So – it’s been a few weeks now so how does my first all-grain brew (English IPA made using the borrowed Grainfather)? I bottled it about 4 weeks ago with a teaspoonful of sugar in each bottle and that has resulted in some of the bottles being a bit lively when the cap is removed.

In fact, I’ve taken to opening the bottles in the sink so I’m ready for the upsurge of froth!

The beer that ends up in the glass is not bad actually. I’m no expert at describing beer but I would describe this as smoother than my previous (extract) beers and it seems to have more body. There’s a pleasant hoppiness to it without the lemony edge that my last few brews with US hops had. However, I have developed a taste for the edgier hop so my next brew (started yesterday but using extract again as I’ve returned the Grainfather to its owner) is made using Chinook hops plus the tiny amount of Challenger hops that we managed to grow here.

I’ve not yet worked out how to calculate the alcohol content of my beer (because – at this stage – I’m not that interested as I’m more concerned with taste right now) but, judging how groggy I feel in the morning after just one bottle the night before, I think it must be quite strong.

So, onwards we go. The new (mid-Atlantic) IPA brew is fermenting in the garage at about 18 degrees centigrade right now. We’ll see how that one turns out In a few weeks. During those few weeks I’ll decide if I’m going to invest in the equipment I need for all-grain brewing… Cheers!