About a week ago I put down my first homebrew in more than two months. There were a couple of reasons for that gap – which is the longest brew-less spell in my almost two years of homebrewing.
Firstly, I got a little disheartened that my last few brews turned out to be less than ideal. Well, in the case of the Snake Plissken – my attempt to replicate True South’s Killer Python Kolsch – it’s borderline undrinkable. While it has gotten less lolly-sweet with age, it still tastes quite a bit like lolly snakes (which is not what the True South version is like – that tastes like a beer first and foremost).
Secondly, there was talk around our place about moving house. So I didn’t want to get a brew started and then have to worry about lugging a full fermenter around. Or a few crates of full bottles.
Two things happened to get me brewing again (as you can see from the brewing bits and pieces in the above photo)
Firstly, we’re not selling and moving, so I can fill fermenters and bottles to my heart’s content. Secondly, summer is coming up. Which means I have to make my annual summer beer – Summer Girl.
It’s my attempt to make a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale and this brew marks the third time I’ve made it (and it’s also the only brew I’ve made more than once). The first one was a straight kit and kilo while the second included some specialty grain and a bit of boiling on the stove. The result was a very tasty beer – easily the best I’d made so far.
So after a few less than ideal efforts, it made sense to go back to a recipe I’d made before and was pretty comfortable would turn out a decent beer. It’s an effort to give me a bit of confidence.
Another reason I keep making this beer is to keep the wife happy. She likes this beer – she’s the ‘‘girl’’ in the beer’s name – so I figure I make one for her then I can make a few more other styles that she mightn’t like.
Having not brewed for a while, I plan on making up for lost time. Once the Summer Girl is out of the fermenter, I’ll finally be trying my hand at a hefeweizen (for a guy who loves that style I’m at a loss to explain why I haven’t tried to brew one). At the same time, I’ll finally use one of those spare fermenters I got my wife to pick up at the university for cheap. They’d been used to hold cereal and were going for $10 a pop. I got her to buy two and had the idea of using them to try a few 10-litre experimental batches.
But that was a year ago and I’ve done bugger-all with them. Until sometime next week, when I’ll take a Coopers Pale Ale tin, some malt extract and a hop tea and see what happens when you make it to 10 litres rather than the recommended 19 litres.
I’m kind of hoping it’ll turn out to be an IPA-like creation, but we shall see.