It’s been many decades since beer was last made here in our converted brewery home, although walking around the oldest part of the house, you can still see plenty of signs of what went on where. The Stoic Spouse made a token effort at authenticity last year when he bought an old wooden barrel to convert into a water butt, but we later discovered that it was actually a red wine barrel. Man, that barrel smelled good.
Anyway, sometimes a lass needs peace and quiet, so last weekend I sent the Stoic Spouse on a brewing course at a micro-brewery down in Brighton. He returned, listing slightly to the left and carrying a large container of brown sludgy liquid. The aforementioned sludge has taken up residence on our kitchen table, much to the bemusement of various visitors this week.
So the Stoic Spouse spent an evening sterilising components of this set-up so thoroughly that I began to wonder whether he was planning on feeding the beer to newborn babies.
For days, now, this beast has squatted on our kitchen table, burping occasionally (I kid you not). These belches are alarming in the dark at 4am when you’ve sneaked down to the kitchen for a glass of water.
Looking at this set-up reminded me of the micro-brewing that my parents did when I was small. They experimented with making onion wine… once. But apparently their blackberry wine and elderberry wine were considerably more palatable. Oh and talking of familial alcohol production (I’m clearly tapping a rich seam here), as a child my poor mum was in charge of gathering the nettles for my great grandfather’s famous nettle beer. Famous not so much for its taste, as for its propensity to ferment over-quickly and explode in the bottle. Oops. Here was his manual (published 1960):-
Inside, is the impression that pretty much anything organic can become wine:-
Oh and I do remember my grandfather giving my parents bottles of his wine made from onions, potatoes, and pretty much anything else that he’d grown in his marvellous vegetable patch. I’m quite glad that I was too young to sample those. Meanwhile, back to the sludge that’s fermenting in our kitchen:-
Purely for your edification, I’ll sample some of the Stoic Spouse’s beer, and report back. Maybe it’ll be suitable for making more beer bread, too. By the way, I’ve experimented with adding a little salt to the recipe, and my fears that this would kill off the lovely yeasty rising process proved unfounded. Yum!
Hmm, not much knitting or crochet in this post, is there? This may have something to do with the fact that an ambitious experiment involving seven DPNs got a little… messy.