I started a flirtation with fermentation as soon as my kitchen in the cabin became operational. I was, however, confined to yogurt (success), cheese (not worth the effort) and bread. When my alcoholic husband left, I felt free to try ale and mead.
I’ll save mead for another time (it’s better with age) and count off the merits of hopped malt.
Number One Merit: Quick and Easy
Clean equipment and sanitize it.
Add about as much plain malt, liquid or dry.
Get a couple gallons of water very hot and add, stirring to disolve it all.
Top up to about 5 gallons with fresh, clear well water.
Stir in yeast.
Put the lid on the bucket. The lid needs a hole to plug in a bubbler vent to let the fermentation gases out in a sanitary manner.
Leave it to next week.
Pour it into a bucket with a spigot at the bottom, adding a little corn sugar for carbonation.
Bottle and cap.
Merit Two: It comes out consistently darned good!
Don’t drink too much at one time.
Notice no boiling, no array of esoteric ingredients, faster, fewer steps to mess up, no need for specialized tools.
Anybody says this is not brewing, I refute the notion with emotion. I say I don’t grind the flour but I still claim to make my own bread. I don’t milk the cow but I still make my own yogurt.
So now that I’ve gone on about how easy and generally great it is, why don’t we all go get some! Too bad, my usual supplier says the main manufacturers aren’t making this stuff anymore. It’s hard to find now, woe upon me. I did get an unsolicited email from a supplier I’d never heard of and they show they have most of what I had been getting for years. I’ll give them and try and hope I don’t receive cans close to expiring.