Scottish Craft Brewers brew up a beer in the Stewart Brewing Craft Beer Kitchen
Well, what a day yesterday!! I felt like a kid in a sweet shop!!
15ish lads and lassies from Scottish Craft Brewers turned up to brew 3 beers, an IPA/lager, a Christmas beer and an American rye at the craft beer kitchen at Stewarts.
Boy what a welcome to get us started, the guys at the brewery shop gave us each 5 beer tokens to use on the 10 or so beers they had on tap, and if that wasn’t enough they had a cask of “hopricot” sitting in the brewing area for us to quaff away at with no supervision:)
So enough of the beer drinking onto the brewing. We had a few newcomers to the group that were chucked in at the deep end with the usual mixture of seasoned kit brewers and all grainers but they seemed to relish the challenge and within half an hour were sounding like experts.
We split into three groups and each group was allotted a member of the Stewart’s team as help and a steam powered 100-120l boiler to brew in. Then it was down to ingredients. Malt extract to measure, speciality grains to grind and hops to weigh. The bulk of sugars for these brews came from malt extract meaning we could all get a brew in without having to hang around for 6 hours, but we steeped some grains for some extra taste and colour and added various hops (in vast quantities) to make the beer our own.
Most of us aren’t used to brewing on this scale so even simple tasks like stirring the malt into the boil was a new experience with huge mash paddles and brute strength needed.
As if all that beer and brewing wasn’t enough, onve our brews were sorted we also got a fantastic trip around the brewery with a guide telling us the history of the company and all about the kit they use to brew. Even the seasoned brewers amongst us learned a thing or two.
So after brewing 80-100l of beer, a trip round the brewery with all the facts and being sat getting fed their beer, could say it was a great day! Need to get some more of the group out there next time and maybe do an all grain session.
By Bruce Stevenson