It’s been a little while since we posted anything on the blog. That’s because we were busy planning our three week US beer odyssey (of which, more later) and when we returned from our trip we had some physical and mental recovering to do.
The other thing we’ve been doing is launching a new homebrew club at We Brought Beer in their newly opened shop in Clapham Junction. They don't just sell beer, they sell homebrew ingredients too. At Clapham they have a dedicated event space upstairs which is the perfect location for beer lovers to gather and get excited about brewing beer.
We held the first meeting on Tuesday 17th November and we were surprised to see such a great turnout. It’s hard to know where to start with providing an ‘introduction to brewing’. Distilling a complicated subject down to its essence is always tricky. You could give a three hour lecture on malt and still not cover everything: but you have to start somewhere. The idea was to provide an overview of brewing ingredients, process and equipment, with separate sections on sanitation and temperature control. We might not be expert brewers but we are experienced and having made a few mistakes along the way we are happy to share what we've learned with people who are just starting out.
On Saturday 21st November we did a live brew in the shop. This was the first time we had done an extract brew in three years. In fact it was only the second extract brew we’ve ever done*. The idea of this session was for people to be able to drop in and see what is involved and ask any questions they have about any aspect of homebrewing. We expect to do further one-off sessions on Saturdays in the future, and it’s likely the next one will feature all grain brewing.
Next month’s meeting is on Tuesday 15th December, where we’ll be looking at recipe design and the use of specialty grains (within the context of extract brewing). In the New Year we’ll move on to more advanced topics such as the science of mashing in all grain brewing and critical appreciation of beer. Each session will start with a presentation before moving on to tasting beers. Further content will be guided by what club members would like to see. We're also looking forward to getting our brewing friends to come along and share their knowledge too, we already have a few of them pencilled in for future sessions (including judging beer, brewing imperial stouts with adjuncts, and making the move from homebrewing to professional brewing).
The club is aimed at novice brewers – those who are yet to brew their first beer or who have only been brewing for a little while. Although we are of the opinion that one should never stop learning, even if you're an expert. The club aims to provide a forum where we can all exchange knowledge and opinion (and our beers too obviously). The joy of homebrewing is in discovery, learning and discussion.
For more information on the homebrew club and other events at We Brought Beer follow them on Twitter for updates: @WeBroughtBeer. Any questions, queries or suggestions from club attendees can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*We popped in to dry hop the beer yesterday (it's a standard pale ale brewed with Centennial and Equinox). We should be able to package it next weekend. No idea how it will taste but we're curious to find out!