I still love seeing beer fermenting, even after brewing for nearly 5 years; it's the alchemy and wonder of it all. In these enlightened time we know why it happens and no longer have to give thanks to a beardy bloke sat on a cloud, but even so it's still a magical process and I love it - I often look into the fermenter for a while imagining the millions, billions even, of yeast cells gorging on the sugars within and turning a sweet liquid into a delicious, refreshing, healthy (in moderation, obviously!! ) drink.
When I think back to brewers hundreds of years ago with no Antiformin or caustic, no Perecetic acid, no knowledge of bacteria and yeast, no temperature control, no infection control procedures, wooden fermenting vessels and much more I know just how easy we have it these days... it's still hard physical work but we know much of the how and why which is half the battle in making good beer.
And then there's the hops; imagine having to buy hops by farms in Herefordshire or Kent when they're all the same (or very similar) strain rather than by variety from America or New Zealand... how times change, massively for the better in my opinion! Just imagine a world without Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, Centennial, Sorachi Ace, Columbus and many more... I'd rather not!
These two photos show yeasty activity on our latest brew of Golden Pixie and a testbrew for Charles Faram & Co Ltd, one is 1500 litres and one 75 but they're pretty similar.
|Golden Pixie in FV2 just beginning fermentation|
|A testbrew in full ferment|