At the weekend I had ample opportunity to sample the fruits of my first brew with the Pinter Home Brew kit. What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day?…
As I stated in my recent piece about the Pinter, I started with the ‘Lockwood Pilsner’ Fresh Press.
Brewing with the Pinter is simple, you basically chuck in the fresh press, yeast and water and leave it to do its thing.
For Lockwood Pilsner it stated it needed to brew for 6 days and to condition for 2. This can be extended to an 8-day brew time and a 15-day condition, which should develop the flavour more.
I brewed for 8 days and then set the Pinter down to condition for around 7 days.
A few days into the condition, I did what you probably shouldn’t do, and that’s move the unit. Keeping the Pinter in the food fridge to condition meant removing shelves and taking up a lot of space.
Instead, I got a small countertop beer fridge from Sub Cold, which sits happily in the utility room. I worked it out that the Pinter fits snugly in Sub Cold’s ‘Super 50’ beer fridge, with space for beer cans too. The Pinter is not too heavy to move, but the weight does slightly bend the wire shelf in the fridge, making it precarious to place any precious beer bottles alongside.
Before tapping, I was told it is best to release the pressure using the valve at the back, rotating this round to ‘off’ before back to ‘carbonated’. A short rasp of air escapes as you do this, which can unsettle the contents of the Pinter. I found that I had to remove the Pinter from the fridge to see what I was doing, which probably disturbed the contents even more.
The first pour was very yeasty and undrinkable. Other Pinter owners from my ‘Pinter Chat’ WhatsApp group said much the same. I am fine with cloudy beer, but prefer a little less sediment than this.
However, clarity improved massively on the 2nd and 3rd days, and these beers were the best it was. The last pint or so was then cloudy again, but much better than the initial pour.
The carbonation was good. There were a good 4 fingers of foam in a pint glass even with careful pouring. It was easy to achieve lacing of foam down the glass.
On the 3rd day I saw my support bubble, including my lager-loving father-in-law.
There were murmurings of approval. He even had a second pint. A good sign.
For me, it had an attractive freshness but still felt a bit too rustic and yeasty for what should be a clean crisp pilsner. I prefer a deeper malt character with a bit less of the fresh dough aroma.
Still, there is potential with the system. There’s a lot to be said for producing foamy thirst-quenching pints on demand. Especially so when we are allowed to have more visitors.
I also enjoyed the experience, and I’m planning the next brew which will be ‘Dark Matter Stout’. I feel that after starting with a pilsner, this will be much easier to get right.
There’s nowhere to hide when brewing pilsners. Ken Grossman recently stated on the ‘Beer O’ Clock’ Podcast that Sierra Nevada ‘dial’ in new equipment by brewing stouts and porters before their legendary pale ale gets a look in.
Lockwood Pilsner: Brew Notes
Brew Time: 8 Days
• Would be interesting to see if a shorter brew time results in a sweeter beer.
Conditioning Time: 7 Days
• It says you can condition for 15 days. Brother in law managed 14 days with his and said it had a more developed flavour.
Lockwood Pilsner Tips
- Try not to move the Pinter too much during conditioning. This could unsettle it.
- The first pint is likely to be a sink pour, as there will be way too much yeast suspended. There may be some ways around this, but it would take up a lot more fridge space.
- I don’t think you need to brew for an extended 7-8 days that I did. This did result in a crisp taste and good carbonation though.
- I read that filtered water is best. I used tap water for this brew, but next time I will use filtered water from the fridge (my fridge has a decent water filter built-in).
- I’ll certainly try and follow the tips and tricks which are available on the website.