Well, here I am, writing my first ever blog. In this blog I’m going to diarise my attempts at starting a Micro-Brewery in Japan. As a Westerner whose Japanese is ok, but not fluent enough to start a business this is going to be a challenge. Given the climate of where I live and the availability of raw materials it will be even more of a challenge.
So I need to start at the very beginning, as micro as I can get and this means Home Brew. Now, compared to Home Brew in my home country, the UK, I have some extra challenges. Space is a massive factor. I simply can’t brew up to 20 litres of beer at a time. I’m going to have to settle for 5 litres at a time. This is fine as I’m going to need to fine tune my technique anyway and experiment with a number of recipes. The second challenge is that for beginners like me, the books and experts always recommend using ‘kits’. These kits use ready made ‘wort’. Wort is the syrupy stuff you usually throw the yeast into to start the fermentation off. My problem is that kits don’t come in 5 litres packs. Usually 20 and maybe even 10, I don’t have space to store 20 or more bottles in any case. The answer, make your own wort. This however is not for novices. I will have to just jump straight into the advanced level stuff.
The climate: It is just too warm to brew in summer without some serious cooling apparatus. I will come to that later…probably next year…
The availability of raw materials: Beer is basically made of water, malt and hops with yeast used in the fermentation stages (Primary and Secondary). Water will be fine. Malt and hops, not so much. My ingenious plan, if I don’t mind saying so myself, is to grow both (sometime in the future). Hops will probably be the easier of the two, but that in itself, given the climate will not be straightforward either.
Given the number of challenges and the ideas I have to overcome these (I won’t spoil it now, I want most of them to be a surprise!) I think this should be an interesting journey.