Beer

I brew beer from grains, hops, water and yeast. It’s a continual learning process. I’ve won prizes for my efforts but I’m not currently competing. This page gathers together recipes, trophies and other beer information.

I won my first prize in 2017 for a Stout. It was luck as much as anything else. At the time, I didn’t pay attention to temperatures or scientific process. But winning the prize drove me to improve by reading books, brewing with other Homebrewers and brewing with professional brewers.

It does have the occasional frustration. I’ve had one or two beers get infected due to poor fermentation. Recently one of my barrels leaked CO2 and the entire batch (23l) was not drinkable. But if you can accept the odd failure, it can be a rewarding hobby. There’s nothing like sharing a keg of handcrafted beer on a Saturday afternoon with 6-7 of your friends.

Getting started

  • Greg Hughes, Home Brew Beer. Recently revamped into a 2nd edition, this is my goto beginners book on beer. The explanations are straightforward and the recipes are good too. The prize I won for the 2017 Stout was based on this book.
  • BrewUK (Greg Hughes’s company) supply almost everything you are likely to need, including an all-grain starter kit with a boiler, liquor tank, mash tun and sparge arm.
  • The Malt Miller has become popular with home brewers because of his recipe builder. You can order just the grain you need and he will crush it to your specification.

Recipes

  • Recipes I’ve used (to be published soon!)
  • The County Beermakers recipes online – a club of beer makers, originally based in east London and Essex
  • Old British Beers and How to Make Them, Durden Park Beer club. The classic recipe book is available online. The book has many classic British beer recipes and has influenced many home brewers in their approach.

Clubs

  • London Amateur Brewers (LAB) – a large beer club that meets in London and during the lockdown via Zoom. There are lots of BJCP judges. Feedback is honest. You will not come to a meeting and leave without learning something new.
  • The County Beermakers – The beer club has a long history and the members are serious beer makers. We rebooted in 2018 and we used to meet in Limehouse. Our last meeting was the weekend before the COVID lockdown of 2020.
  • Durden Park Beer club – The beer club was formed in the 70s. I’ve never been personally, but if the club is near you I would recommend it because of the books that the members have written.

Competing