Want To Fine-Tune Your Beer Recipes? These 4 Local Online Stores Cover All Your Requirements
If you’re one of those brewers who lives by the saying “Once you go craft, you never go back”, it’s likely that you’ve experimented with, or at least contemplated small-batch brewing. These experimental concoctions serve as pilot batches, that can be continuously adjusted till a highly palatable brew is created. This way, perfect beer recipes can be duplicated in full-scale breweries without the risk of a subpar batch. What’s more, you can now have all the equipment and ingredients delivered right to your doorstep.
If you’ve already taken a step in this direction, you probably would have noticed there is no single perfect method or formula to go about it. In general, there are 3 types of small-batch brewing.
In this method, grains are pre-processed into a sugary form of liquid malt extract (LME) or dry malt extract (DME). This allows you to simply boil the extract to form the wort, throw in your hops and get ready for yeast pitching. Equivalent to getting a frozen pizza – all you have to do is bake it.
It involves multiple pieces of equipment to mash grains and create the wort, providing the brewer a high level of control over the flavor and color of the beer. Equivalent to creating a pizza dough and sauces from scratch.
The middle ground between the above methods, essentially using a smaller amount of grains than an all-grain brew supplemented with extracts. This significantly reduces the time and effort spent on mashing. Equivalent to buying pizza dough and baking with toppings of your choice.
A relatively new phenomenon that simplifies all-grain brewing to a single vessel process by utilizing a nylon or mesh bag.
“Small-batch brewing is a great way to compare beer profiles, for example, to figure out which of 2 hops brings out a more palatable and balanced flavour in an IPA, you can create a split batch out of the same wort. This method can be extended to other ingredients, processes, temperatures, etc.” says Amit Mishra, Master Brewer, The Bier Library
Whether you decide to start with extract brewing or leap directly into all-grain, these homegrown e-commerce platforms have got you covered.
Considered one of the ‘OGs’ that led the rise of the hobby brewing culture in India, Arishtam believes in promoting the delicate art of fermentation. Unlike mainstream e-commerce platforms, they don’t just sell equipment and ingredients but provide an exhaustive database of DIY tutorials and guidance that is free to use. Its founder, Ankur Aggarwal, regularly conducts (online) workshops addressing a variety of topics on brewing beer, wine and probiotics like kombucha. The brew kits on offer are designed not to make a dent in your budget but rather encourage the utilization of general household items.
What sets it apart: The comprehensive DIY tutorials are sure to answer any questions you might have pertaining to pico brewing
Backed by DVKSP Impex, the global giants of raw materials import/export, Brewof boasts a plethora of ingredients to satisfy the complex requirements of professional brewers. They’ve got LMEs, DMEs and all-grain recipe kits ranging from a basic Hefeweizen to a dry-hopped Centennial IPA. Most of their equipment and fittings are made locally in India, which is definitely a plus point.
What sets it apart: The diverse list of raw materials sourced from across the world
Starting off as an equipment and ingredients supplier to major microbreweries in India, Brewnation recently expanded its operations with the launch of an online brewing supply store. Their expansive list of brewing ingredients, equipment and glassware is constantly being updated to accommodate new arrivals, such as Lallemand’s Kveik yeast strain. There is something for all levels of beer enthusiasts, with a BIAB Beginners Kit to the BrewZilla 35L – a portable electric brewing system. Founded by a brewer and distiller, Ankit Sethi, Brewnation’s dedication to craft beer has resulted in collaborations with brewers across the country to make clone recipes of popular brews.
What sets it apart: The specially designed collaboration recipe kits like Chilli Lager by The Biere Club, Doolally’s Munich Helles, Moonshine Meadery’s Traditional Mead, and many more!
“There are very interesting beer styles out there to re-create but getting your hands on a suitable reference beer is not easy in India. Want to experience the wonders of what Norwegian Kveik yeast can do? Or sample a Polish smoked wheat beer called Grodziskie? Better brew them yourself!” says Aishwarya Ritti, Former Head Brewer, Brahma Brews
Another new addition to the list, MyBrewery was launched in 2019 with a mission to simplify the process of brewing beer. They are credited for introducing the all-in-one brewing equipment that can be used for boiling and mashing, after which it transforms into a fermenting vessel. It’s called the Master Brewer. Along with one of the recipe kits available on the website, the Master Brewer is supposed to reduce brewing time from 6 hours to just around 3 hours.
What sets it apart: The Master Brewer allows easy progression to advanced forms of brewing, without having to invest in more equipment
Tell us about other sources that you may have come across in the comments below. Happy brewing!