It appears you’re nobody if you’re not brewing beer this weekend! Like Glynn, I’m also brewing a batch of beer at the moment – a Smithwicks clone, adapted from a recipe in Brew Classic European Beers at Home. Adapted, since I didn’t have quite the right hops on hand, so with a few sums converting alpha-acid values, I think I’ve got it right – no doubt it’ll taste totally different from actual Smithwicks, but I’ll find out in a month or so.

(as an aside, the Sun Ireland weekend away this year is in Kilkenny, where Smithwicks was originally brewed – unfortunately they don’t run brewery tours during the weekend – oh well!)

I’m still really enjoying brewing at home, though I’ve definitely outgrown the pot I’m currently using, a 12.6l 32cm Le Creuset casserole, which weighs a ton! I’d much prefer to be able to boil the entire batch, which means investing in an electric boiler, and something to cool the wort quickly. If that goes well, then I could start looking at moving on from malt-extract brewing onto partial or full mash brewing. Would probably need to move out of the kitchen in that case, into the shed (and get a bigger shed!) in that case, so we’ll see how things go.

In the meantime, here’s a few snaps from Friday’s brewing session, which started at lunchtime on Friday, for a few minutes to make a yeast-starter (another undocumented benefit of working from home on Fridays!) then back to work till 6pm. Put Bananas to bed at 7, ate dinner then started setting things up, and worked out the ingredients needed at about 9pm, and started the 1.5hr boil at 11pm.

All done and kitchen spotless again by 2am – spilled wort is sticky!