|Camper Van Beethoven|
|The mash tin|
My knowledge of brewing is almost zero, all I know is it creates beer, so I had a lot to learn. The process is started by adding hot water (liquor) to malted barley and wheat in a large metal tanker called a mash tin. This process produces the sugars that will eventually become alcohol. With the maltiness of the barley, it smelt like a cup of Horlicks. With all the sugars extracted, this liquor is filtered into a whirlpool (or keep safe) which removes any other proteins.
The next stage is the boiling. This is done in another metal vessel called a copper. The liquor and malt (called a wort) is brought to the boil at which point the hops are added. The hops give the beer it's bitterness and adds more flavour. The 3 different hops (Amarillo, Centennial and Stella) are added at different intervals, so the flavours travel.
At this point it all got a bit technical. Patsy took a sample from the wort to check the gravity (which defines its alcohol content,)the yeast was added and the tank sealed.
|Adding the yeast|
The final stage was my least favourite, the cleaning. To stop each brew contaminating the next, you had to thoroughly clean the apparatus. This meant, a shovel, a scourer, caustic soda and elbow grease.
|Scrubbing the mash tin|
|Clearing out the used hops|
|My finished work (I'm quite proud)|