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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:

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
A trip to U-Brew It
bloodnut 4:05 pm 03 Jul 09

I think part of the joy has always been brewing it in my own garage – regardless of the quality of the outcome. You, the shed, the dog and a longneck – t’s a little more personal, clandestine and thus far more appealing.

It’s like the difference between having a shower at your own place or in the footy change room.

muFasa 3:51 pm 03 Jul 09

Definately booking a trip out there!!! Mmmmmm…… beer….

Nambucco Deliria 2:44 pm 03 Jul 09

You can’t go wrong with Interstellar Lager or Mexican Gold. Both brilliant, Katie.

Katie 2:15 pm 03 Jul 09

Just booked myself and a mate in to give it a go. Looking through their lists I’m now torn between the ginger beer, cider or beer. Any recommendations?

Squil 2:10 pm 03 Jul 09

Ah brewing. One of those uniquely male domains of intense dick-measuring-pissing-contestry as you try your hardest to display tidbits of knowledge no one but you will surely know.

Thanks johnboy. Looks fantastic.

Jivrashia 1:55 pm 03 Jul 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

There was grain? I thought U-Brew It was an all extract setup.

???There isn’t???
If not, then I hope the extracts are fresh. It does make a whole world of difference!

Woody Mann-Caruso 1:46 pm 03 Jul 09

Sammy said :

Real beer contains no dextrose.

Quick, somebody tell the Belgians they’re doing it wrong.

mill, mash, lauter

There was grain? I thought U-Brew It was an all extract setup.

lumnock 1:27 pm 03 Jul 09

Looks great, I’ll have to organise a trip out there also.

thanks for the posting!

Jivrashia 1:10 pm 03 Jul 09

johnboy said :

Also the minor matter of the staff taking care of the cleaning, always the least fun part of the brewing process.

*Shudders*
Tell me about it! It’s the homebrewer’s least favourite part, albeit necessary to prevent infecting the beer (cleaning=sanitisation). But knocking back an ale or two, from your last batch, during the cleaning usually helps to ease that pain.

johnboy 12:59 pm 03 Jul 09

Also the minor matter of the staff taking care of the cleaning, always the least fun part of the brewing process.

Jivrashia 12:57 pm 03 Jul 09

Nambucco Deliria said :

the place is flat out most of the time.

I can just imagine… fresh brew for $2 per 500ml? Forget the bottleshop then!

Well yes, there is the effort (boil, mill, mash, lauter, chill, etc – all explained by the staff at U-Brew It), and the waiting (fermentation), and bottling/canning, and all that but good things are worth the wait.

Nambucco Deliria 12:32 pm 03 Jul 09

You should have mentioned that you need to book up a couple of weeks in advance generally, as the place is flat out most of the time.

johnboy 12:04 pm 03 Jul 09

Sammy said :

Real beer contains no dextrose.

I believe there are no-dextrose recipes available for the purists.

MrMagoo 12:02 pm 03 Jul 09

AAAAhhhhh life contains many simple pleasures, this my friends surely must rank as one of them. As an aside, I attended a wedding a while back where the groom provided all of the male guests with a sample of his own brew as the gift to each of us produced at affore mentioned establishment.. Damn fine drop i must say.

Sammy 11:53 am 03 Jul 09

Real beer contains no dextrose.

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