This is what I know about homebrewing: not much.
It’s a hobby that interests Barret a lot, but I find myself drawn more to food preserving (although I’m no expert). Several months ago we bought some mystery fruit just because it was on sale. Before I could do some googling, Barret decided the best way to unravel the mystery would be to bite one of the hard, green fruits. Unfortunately for him, it was a raw olive.
After the bitter taste test, I looked up a way to cure the olives. I found a process that seemed simple enough, but after a while I noticed the olive oil brine kept overflowing and that glued moths to the sides of the jar.
Eventually I threw the jars out and decided I’d only try it again in the presence of someone more knowledgeable. That’s also kind of how I feel about homebrewing; it’s good to build off of other people’s experience. So when friends of ours invited us to their house to bottle apple cider and brew some hops, we headed over with willing hands and cheese and crackers.
Apple cider is much less fussy to make, especially when the first round of fermentation is already done and all you have to do is bottle it. Once the bottles were sterilized and filled, we dropped in a sugar tab for a secondary fermentation and hammered on the lids. Easy.
Although I did find out later that all the cider was dumped down the drain. Maybe the process isn’t as easy as I first thought.
When that was out of the way Barret and John washed out the plastic fermentation tank and began to brew the hops. I won’t pretend I really paid attention to this part. It involved boiling a ‘sock’ filled with hops and grains until the kitchen smelled like a grassy pasture.
Because I am allergic to beer (and probably because I’d rather lounge around eating cheese and crackers), I just can’t get too excited about spending a few hours in the kitchen boiling a sock of hops. I’ll leave this one to the boys.
A good store to help you start brewing in Sydney: The Hop and Grain