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Home brewing with a modern twist

Added: Monday, November 9th 2020

Home brewing

When I was asked by the Greater Good Fresh Brewing Company to road test their new home brewing kit, I was reluctant to say yes as my previous attempts to brew at home have all ended badly. I once wrote that I am to home brewing what Attila the Hun was to land conservation.

But Michael, my next door neighbour, is a mustard-keen home brewer and his eyes lit up when I showed him the kit. It consists of the Pinter, which is a fermentation and maturation vessel that will produce 10 pints of beer. It comes with your choice of a Fresh Press pack that will allow you to brew a range of ales, lagers and cider.

We were both sceptical of the claim that beer could be produced in seven days – four days of fermentation followed by three of conditioning but Michael went ahead with our choice of beer: Public House IPA.

The Fresh Pack consists of malt barley, malted wheat and hop extract. This is mixed in the Pinter with yeast and water and then left to its devices.

We agreed with the advice from the manufacturer that the beer would improve with a further day of fermentation followed by seven days of conditioning. And then, lo and behold, Michael knocked on my door with a glass of copper-coloured beer with a lively head of foam and it was time for me to enter the fray and sample the end result.

The beer is 4.2 per cent ABV and has a fruity aroma reminiscent of plums with biscuit malt and spicy hops. Rich grain, spicy and piny hops and bittersweet fruit combine on the palate followed by a finish with a good balance of biscuit malt, spicy hops and ripe fruit.

Two reservations: at 4.2 per cent it’s not strong enough to be a true IPA and the colour is too dark. It’s more of a best bitter than an IPA.

But, reservations and scepticism to one side, this is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer. At a time when pubs are closed, this is close to supping a pint of bitter in the bar of your favourite local.

It makes the perfect present to give yourself and will tide you over until the Dog & Duck is open again. The starter pack, consisting of the Pinter and your choice of two Fresh Pack beers or cider is £75.