Alan's Brewery


I started brewing beer in 2005 after attending the Worthog Brewers Annual Beer Festival. My brother-in-law, Raymond, was the one to organise tickets to the event as he had already started brewing and was very keen to meet the guys who are very much into their hobby. His enthusiasm for, and interest in, the subject also made me want to try my hand at the process.

I had tried brewing during my first year at university in the 70s. The first batch didn't taste too good, but we drank it anyway. We lost our second batch when we probably bottled the beer to early and the whole lot exploded. The matron in charge of our unit in the residence was not too impressed with the mess (not to mention the smell), so my early brewing career came to an abrupt end.

At the 2005 WHB Beer Festival, I bought a Cooper's Brewing Kit and shortly thereafter produced my first brew, strictly according to the recipe given. Pat was in Germany when the first batch was ready to drink, so I had the Dronkies around to taste it while we watched a Springbok rugby match. In hindsight, the beer probably tasted horrible with all the table sugar in it, but we consumed many litres of it anyway!

Between that beer festival and November 2010 I produced almost 3500l of beer, all from malt extract with various degrees of complexity to the recipes. For regular drinking purposes, I used either Cooper's Dark Ale or Cooper's Real Ale (both hopped) as the base, then Cooper's Light, Amber or Dark liquid malt extracts to vary the taste. Again to vary the taste I would add extra hops (I am partial to East Kent Goldings or Cascade) to the mixture before adding it to the fermenter. I have also done a couple of batches where I used unhopped extracts and hopped them myself, but this is a lot more effort.

In November 2010, I was told by a urologist to stop drinking beer as this was affecting my prostate (BPH). So, I stopped drinking beer and also stopped brewing.

Somewhere in 2014, I started drinking beer again (who wants to live forever?) and in June 2015, I brewed my first batch of beer in almost five years, using extracts that were more than five years past their expiry date. But more on that later!

(updated: 17 August 2015)

Yeast harvesting

I tried my hand at harvesting yeast.

(updated: 15 November 2020)

Lockdown Recipes

With bottle stores being closed, and ingredients for beer hard to come by, I have been brewing some other beverages. Read more...

(updated: 4 July 2020)

Partial Mash Recipes

Some recipes I have been experimenting with - Lockdown Blonde added. Read more...

(updated: 23 April 2020)

The Brew Process

My partial mash brewing process

(updated: 27 May 2018)

Exploding Mini Keg

One of my mini kegs exploded...

(updated: 12 February 2018)

The Mini Keg

A useful addition to the smaller brewer's kit!

(updated: 12 February 2018)


A beer recipe formulator

(updated: 15 July 2017)

Cost vs commercial beers

I have done a rather simplistic cost comparison...

(updated: 9 July 2017)

No Rinse Steriliser

Is the "No Rinse Steriliser" as good as it sounds? Read more...

(updated: 3 October 2015)