Good Things Come to Those who Wait
Coming across small batch all- grain home kits, Home Brewtique owners Claire and Posy became obsessed with perfecting the equipment
Article by Andy Barnham
With the explosion in craft brewing and the amount of beers now on offer, it’s perhaps inevitable that there would be a cascade effect into the home for budding craft obsessed anorak. The chances are that if you’ve tried one craft beer, you’ve been curious enough to try two and from there it’s a short hop (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) to experimenting with weird and wonderful flavours. And at some stage, you’re going to wonder about making your own home brew.
Say hello to Home Brewtique. Coming across small batch all- grain home kits owners Claire and Posy became obsessed with perfecting the equipment and setting high standards for themselves. The solution included a BPA free container (bisphenol A is an industrial chemical used in certain plastics and resins) which prevents light from damaging the beer, a reusable fine mesh voile, a bottling wand and ‘simple but delicious recipes’. What can go wrong?
So how easy is it? Riddle was sent a ‘Complete Brewing Kit’, including a brewing kit and bottling set, to test. Home Brewtique also offer a ‘Starter Kit’ (brewing kit only) and their ‘Ultimate Brewing Kit’ (brewing kit, bottling kit and pot). Time to step into the kitchen… Like all things, the more you prep, the easier and smoother your brew is going to go. And while Home Brewtique have done their best to demystify the process and make life as easy as possible, if you’re a novice, then you are going to run into problems by sheer of lack of experience. However, this is supposed to be fun, so chalk it down and consider it problem solving with a fun, and hopefully tasty, end result.
So how does it work? The brewing kit contains all the magical ingredients you’ll need (grain, hops, sugar etc) with an easy to follow guide. If like me, science was an unintelligible language, the guide is supplemented by Claire and Posy led videos on YouTube so you can literally follow them in real time as you cook up your own batch. What you will need is water, and lots of it due to the amount of evaporation in the mash stage.
Be warned, if you’re going to do this with someone else, there is going to be a certain amount of team work involved. Completing this with my better half was akin to being on Nature Channel, with my wife and I vying to compete who was going to be the Alpha. I get the feeling if the results go well my wife will claim the credit. If it doesn’t, I’m sure the blame will land at the door of the ‘help’, ie me.
You will also need time. The process takes a good morning or afternoon to complete and there’s no pressing pause. Once you’re on your way, you need to finish the processes or else the brew just won’t work. And if you live with anyone, you’re either going to have a) get them to help, b) give them incentive to leave while you brew or c) buy gas masks. Certain processes will make your house smell so much that everyone either has to buy into home brewing with you or just has to vacate the premise.
They say good things come to those who wait. That’s certainly a mantra you’ll need to repeat to yourself while you wait the two week fermentation period before you can bottle and satiate your thirst. So does it work? Well… yes. It looks like an ale, it tastes like an ale. Presumably therefore it is a home brewed ale. In fact, there’s so much ale in the fridge that there’s not much room for anything else. Seems like I’m just going to have to take on some domestic responsibilities and make space for dinner tonight, by drinking. What a terrible responsibility to bear.