt, hops, yeast)
    • Siphon and bottles
    • Bottle tops and capper

    It’s also useful to have one or two (sanitized) jars to hand for preparing yeast, resting the thermometer etc.

    Do you have a hob in your cellar? If not, you’ll need to get some sort of burner as well. Otherwise you can brew on the kitchen stove, and just use the cellar for storage and fermentation.

    Along with cleaning and sanitising, another cumbersome task to think about in advance is bottling.

    My advice is buy some malt, hops and yeast and brew some beer. If you sanitise well it'll probably turn out great, and everything will be a lot clearer after that.

    Good luck!

    1. Cheers John, that's a great help. I'll be able to head off to the brew shop armed with a shopping list now!

      (And yes, kitchen hob it will have to be, although now you've mentioned getting one in the cellar...)