The home brewing caper has changed a lot since I first attempted to make a drinkable beer in the early seventies. Back then the recipe was a can of Brigalow lager and two pounds of white sugar mixed with five gallons of water and a packet of yeast sprinkled over the top. The container was placed on the kitchen bench or in the backyard shed to ferment, subject to temperature swings of 20 – 35 degrees celsius. Once the airlock on top stopped bubbling the brew was ready to bottle. A hit and miss guide at best, producing a barely drinkable liquid.
Today, beer brewing is a scientific journey using the best equipment and ingredients available. Coopers are my suppliers of choice, their best invention being the new and improved fermenter which is minus an airlock. In my opinion the airlock gave a false reading when figuring out if your beer was fermenting.
Two essential items needed to produce a top brew are a fermentation fridge and a temperature controller. Ales are best fermented out at 18 deg. and Lagers at 12 deg. The correct temperature and the usage of malt instead of white sugar are the big differences between today’s home brew and yesterday’s cat’s piss. Another great product from Cooper’s are the refillable 650g plastic PET bottles and caps. My favourite ale recipe is as follows:
1 can of Cooper’s Australian Pale Ale
1 kilo of Light Dry Malt
25g each of Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin hops
1 pkt of US-05 Yeast
This recipe will produce a hoppy, citrusy and fruity flavour with a crisp finish on the palate.