Brewing and Hopping

Hubby and I started brewing beer when we realised how much money we were wasting on the swill they package and sell here as 'beer'. I'm talking about VB. I'm talking about MB. I'm talking about the vomit inducing, night with the toilet, head-ache for days, Carlton.  I am also sadly talking about Coopers (Red), which hubby swears up and down he is 'allergic' to.

We bought our first wort kit/fermentor at BigW along with a good supply of plastic bottles. The hubby's obsession with matching or cloning our favorites, like Little Creatures Pale Ale, led to the abandonment of bottling in favour of expensive kegging. Then enter the fresh wort kits from Grain & Grape. These gave us better flavours but still hubby was not satisfied. Enter the massive stock pot and 9 litre trial full grain mash. A success! Hubby was happy. I was happy. So we could just make little batches from now on? NO!!! Hubby wanted at least 23 litre batches. I can't blame him. The 9 litre trial lasted less than a fortnight. We now have a 40 litre Birko Urn, brand-spankers. I get to sew the hop and grain bags and he sanitizes all the equipement. Fair?

And this brings me to our latest exploration. The world of hops. They are such beautiful plants; a really giving breed, I think. How can we fault them? They grow like weeds and make our beer smell and taste so pretty. So we are growing hops too. The rhizomes have arrived and come August we will be planting these beauties in the hopes that one day we too can add fresh flowers to our finished wort. Ahhhhhh..... Sweet beer.