For us, the wonderful craft of all-grain brewing has been a new, exciting and rewarding experience. Having matured from our partial-mash and extract brewing traditions, we now congregate for all-grain brew sessions as regularly as possible. Certainly, we have had a few difficulties and faced the odd challenge along the way. Never, however, have we made a mistake so costly that we – god forbid – have gone without beer. And what would any new endeavor, such as the fruitful enterprise of backyard beer-making, be without a few miss-haps, over-estimations, avoidable spillages and generalised confusion? …expensive! That’s what.
Unlike many of the sophisticated brewing contraptions available today, ours remains somewhat more humble and has been pieced together using a variety of not-too-costly and reasonably easily obtainable items. But do not be misled by my ranting, as I am by no means implying that we have not put valuable thought into our brewing process. Instead, our well-thought-out brew set-up is a cheap, effective and reliable contraption to which our brew methods have been specifically tailored. And so far, it has been rather effective to say the least.
Despite a few minor hitches – mostly relating to inaccurate water calculations – our makeshift brew set-up is slowly improving and we have managed to produce a few top quality beers. Notable brews have included a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout racked onto cocoa nibs and a Toasty Extra Special Bitter which was made using home-toasted pale malt. Along with these, we have produced some killer summer session beers ranging from Bohemian style Pilsners to American style Pale Ales, all of which showcased Australian and New Zealand hop varieties.
Here, in this part of the The Brewcave blog, we will post recipes, photos and other information relating to our home-brewing adventures. Our intention is to provide frequent updates and well-mannered inspiration to others who have the courage to resist all threats against them and aspire to continue on the generalised quest of ‘making shit’. This part of the blog will also act as a backdrop for documenting our recipes, critiquing them, and improving them down the track. Thus, we will also include valuable information about mistakes (hopefully there won’t be too many) we have made and how we intend to rectify these problems in the future. Ideally, some tasting notes on beers – and maybe even some independent reviews – along with photos and beer specifications will help us tailor these recipes somewhere closer to perfection (or thereabouts). Essentially, this is the area where we record and document our brew happenings for you to enjoy!