Brewing for Dummies
When Martin told me beer making was just like cake baking, there was little that was going to dissuade me from going up BrewDog HQ to get my hands dirty brewing some beer.
Let's get one thing straight though – I know absolutely nothing about brewing. Zilch.
Luckily Martin had armed me with a couple of brewing books by Michael Jackson (the King of Hops, not the King of Pop) to get me up to speed before I was let loose on mash tuns and wort kettles.
The day I arrived Stuart, Halley and Kyle (BrewDog's crack team of brewers on that particular day) were busy setting up to make a batch of Punk IPA.
The first thing that struck me was the amount of preparation, and by that I mean cleaning, that goes into making a batch of beer as Kyle lodged himself inside the wort kettle, scrubber in hand, and Stuart and Halley were cleaning the pipes.
Brewing equipment spotless and ready for action, it was now time for my introduction to Punk's first two ingredients – malt and water.
With the malt safely inside the mash tun and the water added, it was only a matter of time before we were back to scrubbing and shovelling, removing the now boiled and sodden malt husks spade load at a time.
Now for the hops and in this case four different kinds which, when crushed together and rolled over the palms, conjured up scents of citrus, herbs and fruit.
Although Martin likened the brewing experience to cake making, there's also got to be something of a similarity between brewing beer and the humble cup of tea; but as more shovelling and weighing ensued, a tea bag for hops has clearly yet to be invented.
With the hop infused liquid transferred into the fermentation tank to the tune of Jimi Hendrix (this, aside from Halley's penchant for Taylor Swift, seems to be the music of choice), the waiting game for this batch of Punk has only just begun and in roughly two weeks time I'll be able to taste the fruits of my labour.
Just aswell it's worth the wait.