I know: this post has nothing to do with ancient beer. However, the ancient ruins of the acropolis were visible on brew day. Every entry counts.

Each summer, I live in Athens, Greece to conduct archaeological fieldwork and do research at the world-class libraries. After being bitten by the homebrew-bug this past year, I decided to check out the Greek capitol’s homebrew-situation – not much. A single store, AleBox, offers some basic supplies. Early in my stay, I took the  1.5 hour jaunt in the heat and humidity to the store. I bought some basic beer ingredients there and additional equipment at the downtown flee-market. The 5 liter “fermenter,” a water bottle, is the jewel of the collection (pictured above). Altogether, my “brewery” in Athens makes my modest home set-up look like Sierra Nevada.

My haul

One 5 l water bottle; One 6 l pot; Air lock and stopper; Meat thermometer; Funnel; BIAB sack; 2 kg Maris otter; 0.5 kg Caramel malt 40L; 0.1 kg Chocolate malt; 20 g EKG hops; 20 g Amarillo hops; M44 Yeast; Safale S-04 Yeast; M79 Yeast

I was then forced to drink fancy German flip-top beers for the first two weeks to get the proper bottles sans bottling equipment– poor me.

By the end, I made 4 brews: Belgian Bitter (bitter ingredients; my non-A/Ced apartment drove up the esters to the point where my membrane was more than insane), Stout, Strawberry Beer, Amarillo IPA (bottled yesterday). I did not have a hydrometer, but my calculations suggest that all except the IPA were under 4% ABV. I was also without a scale and had to “eyeball” all the measurements.

In the picture, my stout is a-brewin’. The acropolis is visible from this terrace (totes rad). All things considered, this turned out to be a decent, simple beer.

Αθηνα Oatmeal Stout

0.5 kg Maris Otter
0.08 kg Caramel Malt 40L
0.08 kg Chocolate Malt
0.1 kg Rolled oats
9 g EKG hops (60 min)

Mash in 6 liters of water @ 153o F for 60 min. After the boil, 4 l of wort remained. Pitch over yeast cake from bitter (Mangrove Jack Burton M79). Fermentation kicked off more violently than the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon. Bottled in a week.

Featured Images
Αθηνα Oatmeal Stout while brewing. Source: own work.




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