Beer Is My Spiritual Guide

As I delve deeper and deeper into the world of nutrition, more and more do my prejudices, handed to me on a platter (no pun intended), by the powers that be, crumble into dust.

One of these is my prejudice in regards alcohol. We are told incessantly not to drink alcohol. It is, our Masters tell us, the root of all evil. Yet if it is so evil, why is it that every society, no matter how primitive, has a tradition of brewing?

Brewing is simple. All you need is a source of sugar and a source of yeast. If your source of sugar is left alone, it will probably ferment by itself. Alternatively, you can add yeast.

These days the simplicity is hidden from us. Brewing is presented to us as if it were some kind of magic that only the gods of Anheuser-Busch, InBev or SAB have access to. Yet, these gods are false gods. The truth is that brewing, like the spirit, exists everywhere, even on your skin and in your intestines. Fermentation exists everywhere. It is only those who would deny nature, that would deny the ubiquity of fermentation.

False god - worship at own risk

My first attempt at beer has been interesting. I used a light malt extract, some spray malt, Safbrew S-33 yeast and Premiant hops. I have to admit that I didn't follow any recipe. The only thing I was careful about was the yeast, because it was warm I sought out a high temperature yeast. S-33 seemed to fit the bill.

On the basis that everything takes twice as long as the fanboys usually tell you, I took the advice of those who said:

  • Keep the brew sitting in the primary fermentation vat for at least two weeks, possibly three (instead of one).
  • it's good to to let the beer condition in the bottles for at least a few weeks (instead of one).

It's good I've waited. S-33 has a vigorous first fermentation, which suddenly stops. Yet the forums suggest S-33 keeps doing its work for weeks or months. I've sampled the brew at various stages. Now, at last, about four weeks after bottling, it's starting to taste quite good. In the next few months the flavours should really mellow.

I'll report back.

Trauma and Distress at Diet's End

When I awoke, it was already sunny. I arose and padded across the stone floor to the lounge room. Through the ceiling-to-floor glass doors shone the sun. I slid them open and stepped onto the patio.

I turned back towards the kitchen. The wall clock showed 5 a.m.

My stomach was screaming for food. I started frying some eggs and put the Mocha coffee pot on for strong coffee.

With trembling hands, I poured the coffee, slid the eggs onto a plate and went out to the patio. The eggs and coffee calmed my stomach. The protein and fat lulled it.

Four hours later my housemates started to emerge from dreamland. They set to laying the breakfast table, piling the table with mounds of white-flour baguettes. Sitting around these odious piles of carbs, they would reach them, tear them apart and slaver them with butter and jam.

I felt awkward and withdrew. At 11 a.m. I raided the fridge for ham. At 1.30 everyone was tucking into a hearty lunch at a restaurant, I had a grilled chicken breast with no side of carbs.

My diet was finished. I shouldn't have been losing any more weight. Yet, I was.

Back from holiday, I could weigh myself; I was shocked. I needed ways to increase my calorie consumption. I started to eat yet more meat, more vegetables, more tins of sardines; the weight kept coming off.

I was failing.

There was answer an answer though. It came quickly and unexpectedly. It came during one of those errors of judgement which the Wise always counsel you against. The answer was with friends, in a pub, around a table. The answer came in glass packages containing 200 Calories each.

The answer was: beer.

The Answer