Kitchen brewing is about turning traditional home brewing from something pretty difficult and time-consuming into something easy and fun, without losing any quality along the way. Traditional home brewing is more suited to those who are willing to dedicate most of their spare time to Googling brewing equipment, the anatomy of beer making and how on earth you put together a recipe for the perfect smoked porter*. Those who just want to brew a good beer should direct their attention to kitchen brewing.
* There’s nothing wrong with traditional home brewing – it’s fun too!
A kitchen brewer brews smaller volumes than a home brewer. In this book, the recipes produce 4–5 litres (8.–10. pints) of good beer, which is the equivalent of half a crate. This means you can brew everything yourself, and that everything is just that little bit easier. Instead of a 30-litre (65-pint) plastic fermentation vessel, which is best kept out of sight in the garage, you use a handy glass carboy (demijohn), which can be put on the shelf as an ornament when you’re not brewing. The smaller volume also means you get a good quantity of beer. Traditional home brewing usually results in around 70 bottles of beer. That’s a lot of beer. And it’s an incredible amount of beer if you’ve just brewed a smoked porter that you’re not that satisfied with. The final 69 bottles of just-okay smoked porter won’t be worth serving to others or drinking yourself. Kitchen brewing our way provides 12 to 14 bottles of beer to enjoy. Completely manageable.
In home brewing, it’s normally known as a ‘brew day’ when it’s time to brew. Sounds wonderful! But after trying out traditional home brewing, we’ve discovered that this is because it takes an entire full-length day to brew like this. Kitchen brewing takes a total of 2–3 hours.
The smaller volume means you can use equipment you already have in your kitchen. Most people have a few saucepans, a kitchen strainer, a ladle and a funnel. Apart from a little brewing equipment, this is all you need to get started.
Kitchen brewing is also about creative joy. You don’t get into kitchen brewing to achieve a lower price per bottle. No, it’s about an outlet for your creativity and the feeling of creating real beer. You might even come up with a name and make your own label for the beer.
Where to draw the line?
When are you a kitchen brewer, and when are you a home brewer? For some (like us), kitchen brewing is enough. You try out new beer styles, you brew IPA in the summer, stout in the autumn and winter, and a lager for midsummer. Maybe you take a recipe you like and add a new flavor (pistachio, anyone?). Others set the bar higher. They want to produce the perfect lager, or have their sights set on getting their beer into the shops. They can’t help but read up on what happens to all the sugars during the mash phase. Or how the yeast really behaves at different temperatures. If that’s you, then you long ago crossed the line that separates kitchen brewers and home brewers. We wish you the best of luck! We’ll be here under the kitchen extractor fan.
More from Kitchen Brewing
- Making Your Own Beer Recipes
- Coriander Saison Recipe
- Break Beer Session IPA Recipe
- Basic Method of Kitchen Brewing
Excerpt from Kitchen Brewing by Jakob Nielsen and Mikael Zetterberg, published by Hardie Grant Books © 2017 by Jakob Nielsen and Mikael Zetterberg. All rights reserved.