Brewing in Singapore

One man's adventure of brewing beer in Asia.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

By the Numbers

Happy New Year Everyone!

Can it really be 2006 already? Whoa! Just a few days ago (seemingly) it was 1978, Led Zeppelin was blaring out of my little lemon yellow cassette player and I was trying to decide if I would look good in one of those John Travolta disco suits, and if so would it help me get any chicks (BTW - the answer to both of those questions turned out to be a
resounding NO!) Now, here we are more than a quarter century later and I am not really very comfortable with the math that got us here. I think I'm gonna need a couple a beers to help sort it all out.

Last week (back in 2005) we went over to Indonesia to the Length Brewery to brew a test batch of beer. Well, really we went over to assist their regular brewers in making the beer.
Xiao Chu (their Head brewer) and Chandra (his assistant) did most of the real work. We helped out where we could and monitored the process. We is Ernest, Tony and myself. Ernest and Tony the only two all grain homebrewers in the whole of Singapore. That's a pretty cool claim - the ONLY two all grain home brewers in the entire country! - Yes, it's true Singapore is not huge place, but that truly makes them each one in a million (actually they are 2 in just over 4 million, but who's counting).

I thought it was great that they wanted to go over to help, and as I have said before without Ernest's help in translating I am sure I would never have been able to set up the deal to brew there, much less pull off the actual brewing. We brewed a Sienna Ginger ale (with palm sugar added). I think that Xiao Chu found the idea of putting Ginger and Palm sugar in the beer a bit odd. The thought of the ginger clogging up his heat exchanger freaked him out a bit but he was willing to give it a try. In the end the beer went off by the numbers and we hit our gravity, color and flavors specs. We pitched my favorite hard floccing London Ale yeast and pretty soon the fermentation was moving along.

Not too much later we were drinking beer in the Length Brewery Pub, and of course a bit of Makan. Mr. Tan (the brewery owner) is an excellent host and a great cook. He and his kitchen staff made up two dishes that were fantastic, a mullet steamed with thinly sliced ginger, and pork in onion and garlic stir fry. Both dishes were amazingly good (ho brah, broke da mouth) and they went great with the Length Brewery's Dragon beers.

We need to go back next week to give the beer a try and keg some up to bring back here for taste test analysis. Taste test analysis sound so scientific - we're gonna drink some and then talk about it. If everybody like the concept of the beer then we refine it a bit, or if it is all but perfect (as I am sure it will be, well .... hope it will be) then we will have our third and final start up beer. Of course I'll need to develope a few seasonal beers too.

Back in Singapore our brewery building is still on schedule. The roof is on, the walls are up, the window frames are in, and next week they will start laying the tile. It is really looking good. Mr. Chua (Thiam Construction Company's project manager) has the crews working 24 hours a day sometimes just to keep us on schedule. They have 24 days left before Chinese New Years (and the cessation of all work in SE Asia). It's great to work with a company who is committed to getting the job done on time. In less than 30 days I will be moving my stuff into a new office. Then all we will need is brewing equipment, but that is coming along as well.

For more photos of the brewery's progress (and Singapore) check


At 4:57 AM, Blogger yuffy said...

no other home ........brewers etc in singapore? lots of people have been brewing even before it became legal, except some dont feel the need to join a /the club.

At 4:49 AM, Blogger Fal Allen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Fal Allen said...

Yuffy, Glad you are checking out the blog. If you want to check out the club too please e-mail me. You don't have to join but it is good to hang out with other brewers and talk about beer. Everyone is welcome brewer or not

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Red Cracker said...

I recently did my first AG brew..does that make me the 3rd in Singapore? :)


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