The day the girls decided to brew...

Ursula Phillips, Cape Town
15th December 2017

It’s that time of the year again. Carols are heard in all of the nearest shopping malls, red and green tinsel shimmer throughout our homes and offices. Traditional mince pies and fruit cakes are being prepared all over the world. There’s excitement brewing – it’s that time of the year. It’s Christmas!

But here at bevPLUS, that’s not the only thing that’s brewing…  

With the upcoming Christmas season in full swing, we at bevPLUs decided to get our cooking mittens on and brew up a delicious and festive beer for the office year end party. To top it off, this was a girls (almost) only endeavour and the ladies in the office decided to put their beer making knowledge to the test.

To get started, we had to (of course) bring in our trusted Beer Master, Sebastian Meyer who assisted us with our previous blog on 10 tips for new brewers. Because, as much as we would like to think we are beer making geniuses, unfortunately we still have much to learn.

Firstly, we had to decide what kind of brew we were looking to make and after much discussion, we finalised on a light pale ale. Throughout our research finding the perfect Christmas brew there were other words thrown around like “golden” ‘robust” and “cloudy”, all of which we were familiarising ourselves with. Who knew that the beer world had such a vast vocabulary?

Next, we needed to decide which malts & hops we were going to use depending on which aroma’s we were looking for. Of course, it’s a no brainer that we used our superior speciality malt from Weyermann®, they are, after all the best and our palettes have become rather accustomed to top notch quality, so there was no compromising there. Conferring our brew masters advice, we chose to use a combination of Pilsner, Carapils and Carabelge Malt to give a Blonde American Ale. For the hops we chose a combo of Citra, Cascade and Passion hops.

Then the milling process began. We brought out our trusty Monster mill and malt shovel and got to work! There were a few pretty messy moments here, but we eventually managed to get all of it milled and into the appropriate buckets. We are very lucky to have our wonderful Demacraft machine which did most of the work for us, from here on, it was just adding the malt, and allowing the mashing process to begin. We then started filtering it out and continued to boil our brew into wholesome boozy goodness.

Sounds easy right? Well… here’s where it starts to get tricky… (or sticky?)

This next part in the beer making process needs to be highlighted to function mainly as a warning to all newbies out there. Adding the hops. A simple yet complicated procedure. We definitely weren’t expecting explosions whilst making beer, but apparently, we were in for a surprise! If this is your first time adding hops to a mash, please take two, (maybe five) steps back first. Who knew that adding hops could cause such an incredible chemical reaction? We learnt this the hard way! More cleaning.

After a full day of mashing our brew at the right temperature, it was time to transfer it to our fermentation tank and add our Fermentis yeast. It was at this point that our showroom smelled like malty porridge gone wrong, but we were proud of our brewing endeavors and felt empowered and inspired by our new beer making expertise.

And then the wait…. for a full six weeks to be exact. How would our first brew taste? Would it be a disaster? Would it be a magnificent blend of deliciousness? Only time would tell.

Finally, after much anticipation, the day arrived for us to taste our “Dudette Brew” which we so aptly named. So how did it come out? Well, it was dry, with a light to medium body. It had a light malty sweetness with medium levels of bitterness and a minimal aroma which included a slight fruit flavor. How’s that explanation for a group of novice brewers?

Until the next brew, we wish you all a very festive season and a “hoppy” New Beer!


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