How To Brew Beer in Townsville
A post from a Townsville homebrew, spirits distilling and gift store.
In Queensland, we’re a resilient bunch. The further north you go, the more extreme weather and prevalent predators. When it comes to beer and footy, it’s a non-negotiable. Us from up north support our local brewers and our local team.
Recently, there has been increasing pressure financially as the world goes into intermittent lockdown. Thankfully, our beautiful North Queensland is weathering this storm as it does every other storm (including the Melbourne Storm…).
This “How to brew beer” guide isn’t the typical - Step 1) open the Morgans premium starter kit box; Step 2) sterilise everything - type of post. Instead, this post will focus on a few key tricks which make brewing beer in North Queensland a wonderful, and dare I say, crafty endeavour.
Fermenting and Bottling
There are two key phases when home brewing beer. 1)The fermentation phase, and; 2) the bottled phase.
1) The fermentation phase is where you place the ingredients provided in the premium home brewing starter pack into the fermenter with water.
2) The bottle phase is where you fill your PET bottles with the fermented beer and carbonate drops.
Both of these phases require some patients. Depending on a number of factors including yeast and hops, these phases can be finished within a couple of weeks. However, the longer you leave your bottles, the tastier the beer will usually be.
North Queensland can get hot. Although brewing beer at a warmer temperature will speed up the fermentation process, it definitely does NOT improve the taste. It will cause “yeast bite” which is as bad as it sounds - a harsh bitter taste.
Our wet and dry seasons in North Queensland can be well above the 19-25 degree temp range fermentation of homebrew is suited towards. The key is to keep a steady temperature.
Try some of these tips to keep the fermenter at a reasonable and somewhat stable temperature:
- Place homebrew fermenter on concrete under your house in an enclosed (DARK) area. An enclosed space will help with temperature regulation.
- If your fermenter is sitting above 25 degrees, put the fermenter in a container of cool water. Additionally, freeze an ice cream container of water to add on top of the fermenter every 24-48 hours.
- Place a damp towel or shirt over the fermenter and wet it every 24 hours.
- Purchase an old fridge off Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace and make temperature monitoring a thing of the past.
These methods are all useful if you find the temperature of the fermenter sitting above 25 degrees. In North Queensland, we don’t need to talk about keeping the fermenter warmer.
Don’t stop the brewing!
When you’re brewing your first batch of homebrew, it’ll spend over a week in the fermenter. You’ll then bottle and carbonate it for another chunk of time. The trick? Sterilise the equipment and put another batch into ferment straight away. To do this you’ll want to purchase an extra beer flavour pack, like our popular xxxx Gold.
Homebrewing is a game of trial and error. By continually fermenting, you can ultimately speed up the errors and start producing consistently tasty beer.
Yeast is a fickle thing. Morgans Premium Starter Kit comes with a sterilisation concentrate which makes sterilising simple. As soon as you have finished a fermentation phase, sterilise everything. Pretty simple right?
This device confirms whether the fermentation is ready for the bottling phase. If the hydrometer has the same reading over consecutive days your brew is ready to bottle. If the fermentation has different readings and you bottle anyway, you risk your bottles exploding whilst maturing.
Finally, have fun. Homebrewing is a rewarding hobby and provides brag-worthy bounty when you get it right. Take the leap today with our Morgans Premium Kit. For around one hundred bucks, you’ll have a new hobby which will start rewarding you within a few short weeks. What could be better than enjoying a homebrewed beer whilst watching the North Queensland Cowboys win a game?