Trouble Brewing launched their Trouble Maker brewing competition last summer with the closing date for entries at the end of October. All entries were judged by a panel of experts and the winning beer was to be recreated on a commercial scale. Trouble Makers - The Final Showdown took place on November 15, 2010 in the Bull and Castle. In a huge stroke of luck I won and became the Champion Homebrewer of Ireland (I’m not sure who coined that but it’s something that doesn’t sit well with me). Anyway I was shocked to hear I had won and delighted the panel enjoyed my beer, and the thought of it getting to a wider audience really excited me.
On April 3rd 2011 I went to Trouble Brewing to brew the commercial batch. Here is how I got on…
Coinciding with the growing number of microbreweries in Ireland, and the pubs that serve their beers, there’s also an increasing number of special events around the country where Irish craft beer can be tried. Often, the brewers use these to launch special edition beers that can’t be had anywhere else.
Several of the specialist beer pubs also run events during the year: both the Porterhouse and Bull & Castle have special Irish beer promotions in March, plus an Oktoberfest in the autumn, as does the Bierhaus in Cork. You’ll also find Irish breweries represented at food and drink events like the Waterford Festival of Food (14-17 April) and the Belfast Christmas Market (19 November - 18 December [TBC]). This article, however, is about the full-sized festivals where you can have a day out and sample the best our native brewing industry has to offer.
There is uncertainty in the unknown. Kegging a beer sounds easy but to the beginner kegger it can be a little mind-boggling. So many questions come to mind from what gear is needed to how to operate your chosen set up. Well, as they say, "Superior preparation rarely tastes defeat", so here is my guide.
A basic setup requires the following:
- Cornelius keg
- Gas regulator
- Gas tank
- Beer/Gas line and fittings
- No 22 Combination Spanner
- Adjustable Spanner
For the amateur brewer in a hurry, we present seven important ready-reckoner tables, covering attenuation, alcohol content, hydrometer correction and yeast pitching rates.
All files are in PDF format.