Battle of the brews: when home-brew gets competitive
Making your own beer may seem, on the surface, like one of those costly activities that only the true beer-obsessed would do. The other common concern is that you’ll put all this effort into it and wind up with less-than-awesome beer that your friends have to pretend to like as they secretly tip it into the bushes when you turn around.
The idea behind the home-brew kits by Home Make It is that they take the guesswork out of it so that you can get a result you’re actually proud of. There are a variety of recipes for you to choose, so you can tailor your beer to your tastes – there’s Sparkling Ale, Lager, Pale Ale, Corona, VB Bitter, Carlton Draught, Crown Lager, Mountain Goat Hightail Ale, Ginger Beer, Invalid Stout and Guinness.
You’ll get a full rundown of what to do when you’re in the Home Make It shop (if you live in Melbourne that is – they also ship Aussie-wide), and you’re also given a manual with the kit that has all the info in writing.
So these kits promise a lot: personalised beers, great results, easy set up. We just had to test them out.
Battle of the Brews
We got two of our team together for a beer-off of sorts. A competition to see who could make the best brew. On the one hand we had the Richmond Golden Ale from the Craft Series, and the other the King’s Lager from the Aussie Greats selection. It was on.
We started by sanitising our equipment, then assembled the fermenter before mixing in the ingredients: hot water, malt, cold water then hops before finally adding the yeast. Then it’s time to let it ferment for 10-14 days. During this time you want it to stay between 18-25 degrees ideally. After the fermentation period is complete, you can bottle your brew. The bottling procedure involves adding sugar to react with the yeast and create carbonation. You’ll then need to keep the beer in the bottles for a further two weeks before you can drink it.
So was it any good? We were certainly pretty chuffed with our results. We did notice an ever-so-slight discrepancy in the carbonation bottle to bottle, which was likely due to our inaccurate sugar measuring (hey, we’re only human!), but all in all we were definitely very happy with our fleet of home-brew – as were our friends. We will definitely be using these kits again.
As to whose was better – the jury’s still out.
Want to make your own beer or hold your own battle of the brews? The Home Make It brewing kits go for $78.90, and recipe kits start from $24.10.
By Christina Wylie
Home Make it
t: Clayton: (03) 9574 8222/ Reservoir: (03) 9460 2777
If you want to take your home-brew to the next level and make your own labels (like the ones below), then get some personalised labels printed by the guys at Flexart.