Mr Defender is a man who likes to move. He likes to be doing something. On his Fitbit he averages fifteen thousand steps per day, which is incredible considering he drives for a living either around the UK or in farm machinery. You can imagine that when he was forced to take two weeks holiday at Christmas it didn’t go down particularly well, he was like a puppy trapped inside the house whimpering with huge sad eyes.
So I bought him a homebrew kit for Christmas, the intention of this was to occupy him for a whole afternoon as he brewed his first finest wheat beer. In summer we made cider from the apples in the orchard, so this was the logical step. His love of wheat and arable crops also suited this particular line of beer.
Never did I expect this to be the start of what seems to be a torrid love affair. Since December seven batches of homebrew have been made. They take over three weeks to complete and a solid six-hour stint to get the initial brew started. The first two, after the initial kit, didn’t go so well. So on the third I helped read the instructions. It seems he had been missing a couple of vital brewing steps. Mr Defender is a pratical man but he isn’t always the most articulate.
He has resourcefully started getting his own malts and wheats and has generated an excel sheet to rival the greatest of any excel sheet ever created. It is full of fractions, percentages and ABV’s. Arguably it is more complex and comprehensive than the excel sheets we use at work to produce mass scale spirits. This sheet is the oracle of Mr Defenders world. Here he records his combinations and mixtures, his successes and failures. He’s like a baby Einstein recording the results from his experiments.
The extent of this affair has reached the point that Mr Defender – a man who has never been a fan of the paperback- has a pride of place hardbacked book for brewing. It goes by the name of Brew and is written by a chap called James Morton. I’d suggest if you’re looking to enter the world of home brew purchasing a copy. It has an incredibly handy troubleshoot your beer section where you can identify the problem with your beer. It also scales up the brewing process practically in a way which the average joe can replicate. Mr Defender has gone from 5 litre brewing to 10 in the past month with the aid of said brewing bible.
Hope’s are high that the next batch to come out will be a fine Yorkshire wheat beer, akin to that of the German Erdinger Hefeweizen. If we combine that and our Yorkshire Orchard cider from last year we are on for a microbrewery. Plans to host the first Yorkshire Octoberfest as on the cards also… but possibly that is a step too far for myself and Mr Defender this year.
Elderflower champagne is next on the list… apparently the bottles can explode!