The beer was based on a recipe for Ringwood Old Thumper.
Brewing day started bright and early on 20 November 2010 (well 9:15 was as early as I could manage).
First step was to put the water on to heat up and eat a bacon sandwich. The boiler is the large white object to the right of John, the bacon sandwich is the smaller white object in his hand.
The grain needs to be weighed out - for this brew mostly pale malt but with some crystal malt and chocolate malt for flavour and colour and some torrified wheat for head retention. It is a good idea to keep your head on brewing day.
Now the tricky bit - mix the grain with hot water while keeping the porridge-like mixture at 66C. This is the real test of the brewers art. The lid then goes on the mash tun and we gave it 90 minutes for the alchemy to happen.
The now sweet liquid is drained off and the sparging can begin. It is time for the first beer of the day and Chris and Paul take turns at sparging, rinsing the last of the sugars from the grain.
Time for lunch and pint number 2...
...as the wort was boiled for 90 minutes.
Challenger hops are added as bittering hops with more hops going in with 10 minutes left and after the boil for flavour and aroma.
The now bitter wort is crash cooled by running cold water through a helical copper tube.
The yeast is started with a warm sugar solution.
The now hoppy wort is strained to take out the solids
The gravity reading is taken. It is spot on.
The yeast is pitched into the unfermented beer.
Then we all go home to carry on our lives as we let nature take its course.