Get Set… BEER
After complaining that my girlfriend never takes an interest in my hobbies, I’ve been forced to drink my words when – low and behold – she surprised me on my birthday with Home Brew Depot’s Craft Beer Brewing Course, which – aside from giving you a lifelong, valuable skill – comes with lunch and a barrel of beer to take away with you.
We arrived at Smiths of Smithfield – a gastro pub in the heart of Spitalfields – ‘hoped’ up like kids on candy. I probably looked like an excited child too when, greeted by Josh (Founder of Home Brew Depot), I was handed the first of many free pints – a home brewed IPA made with one of their Micro Beer Batch Brewing Kits.
Josh then kicked things off with a background to the origins of beer and we got started making our ‘mash’ – a hot, Horlicks-smelling mushy mixture of malted barley and hot water.
While we waited an hour for the ‘mash’ to mature, we were served our second glass of beer and led through the next stage of the process – ‘sparging’ your ‘wort’. This is where the mash is repeatedly washed with fresh hot water and drained until all that’s left is a stodgy barley pottage at the bottom of the tub, and 23 distilled litres of brown sweet wort which is siphoned into a saucepan, scattered with green hops and left to boil (this will later become the beer).
Josh then took us upstairs where we sat in the square of Spitalfields market for a ‘Dirty Cow’ burger of beef and pulled pork with chips, washed down with more beer. (For veggies, Smiths also offers wide variety of veggie wraps, salads, and small plates.)
Getting close to home time – we headed back down stairs to cool the fermented beer, check its alcohol content, and drain into beakers.
With your workshop, you get 8 pints of unfermented beer to take home along with yeast sachets and instructions on how to ferment before drinking. The beer can be refrigerated for up to six weeks before ferment, and a week post-ferment.
We left the workshop happy and weighed down with enough beer to last at least a week of workdays.
If you’re looking for a gift for boyfriend, brother or dad, this is definitely the one.