I got the greatest news this weekend, me and my brewing partner took first place at the Beijing Craft Beer Festival! I really had no idea we would do any good, for me it was just cool to be able to say we had an entry. The festival was really well attended, and there were several local craft brewers there including Boxing Cat, Slow Boat and Great Leap. A couple of the guys completely ran out of beer.
All home brewing in China is done using the all grain method, at least as far as I have seen. But our winning beer was was brewed using the Black IPA kit from Northern Brewer
. My wife was in NYC on business and Northern Brewer shipped this kit and a ton of other equipment to her hotel, and she was a trooper carrying it back home.
Yin Hai is a great friend
who rents a small space called a hutong so he can brew somethere and keep out of trouble with his wife. We have nicknamed it the Brewtong and while I can brew at home, this brew was done over at his place
. It is great fun brewing with this guy who has to be the biggest homebrew/beer fanatic in China.
I am sorry to say we did not follow the instructions for the Black IPA kit exactly. Due to time constraints and just not wanting to mess up what we had, we ended up skipping the entire secondary fermentation process. You just have to realize that homebrewing in China is in its infancy and we are still struggling with getting everything precise. There is ZERO automation of anything, and even our brewpots do not have valves. But we will improve, and learn, and I am certain things will only get better and better.