My wife’s cousin and her husband moved from the UK several years ago to Perth to soak up the lifestyle here, seeing as she was from Ireland and Gavin (the husband) was from Scotland.
Back then, I was just doing the Kit and Kilo brews and just started into kegging. Gavin immediately took an interest into brewing your own beer, and naturally he got bit by the brewing bug.
As he is on a very tight budget, brewing was a very good option of keeping his love for beer low cost. I was impressed when he said that he had done a few brews.
Now - you have to understand that brewing in Perth Australia presents some significant challenges, namely temperature control.
I have a temperature controlled fridge, which makes sure the yeast has the right environment. and it did improve the beer greatly.
Gavin did not have this, and brewed a stout, which he got the can cheaply as it was slightly dented for about 3.00 AUD. So he brewed a stout for under 5 bucks at 23 litres, in temperatures well above 30 degrees celcius - the extreme maximum for an ale is 24C. He bottled it using old coke bottles and let it carbonate. He kindly gave me two of these bad boys, and I took them home to give them a bash.
Don’t misunderstand me when I say this, you have to realise when your drinking this, that it was in its most basic form in some very trying conditions. When I smelt the beer it smelt exactly like a stout. The head was over the top as pictured, high temps meant the yeast went to town conditioning the bottle - and resulted in over carbonation. It’s taste didnt have any overpowering estery finishes which I was fully expecting - with a coffee tint in there, stout covers a lot of the sins of a brewer anyway, so he pulled it off well.
My hat goes completely off to Gavin in something that was done very basically and for a fraction of the price. It sometimes makes you think very hard about overcomplicating the brewing process at times, when it need not be. I still remember every brewer has to start somewhere, and some of my first attempts were steep learning curves, Encouragement and good pointers is what spurs any brewer on.
Drinkable and cheap, it still beats the commercial crap hands down, for a fraction of the price.