Adding ‘Brewer’ to my list of hobbies

Adding ‘Brewer’ to my list of hobbies

Ok, it’s been a couple of months since I last made a post – Long story short, I was looking for the next thing to do, then I got Covid for 2 weeks, then I started finishing off some previous projects that I had started years ago and just never managed to finalise, then I got a new Project Manager role which starts at the end of this month, then I won an award at work (yesterday) and Last night I slept for like 12 hours.

Throughout all of this though, I have rediscovered my love of brewing.

Now, alcohol and I have an interesting relationship: I very rarely drink and when I do it has typically been very fruity, vibrant drinks – one of my sweeties described a drink once as ‘Sugar water that has been introduced to alcohol’ – but when I tell people this, they are often shocked because I’m Irish, and… Stereotypes exist.

Well, about 2 months ago, the Celtic blood in me was demanding that I brew some alcohol so… I got to researching.

The Metheglyn Hydromel

It has been 4 years since I last brewed anything – the last drink I made was a coffee wine. It was surprisingly good. Like, doesn’t seem like it would be, and if I were to do it again today I have plenty of ways I would change the brew, but good none the less.

Well this time, I started researching meads. I found a recipe which called for lemons, ginger, spices, and a few other bits, but interestingly only 4% honey. Having never made one before, I figured I would follow the recipe and just let it do its thing.

While it was brewing, I sat and started researching in earnest. My brain just can’t *not* obsess over these things. My specialist subjects arise and I spend months just deep diving into them.

I discovered that the first brew (in the recipe just called a ‘simple mead’ is actually a metheglyn hydromel – A spiced mead, but only 3-5% ABV – and because I was following a recipe and not *the process*, I couldn’t be sure where in that 3-5% range it fell. After racking, it came out like this;

It is all spice, no sweetness, and… I like it. Weird, because I usually like sweet drinks, but this is citric, tart, and *spice*, with almost no sweetness at all.

The Acer-Methe-Cyser-Glyn

After the metheglyn was done, I decided to go again with everything that I had learned during the previous fermentation: More honey, making measurements, taking notes…

The next one I started was an ‘Acermethecyserglyn’:

  • Acer – contains maple syrup
  • Methe – will contain spices
  • Cyser – has apples (specifically juice)
  • Glyn – is a mead, so at least 50% of the fermentables are honey.

With the introduction of this one, I have started to take more detailed notes on A6 record cards – The name, the batch number, ingredients (planned and actual if there are any changes), original gravity, start date, etc etc etc. I have then been recording these on my laptop with a target rack date and bottle date…

This will allow me to make notes, adjust in the future, identify where I could completely change something up…

Also, I have 400 record cards and need an excuse to use them, so…

Future plans

So yesterday I started 2 new brews – one with mixed berries, and one with cherries:

So it would appear for all intents and purposes that this hobby is increasing in velocity. Luckily with the award I won at work, there was a £50 gift voucher which I will be spending on glass bottles for storing all of these, but I think I will most likely be getting into brewing for a long time to come, and I suppose that my friends will all be getting plied with delicious meads and wines for as long as I can continue to do this.

Anyway, watch this space, I may update as I make more brews.