written by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin
I have a great many hobbies, but one of my favourites has to be beer making. Now how could beer making be green, I here you ask? Well glad you asked. Have a read of this post titled "Gav's Eco Beer" to get a good understanding of the environmental benefits of making your own beer.
Anyway, I made up a simple recipe that I found on a the back of a Coopers leaflet called Aztec Gold. I put 500g of Dry light malt and 1 can of Coopers Cerveza brew mixture into the fermenter, added 2 litres of boiling water and mix. Once mixed, I added rain water to make up 23 litres, took an original specific gravity reading (mine was 1036) and then pitched the yeast when the temperature goes below 25C. To see how the process works, have a look at my Home Brewing video tutorial.
I made this batch up on a Sunday, before I came down sick, and it bubbled away merrily for 6 days. My wife Kim let me put the fermenter in the laundry, because the temperature variation in the shed has been ridiculous and she likes Cerveza!
The beer stopped fermenting on Friday so I could have bottled it earlier, however from experience, I always leave the beer in the fermenter for an extra two days, so that the beer settles and clears without the use of finings. The final specific gravity was 1008.
After washing and sterilising all sixty six 330ml bottles, I added just under a teaspoon of white sugar to each bottle, then filled them all up as you can see below.
Then I went about putting the crown seals on each bottle with my hand capping machine.
My darling daughter Megan (who took the photos) always catches my best angle. Here is a sealed bottle. Once sealed, I inverted the bottle a few times to dissolve the sugar to start secondary fermentation. This produces the beer bubbles.
Here is an action shot. It is a pretty simple process, and from start to finish, bottling usually takes me about 90 minutes.
This recipe turned out to be a winner. It is light at only 3.5%, and has a fantastic taste that is just right for drinking after a session with the hand lawn mower!
Beer making is a great hobby, and I suppose that if I draw a really long bow, it is a great skill to have if the breweries every shut down or go broke, and besides that, the satisfaction of sharing your own home made beer with mates is second to none. Especially when it tastes great as well!