[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: