Brew-meister at Work

As if the boat is not already torn apart enough with the battery load testing/charging/equalizing process going on … oh, yes, that's still in process … David decided to make beer today. He's been making beer since we arrived in Australia last November. We initially decided to make our own beer because 1) even inexpensive beer in Australia is very expensive (US$50+/case); 2) beer kits are easy to find and fairly inexpensive in Australia probably because of #1 above, which appeals to our frugal mindsets; 3) it was a fun challenge on a rocking boat and something we'd never tried before; and first and foremost, 4) we like drinking beer. He gathered together all the ingredients. It's pretty much a kit, but this still took over an hour since things got “put away” six months ago when we left for the States and now finding them again is challenging... some things may never be found. The notion of having a new batch of beer was incentive enough for him to root around and eventually find everything he needed. It wasn't hard to locate the 27 liter/7 gallon plastic cauldron in which he mixes his brew though. It's pretty hard to lose something that big. As he added boiling water to the brew mix and yeast , it foamed up and the steam rose and he looked more and more like a warlock brewing something other than beer. I half expected eye of newt and a few desiccated frogs to be added, but I was disappointed. He's brewing an Australian Pale Ale this time, but there are lots of “flavors” to choose from.

A yeasty smell overtook the boat … overpowering even the smell of the bilge. A pleasant, earthy, bread-ish smell conjured up images of Oktoberfest. He moved the 20 liters of anti-fouling paint, which has been resident beside the mast, to the forward cabin, so he could make room for the 7-gallon plastic container containing the brew. We really need a few more things on the sole next to the mast. There's not nearly enough to trip over yet.

Mixing the yeast and brew mix together is pretty much all there is to it. Now we wait for a week or so. The specific gravity (an indicator of alcohol level) will be tested after that time and once it remains the same for two days in a row, it's ready to be bottled. It will sit another week or so in the bottles and then it'll be ready to drink. Might be done in time for Hallowe'en. You're certainly invited aboard for a taste.

Not spilling or kicking over the 7 gallon container of brew is also key to the process. So good.