Craft beer is something that’s taken the UK by a bit of a storm, especially in cities. It’s become part of UK culture, and it’s now somewhat fashionable going to small independent pubs, buying the most randomly named beers ever and pretend you like the taste to appear bougie in front your friends. Well, the Pinter, from a company called the Greater Good Fresh Brewing Co, is a home brewing kit, that makes home beer and cider brewing simple.
Now I’ve never brewed beer, and I’ve never really investigated into the process of brewing beer. I find it in a pub, I buy a pint and I drink it. But there’s something about brewing your own beer from home that feels a little intruiging. The Pinter resembles a small barrel, although made from plastic, and has a metal pump, a base that collects all the sludgy mess you get from brewing beer, and it’s also big enough to hold up to 10 pints. It’s extremely smart and wouldn’t feel out of place in a modern kitchen in the slightest. We received a black one, but they come in a number of colours including yellow, blue and red for those with funky tastes.
Brewing is a relatively simple process too, and all ingredients are provided for each batch. With the Pinter, I received a pale ale and a dark fruit cider. I’m a cider man, so was pretty excited to make that. The Pinter, along with the two types of drink cost £75, and that’s to brew at least 20 pints over two drinks. A beer in a pub is like £4 minimum right? So the price weighs up.
First, the Pinter needs a cleanse, so whack the cleansing powder in, give close it up, give it a shake and empty the water. Then, you pour in the syrup and yeast of your chosen batch, and give it a shake. That’s it. In total, my first time brewing probably took around 45 minutes to do. It’s a bit of a slog, and incredibly fiddly but the video guide that they provide by QR code was a God send. The most annoying thing is the fact you have to let the drink brew. And for the pale ale I made, it took seven days from beginning to end before I could take my first sip. But that’s brewing for you I suppose. The first four days for the initial brew, and another three for the conditioning, which is where I ran into problems.
The Pinter by no means is small, as afterall, it’s got to hold 10 pints worth of liquid. During its conditioning phase, it needed to go in the fridge. And if you haven’t got an American style fridge freezer, or at least a sizeable fridge, you’re going to be hunting around for space. I had to remove a shelf from my fridge before I could store it. It’s a bit of a nightmare, so just make sure you’re okay with not eating for three days while your beer conditions. Of course I’m exaggerating a bit, but I did have to make sure my fridge wasn’t as full to make room for the Pinter. Timings though depend on the drink you’re making. The cider takes around four days from beginning to end to make.
Once conditioning was done, I brought the Pinter back into my kitchen and turned the knob on the back to off, as the instructions said so. I tapped off the first bit of beer, so the icky sediment stuff came out first, and then after that, it was drinking time! And what a decent tasting ale I got. As it was kept in the fridge for a while, it was so cold and fresh, and it poured like a dream, albeit a little slow. As I said at the start I’m not much of a drinker myself, and I definitely don’t go for pale ales when I go to the pub. But the pale ale in this kit actually tasted quite nice. I could have easily got through a few pints on a big night. I now just can’t wait to try the dark fruit cider that also came with the Pinter.
For cleaning, this is very simple. Empty the barrel into your sink, if you’ve got anything left in there of course, and make sure as much of the sediment is out as possible. Run some warmish water and washing up liquid through it, including through the tap, and give it a good rinse and you’re ready to go again with your next batch. Simple really, which makes this product really effective, and kind of cool if you were having friends over. Although, now we’re in lockdown again in the UK, looks like it’ll just be me drinking for now.
I also wanted to comment on the brewing kits, which are available on the Pinter website. The pale ale kit that came through costs £14, which I don’t think is too bad at all. Works out at about £1.40 a pint. Now that’s pretty decent considering it costs around £4 from your local Weatherspoons, and the cider kits are a little cheaper than that. Yes, the intitial cost is a little hefty for what it is, but you do get two home brew kits with that, so there’s a bonus there. For more information, head over to the Pinter website.