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A trip to U-Brew It

By johnboy 4 July 2009 44

[First filed: July 03, 2009 @ 11:32]

The RiotACT team can be notoriously difficult to pin down. And yet, when beer is involved mysteriously manage to appear with no problem at all.

A few weeks ago Che had been out to U-Brew It in Hume, and was so impressed he organised a trip for the rest of us to partake in the beery goodness while he packaged his first effort for taking home.

The concept is simple enough, instead of investing in expensive home brewing gear you pay to use theirs and take advantage of economies of scale. With no excise paid, because you’ve made it yourself, the beer can still be very cheap with the quality that the larger scale equipment can provide.

So here’s how it works.

1) Peruse the menu. Choose from dozens of beer styles with examples of similar commercial beers given. Once you’ve chosen which one you want the all important recipe card will be issued to you.

2) The recipe card will be full of things like “Black Bowl: 25 grams of Irish Moss and 30 grams of Cascade hops”. The most important thing is to get the malt bucket filling first as it can take some time for 5 litres of sticky malt to flow out of the drum. With the malt flowing everyone rushed around playing with scales and bowls, assembling their recipe.

3) Brewing. Equipped with a timer each and supervised by management we followed the checklist which made sure ingredients were introduced, to 50 litres of 70 degree water in great gleaming kettles, at the right time.

4) Pumping out. The finished wort is pumped from the kettle into a plastic lined fermenter via an intercooler which zaps the temperature down to a yeast friendly 30 degrees. It then goes and sits in a temperature controlled warm room for a week, before the staff move it to a cool room for another week.

5) Two weeks later come back. Either pay $40 for canning, or bring your own bottles.

All up, if you don’t have the bottle stock and need to can, it costs around $200 for 50 litres of beer. Or $2 for each of 100 500ml cans of filtered and carbonated beer.

While engaged in the process they’ve got Foxtel showing on a big plasma and samples of their different recipes flowing freely for the non-drivers.

For those of you curious about the canning process here’s some video of the machine in action.

Slideshow of the whole procedure below:

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44 Responses to
A trip to U-Brew It
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chubbybatbrewery 4:18 pm 18 Nov 09

Chubbybat Brewery offers rental equipment and instruction on how to make your own all grain beer.

DanRayner 8:36 pm 06 Jul 09

PS – join the Canberra Brewers Club!

Deckard 7:38 pm 06 Jul 09

If you rinse the bottles out with hot water straight after you use them you shouldn’t have much problems cleaning them. This is all I’ve done for the last few brews (no sanitising) and I’ve only had 1 contamination.

+1 for bleach. Rinsing off with hot water quickly gets rid of the chlorine smell.

This is the place for all your brewing questions…

DanRayner 7:09 pm 06 Jul 09

LG said :

anyone know how much you’d normally shell out for a decent home brewing kit?

The kits are fine but if you’re anything like me you’ll slowly, bit-by-bit, increase your kit until you make the switch to all-grain brewing then kegs to save time and effort, then feel that your initial all-grain kit isn’t quite what you need/want and decide to upgrade to all stainless equipment and all of a sudden your wife is complaining that the spare room is full of brew stuff and the second fridge (a big commercial one) full of beer kegs is making too much noise at night and that you both need to move to a place with a double-garage and you look back and realise you’ve spent possibly a few thousand dollars on your kit….

U-brew-it is perfect if you want to avoid all of that and make quite acceptable beer

they store it and keep it at the right temperature for you while it ferments!

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