OnTap Magazine

I t’s a pretty long drive from Durban to Greyton; 1592km to be precise. But is this long enough to complete a fermentation and have a drinkable beer by the time you arrive in the Overberg hamlet? This is a question we pondered just before Fools & Fans back in 2020. Then, of course, Covid arrived and dashed all plans, so we put the idea on ice. This year’s Fools & Fans was our first beer festival since lockdown began, so we were super amped to see everyone again. The attending brewers were planning some spectacularly interesting, weird and wonderful beers for the fest so it seemed the perfect time to re-hash this plan of ours: to ferment our festival IPA on the road. BEER THAT TRAVELS WELL So why an IPA? It just seemed the perfect fit. First of all, IPAs are best when drunk fresh – and this beer was not going to get any ageing time before we served it at the fest. What’s more, hop character can be accentuated and become juicier when added during active fermentation (known as biotransformation), which we were definitely going to be doing. Additionally, as our safety net, we also know that IPAs, with their intense hop forward aroma and flavour, are a littlemore forgiving should any unexpected fermentation characteristics arise during this unconventional ferment. Plus we both love the style. Of course, the back of Brew’n-Hilda – our lovingly named bakkie – has no temperature control, so we decided to use Oslo Kveik. Supplied by Liquid Culture, this yeast ferments happily and vigorously anywhere up to 37°C. We also thought that the constant vibration of the drive might help to speed up the fermentation and potentially reduce harsh fermentation characters by “shaking” the CO2 out of solution (which in higher levels can add a toxicity to the yeast and therefore slow fermentation). So on the Tuesday before the fest, in between packing our bags, planning the route and buying final bits and pieces for our trip, the beer was brewed. We pitched the yeast at about 4pm that afternoon, and tried not to worry too much that we were planning on packing this very wort into the back of the bakkie at 5:30am. HOTDOGS AND POTHOLES We needn’t have worried. The airlock was already vigorously bubbling when we It was so great to finally be back at a beer festival. Beautiful mountain passes and locust swarms, Brew'n-Hilda dealt with it all. It's easy to find inspiration on a South African roadtrip. Too exhausted to even have a beer ontapmag.co.za | Winter 2022 | 33