Brewing the Christmas party beer – no pressure
This last thing I ever expected to find myself doing on a sunny Saturday afternoon in November was brewing the beer for the office Christmas party — but that is exactly the situation I found myself in last weekend.
Thankfully, I didn’t get myself stuck grinding up barley or hunting for hops — or any of the normal expectations that come with home brewing. This is because we are lucky enough to have our very own BeerDroid (a BrewArt by Coopers brand) machine in our office.
The BrewArt machine came alongside with a random selection of BrewPrints, which are the beer flavours you can pick from to brew. These include; Bavarian Lager, Czech Pils, and Traditional Irish Stout.
After much deliberation, I decided on a good old German brew; Bavarian Lager.
But before we go any further, you need to know, I have ZERO experience in brewing beer. Been to plenty of breweries and sampled many varieties of delicious beers in my time, but I’ve solely been an end-consumer to this point in my life. So here we go…
Prep time and the sanitisation process
Starting off these adventures I always like to get everything organised. I am feeling quite intimidated by all the different packages and ingredients, the looming thought of the team drinking – or worse not drinking – my beer added to the nerves. I mean… I was making the Christmas beer! I felt the weight of the offices’ expectations resting on my shoulders. So I had a look through at all the sachets in the BrewPrint pack and their Apple-esque approach to minimal paper instructions.
The BrewPrint pack directed me online for directions on how to start my own brew. On the BrewArt website, there are handy videos to show first-timers and myself each step to make sure that I was on the right track to brewing a successful lager.
The first steps in the whole process of starting my beer was actually waiting around while the BeerDroid went through the sanitisation process. The process was around a two-hour wait before any sort of brewing could get started, but no doubt worth it.
The yeast dilemma and experiment
With the sanitisation process underway and a few hours on my hands, I headed off to lunch with my partner. Excitedly chatting about my adventures into brewing, we started chatting about the ingredients in this particular brew, and he raised the question about the quality of the yeast.
I might be late to the party on this one, but if you didn’t already know… yeast is an actual living organism. Who knew? Yeast is dead as a doornail if not stored properly as it won’t be able to transform the sugar into alcohol.
Now we had been through an office move and honestly, I had no idea if the yeast had been in the refrigerator – could it be the yeast that makes my beer brewing dream a nightmare? How would you even know if it’s ok!?
Thanks to good old Google, there are some experiments you can do to check. All you need is some warm water, sugar and your yeast. If it’s still active it’ll rise and create a foamy layer.
WIFI & my Droid
Now that I am waiting on my yeast experiment to play out, I decided to set up the BeerDroid with the BrewArt app. Yes people, welcome to 2018! We are now brewing beer through our phones, what a time to be alive.
Setting up the wifi is super simple and the BrewDroid has its own wifi to link to the mobile device. Now, I have all my BrewPrint info on a shelf in the app so I can pick from for my future brews – hoping this one goes alright of course.
Since pressing start on my brew through the app, it has been sending me notifications when my brew has moved from ‘Propagating’ to ‘Fermenting’. At this point, I have absolutely no clue what that means and I am going to trust that the app knows what it is doing.
With the yeast test complete and a positive result, it looks like we’re good to go!
Next step – fill it up with water and chuck all of the ingredients into the BeerDroid. This includes my (active) yeast, malted barley, hops, and malt.
All the ingredients are packaged up into the perfect sized quantities that I need for my Bavarian Lager. An unexpected bonus – it all smelled so delicious, I’m guessing the malt was the reason for this – so yum.
With everything in the BeerDroid, I powered her up and we were away. I activated the brew on the App and all I have to do is wait.
Watch this space to see if my colleagues and I end up drinking lager fit for a Bavarian king.
Please note Get Glossy has an association with BrewArt – they provided the machines and BrewPrints for other events we run with them. However, this article was a wholly independent and not paid for the piece. The perks we will receive from this is (hopefully) some delicious beer.