When we decided to share all of these ‘how to’ guides – we hoped that many of you would be excited to try them out for yourselves (or where perhaps already seasoned pros). But this one has got us a bit stumped. In early 2017, the team here at Coombe Farm Organic ordered a fairly expensive bit of kit to help us brew our own small batch craft beers. We don’t expect you to do the same.
Brewing beer is something of a science. The alchemy involved means that recreating batches that taste the same involves a number of really strict controls. That isn’t our usual style here at Coombe Farm Organic – we prefer to chuck it in and see how it goes. You cannot make beer that way – as we have learned to our horror and expense.
A very simplified synopsis of producing beer can be described as follows:
- Malted barley is soaked in hot water to release the malt sugars.
- The malt sugar solution is boiled with Hops for seasoning.
- The solution is cooled and yeast is added to begin fermentation.
- The yeast ferments the sugars, releasing CO2 and ethyl alcohol.
Just 4 little steps, it all sounds so simple right? The fun bit when it comes to making beer is that there are so many variables. The type of beer is defined by the length of time that the barley has been toasted for. Barley that has been barely toasted will give you a light ale and at the other end of the scale, if it has almost been burnt, you can create stouts and porters. The hops used will dictate the scent and initial taste of the beer – there are absolutely thousands of varieties of hops.
You can add additional flavours to beer by dry hopping (adding hops after the boil) or mixing with dry or fresh fruit. Think an IPA steeped with Dried Mango or a Stout infused with Cherries – Delicious.
Making craft beer is a passion. We have only just started producing our beers and are still perfecting our recipes. We’d love to hear from customers who make their own.