Brewing aboard

I’m sure we’ve mentioned our bubbly experiments a few times already, but as there have been questions recently and an article from us about that topic in Cruising World I thought it was time to write a new blog entry.

Alcohol is horribly expensive here in the South Pacific, so many locals brew their own ‘komo’ (fermented sugarwater with yeast, that’s how we got started years ago…). They use baker’s yeast and the results are strong, but have a distinct scent–like old socks or smelly shoes. The solution for this problem is using proper wine yeast (available at online shops, e.g. brouwland.be, or holzeis.at, etc.)
For us it’s not just a matter of saving money, but also storage: we love hanging out in remote areas without beach bars or supermarkets, but we still enjoy our sundowners, so brewing aboard is the perfect solution for us.

Fermenting fruit juices is easiest:
Fill one liter of 100% apple or raisin juice (or whatever, make sure it does not contain artificial sweeteners!) into a container, add 1 liter of water, 1 cup of sugar and ½ tsp of champagne or wine yeast (available at home-brew stores) and shake well. Leave standing with an airlock on top (or the lid half closed) for some days and keep tasting—when the sugar’s gone it’s ready. Sterilize 6 ½ l pressure bottles, put 1 tsp of sugar into each bottle and pour in the bubbly (leaving the yeasty goo in the container). Wait for 1-2 weeks and enjoy a light, bubbly ‘champagne-like’ drink!

Christian loves his beer, but starting from scratch is too complicated, so we buy ‘beer kits’ that contain a syrup and yeast.
To start brewing beer you’ll need:
1 beer kit (e.g. Munton’s Export Pilsener) of 1.8 kg
1 big container (23 litres)
23 l bottles or 46 1/2 l bottles (we use coke bottles, the only reason we buy coca cola occasionally)
1 air lock (to put on the big container)
disinfectant to prepare the gear (baby-bottle disinfectant from the pharmacy or special disinfectant from the home-brew shop)
enough patience to make it over 3 weeks of waiting time

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