India Pale Ales
Making a home-brewed India Pale Ale (IPA) is great for any occasion. It covers a wide range of beers so you can explore until you find your favourite. Learning how to make the different IPA styles can help you perfect the craft. And if you are just starting with craft beers you can turn to reliable recipes in an IPA home brew kit.
Historically, the India Pale Ale was the type of beer that could survive shipping (2 to 6 months) and still maintain high quality after it was delivered overseas. It was a gradual process, but eventually, beer makers established that hops and high concentrations of malt are two of the most important ingredients to do so. Hops acted as a natural preservative and added bitterness. Malt served to increase the alcohol levels. There are many nuances to this, but in essence, your IPA is a boozy and hoppy beer.
IPA’s are a great way to introduce someone to craft beer. It’s not uncommon for these types of beer to have a fruity flavour. If you buy the right IPA home brew kit you can make one by yourself too. Keep in mind the type of mood you want to set for the party. Session IPA’s have less alcohol (and are meant for a ‘session’ drinking). When you want to get drunk, grab a double IPA – it has more malt and you drink it to feel a buzz.
James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale
This is your Aussie IPA. In this pack, you get brewery grade American ale yeast along with 50g fresh hops and 3.2kg of Pale and Pilsner Malts. Compiled to honour James Squire, it has Amarillo and Cascade hops. There is a bigger version (170 Lashes) but you can also taste the malty heart with the regular pack.
West Coast IPA
It certainly is a big category, but we would recommend starting with the Sierra Nevada recipes. You need American hops and ale yeast for this one, so it’s exactly what you’ll find in the kit. The end product should have a texture like a biscuit and an abundance of malt flavours.
New England IPA
One of the newer more bold recipes. The packs have wheat and pilsner malt extracts, British ale yeast and 125 gm extra hop. Bitterness should be conservative, with the extra hops contributing more to a fruity flavour and the softer mouthfeel.
The ultimate session brew tailored to be true to century-old tradition. So, we are talking about English pale malt extract, ale yeast (British style) and hop, unlike any other English beer. Bitter, rich in flavour and with hop additions creating powerful aroma.
Beer takes time to brew and to taste good. Now, there might be some types of food that taste better the next day, but having fresh meat cooked on the barbie does it for me. Fortunately, this is not only my personal preference but our national standard for backyard fun over the weekend.
Getting the right kind of barbecue meat is fairly straightforward. You are saved from the meticulous processing of ingredients typical for home brewing. And if the guests are regular, you know their favourite dishes too. If you are a farmer you don’t need to bother, just make your signature dish.
What does stand in the way of streamlining this process is the quality of your barbecue for entertaining. The needs are slightly different – you cook a lot of meat so you need a set with extended capacity. And you certainly need an outdoor barbecue to make the exposure to all that heat more bearable. Since this is a barbecue for your yard you also have to put some thought into the choice of a power source. This is not your electric indoor kitchen appliance, although you can make it so if you wish.
It’s a sort of an unwritten rule that a portable propane gas outdoor barbecue is the best option for backyard entertaining. These models come with up to six burners and one can prepare a lot of meat in one go. They are freestanding and hooded, but you can also go for a set that includes an alfresco kitchen with heavy-duty cabinets. The attention to details and the care put into these outdoor burners will make you look like a professional.
Don’t look only at the total cook area, although it’s an important consideration. Check the quality of the materials if you want a long term solution. They make them from stainless steel these days, and with protective enamel to ensure long service life. Grills are made from cast iron and side burners increase your options.
Between the IPA homebrew beer and fresh barbecue who can dare skip your backyard party?