Spurred on by a special at my local brew store, I’m thinking of doing a few beer batches this summer as well… as if I didn’t have enough plans in the works.

I’ll start of with a cheap and nasty kit beer. Why? Because it’s a good excuse to refill the beer fridge for cheap! Whoops, I forgot my housemates read this… Hi Guys :)

Beyond that, my brewing friend Joe has kindly offered me the use of his brewing rig at his place if I want to do a brew… so I need to figure out what I want to do in the new year - buy the grain and get crack-a-lackin!

Having been watching the fabulous Brew Masters show on Discovery, I’m courting the idea of brewing a Chicha-style beer, it sounds delicious. Not keen on chewing the grain myself, I’ve dropped a few enquiries around to suppliers of alpha-amylase enzyme to see if I can source a small quantity. If I can find that and purple corn, I might be in business! Here’s some good info on traditional Chicha.

With the exception of my big 100L batch of neutral spirit for this summer, I’ll be trying to use Proculture Yeasts. I had a chance to meet Wayne Reeve, a Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology and Microbiology at Murdoch University - who cultures yeast strains locally for use by commercial and home brewers in the area. What an interesting guy, he knows his shit for sure and his yeast is cultured to order, so it’s super fresh.

So an update on things at the moment, the ginger wine looks like it has been slowly fermenting a little bit - I’ll try to find the time this weekend to check how much available sugars there are and what I can do about it. Not much progress there.

Additionally, in my first foray into the liquer flavouring, which is my big focus at the moment (honest), I’ve thrown some off-the-shelf vodka into a recipe for a coffee liquer. It’s been sitting for almost a week, and I’d like to see how it turns out - as a nice Kahlua style liquer would be awesome.

I’ll be sending off some wine in the post next week to thank the lovely Colin Bell from AHA Viticulture, who kindly donated his excess grapes for my Cabernet Merlot. The wine postage box has been sitting here for months and I feel terrible I haven’t thanked him properly yet.

Also in the works, I’m finally going to grow my Naga Jolokia seeds (the hottest chilli in the world). I’ve had these for over two years now and really want to see how they turn out. How is this related to brewing? Think about it ;)

That’s it for now, a bit longer update than I was expecting - until next time!