You can call me a faker, call me a hypocrite, but all this beer blogging malarkey has inspired me. Specifically the art and science of the great man that is Wurst. For the last week I’ve had a crack at home brewing.
The challenge, as far as I could see, was to have a crack at it, see if I got anything remotely drinkable out of it but stay true and loyal to my cooking lager principles.
Those principles are that the beer must be drinkable, must be cheap as chips, and it must be a piece of piss to knock up requiring buggar all real effort. For I am a lazy soul. True laziness isn’t as easy as you think. There are often good reasons for doing things and thinking of a reason not to do them often requires a considerable amount of mental exercise. Some of the excuses I have to come up with to get out of DIY jobs around the house beggar belief. The lady squeeze is a canny devil and often has me logically cornered to the point of having no good reason not to do something. What is required then is a can of cooking lager, some thought and a later response of why I shall not be doing the task at hand.
So for this exercise I employed the power of thought, but first I made the mistake of talking to my neighbour Trev, who does homebrew and whose beer I looked at here. This was a mistake. It is always a mistake to encourage someone to talk about a subject they have as a hobby or great enthusiasm, they bang on, and you cannot escape them. Still, you live and learn. I escaped none the wiser but having been bored to tears about something called wort.
So then I applied thought to it and bought a beer kit. Beer kits are cans of hopped malt extract with a sachet of yeast. Which one to buy? I bought the cheapest. Just like I always buy the cheapest. It’s all just cans of malt extract, with different instructions. One kit was over twice the price and contained 2 cans of the treacly muck.
One aspect of brewing that is quite scary is home brew shops. They are run by strange bearded types with peculiar jumpers and a mad look in the eye. Even weirder than the types that drink real ale and go to real ale pubs. As weird as the guy was, he flogged me a cheap starter kit, and I wondered whether being able to look in 2 directions at once was an evolutionary advantage in home brewing. Despite my concern that he was the type of fella that would do this type of thing, I would actually put him slightly above your common or garden ale enthusiast in the normalcy stakes.
I got thinking as to why I’ve tended to dislike homebrew. Reading the instructions it said to pour in a bag of sugar. Now if you ferment sucrose you’ll get something entirely different from fermented maltose. I was figuring as to why it tends not to matter what beer kit style you buy it all just tastes like homebrew. It would do, regardless of whether its a lager or ale kit, if the main ingredient is a bag of sugar.
So I didn’t add the sugar and fermented it to 2 gallons rather than 5. The kit I chose was a bitter kit, cos Wurst and the rest of the beer bloggers tend to do ale and this is a homage to the great man. Some grog with which to toast his health.
It seemed to ferment out and I barrelled it yesterday in a plastic keg what my new mate “weird Pedro” sold me. I don’t know whether his name is Pedro, but my nickname for him is weird Pedro of weird Pedro’s home brew shop. In a week I’ll know if it’s any good. Wurst, this is one for you and in your honour I offer the naming of the grog to you.
Make sure is has the words "olde" and "bollocks" somewhere though, as we are now in unpasturised ale territory. Get me my pipe.