Brewing is a sub-category of Cooking which is much more complicated and time consuming than the cooking of other foods, but the results are quite useful, for most of them boost assorted stats. Mature ales, especially if collected in calquat kegs, are very valuable.
The brewing process
To brew ales, you have to use the fermenting vats located in either of the breweries in either Keldagrim on the east side of the River Kelda (upstairs in the pub) or in the basement of the pub in Port Phasmatys. Each place has only one vat, and they must come to completion before another ale can be attempted. One can either left click on an empty fermenting vat to be brought to a one-click menu for brewing (with or without using the stuff). Alternatively these steps can be followed to brew manually.:
- 2 buckets of water must be added to the fermenting vat.
- 2 lots of barley malt is added to fermenting vat next. This is made by cooking barley, grown through farming, on a range.
- (Optional) 1 bag of The stuff added to fermenting vat. This will provide a 50% increase in the chance of your ale being mature. It is obtained from the Trouble Brewing minigame, on the isle of Mos Le'Harmless. The quest Cabin Fever must be completed to access this island. It can also be bought with 2 thaler obtained from the Minigame Spotlight. This cannot be done with cider, as the brewing process is different from normal ales.
- Add the distinguishing ingredients that determine which beer/ale you are making. For instance, you will need 4 Asgarnian Hops to make Asgarnian ale.
- 1 pot of ale yeast is added to the fermenting vat as the last ingredient, beginning the brewing process. An NPC near the vat will fill your empty pots with ale yeast for a very small fee each pot (25 coins at Keldagrim, 5 Ecto-tokens (remember your amulet of ghostspeak unless completed Hard Morytania Tasks) at Port Phasmatys).
- Once the ale yeast is added, the ale will usually take several days to brew. If the brew is not ready, the vat will look murky and you cannot see the bottom of the vat. The examine text will also say, "[ale] is fermenting in this vat." If you attempt to turn the valve prematurely, you will receive the prompt, "Are you sure you want to drain the vat?" If you drain the vat prematurely, you will abort the ale you were making. Fermenting often takes 24–72 hours, and sometimes more. Depending on your Cooking level, it may take as low as 12 hours on the Keldagrim fermenting vat, but the Port Phasmatys vat will usually take a longer time to ferment in the order of +1–2 days.
- Once it is done brewing (visually, you can see the bottom of the vat through the ale and the examine will say "This vat is filled with [ale name]."), turn the valve between the vat and the attached barrel to move brewed ale to the barrel, but make sure the barrel is empty first.
- Use 8 beer glasses or 2 Calquat kegs on the barrel.
The contents of the vat will change colour as the fermenting progresses, becoming very noticeably different when the ale is ready.
- Head to the brewery and put four of the apples in the nearby Apple Barrel. The players' character will mush the apples, making a bucket of apple mush.
- Use empty buckets on the apple barrel to get a bucket of apple mush.
- Repeat for four buckets
- Add all four to the fermenting vat
- Add the ale yeast into the fermenting vat
- Wait a few days
- Return and collect using 8 beer glasses or 2 calquat kegs
Buckets of water are not required to make cider. 2 Barley malt are required to brew a normal cider. The stuff can be added when brewing cider to make a mature cider.
With normal brewing, a player can randomly make matured ale, shown by a (m) appended to the name of the drink (or (m1-4) for a calquat keg, noting how many pints are left in the keg). Matured ale is stronger than normal ale, providing an additional +1/-1 to the ales original boosts. (example: dwarven stout +1 Mining/Smithing, dwarven stout (m) +2 Mining/Smithing)
The stuff is available from Honest Jimmy for 5 pieces of eight, which are a plentiful reward at the Trouble Brewing activity. it is highly recommended that a player attempting this activity read the guide on how to play it beforehand. The stuff increases the chance of the ale you are brewing becoming mature by 50%.
The stuff must be added right after the barley malt is added. If the player tries to add it after the distinguishing ingredient or after the yeast, it is too late, and will be told he or she can't add that to this vat.
The stuff is not required to make a mature ale, it simply increases the chances.
Occasionally ale will become bad. Even at high Cooking levels this happens around 20% of the time. The bad ale will be a semi-transparent lime-green colour in the fermenting vat and have the examine text "This vat is filled with bad ale." Turning the valve will drain the bad ale from the vat into the barrel. The bad ale cannot be collected, only drained from the barrel. The bad ale in the barrel will have the examine text "The barrel is now full of bad ale."
Types of ales and ciders
- For a cost-analysis of brewing each ale, see Calculator:Cooking/Brewing
All player made brews can be collected in either beer glasses or calquat kegs. If the player decides to use beer glasses, one vat will produce eight glasses of the chosen brew. If the player uses calquat kegs, one vat will produce two kegs each with 4 doses. Calquat kegs are considerably more valuable and do not need to be grown by the player using them (especially since they're cheap when empty). The increased value stems from the fact that a keg allows a player to stack up to four appropriate boosts into one inventory space instead of 4 separate glasses of beer. A calquat keg, when filled with a brew, take on the name of the brew it is filled with, in the general form: [ale name] (4), with the (4) noting how many doses it still contains. Mature ale is only slightly different, following this form: [ale name] (m4), "m" noting maturity, and the number noting the number of doses remaining.
All brews have a mature version. A mature ale has increased potency compared to its counterpart. Any mature ale will increase the basic boost of that ale by approximately +1 or +2 varying with the appropriate brew and it is effects. All ales except Moonlight mead decrease attack, and all ales except Asgarnian ale, Dragon bitter, and Moonlight mead decrease strength. Some of the brews have a variable boost amount which is relative to the player's level, boosting more as the player's level increases. Mature ales also have increased stat decreasing effects of the same general increased potency as they are bonuses.
|Ale||Level||Experience||Total healing (matured)||Boosts[notes 1]||Distinct Ingredient||Notes|
|Cider (m)||14||182||140 (170)||See instructions above.
4 buckets of apple mush, 1 ale yeast.[notes 2]
|One of the few items that boost Farming.|
|Dwarven stout (m)||19||215||190 (220)||4 Hammerstone hops||Dwarven stout is one of a few Smithing-boosting items in the game. Used to be valuable, until mature dwarven stouts became a pickpocketing loot item in Prifddinas.|
|Asgarnian ale (m)||24||248||240 (270)||4 Asgarnian hops||Apparently capable of dissolving gold.|
|Greenman's ale (m)||29||281||290 (320)||4 Clean harralander||Mature version is extremely valuable: Provides +2 Herblore boost. Recommended to always collect this ale in a calquat keg.|
|Wizard's mind bomb (m)||34||314||340 (370)||4 Yanillian hops||Sometimes shortened to WMB, this item boosts relative to the player's Magic level. Mages with a Magic level lower than 50 get a +2 boost while mages 50 and above gain a +3 boost.|
|Dragon bitter (m)||39||347||390 (420)||4 Krandorian hops||Rarely useful.|
|Moonlight mead (m)||44||380||440 (470)||None||4 Bittercap mushrooms||This ale heals the player instead of affecting stats. This ale's mature version heals 470 LP, and when gathered into a calquat keg this adds to 1880 LP in one inventory slot.|
|Axeman's folly (m)||49||413||490 (520)||1 oak roots||This ale's mature version is very valuable: Provides +2 Woodcutting.
This ale is a good way for players to make a large amount of money with little effort, as the ingredients are very cheap.
|Chef's delight (m)||54||446||540 (570)||4 chocolate dust||This ale's mature version is extremely valuable: Provides +2-6 Cooking and is a preferred alternative to spicy stew. Chef's delight works similar to the wizard's mind bomb, providing a boost relative to the player's level. Low level players will receive only a partial boost, while players with more experience will receive the full boost (level 80 for full boost).|
|Slayer's respite (m)||59||479||590 (620)||4 Wildblood hops||One of very few items which boost Slayer.|
|Pigswill (m)||64||525||880||4 raw bacon||Requires completion of Bringing Home the Bacon.|
For players interested in larger scale production of ales, the question of "is it ready" comes up very often. The answer boils down to: several days. Ale making is very slow, and once the vat is started, there's nothing to do except come back later and collect it if it's ready.
In exact function, ale has 2 chances of performing any action at all, called "turning," every 12 hours. When an ale reaches a turning point, one of 4 things can happen:
- The ale does nothing, and continues brewing (most common, 4-out-of-5 turns will do nothing)
- The ale "sets," advancing a stage closer to harvesting, noted by a deepening of the colour of the brew (approx: 1/5 chance overall)
- The ale may go bad (around 1/20 chance)
- The ale may jump completely to finished (very rare)
- 1-"turn" completion is exceedingly rare, and has only been reported at the Keldagrim vat. In even rarer instances, ales have even gone mature in a single "turn." The chances of this appear to be less than 1/100.
Once an ale has "Set," which will be noted by a deepening of the colour of the liquid in the vat, it will continue to brew. Set ales continue the same standard process as the previous stage, with similar chances, again taking place every 12 hours. Once the ale has "set" a second time (noted by a very obvious texture change of the liquid in the vat), it will be ready to collect. Ales go mature, if they mature, during their final "set" phase only. Going mature vs not going mature is completely random in nature, but is aided by Cooking level and greatly aided by use of the stuff.
After the second setting, the ale will no longer continue to brew, and will remain as-is in the vat until harvested. If the ale has finished and is not mature, it no longer has the chance to become mature, nor will it go bad.
The reality is that most batches of ale take around 3–5 days to finish, grouping mostly around the 3-4 day range. 2-3 day batches completions are uncommon, but happen often enough to be significant. 1-2 day completions do happen, but are scarce enough to become a pleasant surprise at best. There is at least one known instance of a vat (Phasmatys) taking well over 2 weeks to complete, but over-time batches are also fairly rare. 95% of all ale batches will finish within 7 days. On average, 2 (closer to 2-and-a-half) batches can be harvested per week (per vat) at a decent Cooking level.
Although the results of "turning" are random overall, the player's Cooking level will have an effect on the outcome, increasing the chance of "setting", and decreasing the chances of going bad. Following the general trend in Cooking, the higher the level of the ale being made, the lower the chances of the batch completing quickly, and the higher the chances of the batch going bad. Conversely, the higher the player's Cooking level, the higher the chances of batch "setting," and the lower the chance of the batch going bad. Players with high Cooking levels (70+) can expect less than 1/20 batches to go bad, making ale brewing a very good way to make some extra cash for cheap, and with little effort. A full batch of a few types of ale, in their mature forms, are worth over 100k per vat-full (see Chef's delight (m)). Players with Cooking levels of around 70-80 who use the stuff can expect to see around 75-80% of their vats go mature.
For players wishing to collect as soon as possible, the best strategy is to check the vat every 12 to 18 hours, until the vat is ready. Ales will not be ready in less than this time under any circumstances. Checking the vat every 20 minutes, or every 4 hours, or at some regular interval less than 12 hours will simply waste the player's time, analogous to checking on a freshly planted Fruit Tree every 10 minutes to see if it has finished growing yet. If the player is lucky, their ale may be ready in as little as 12 hours, but will otherwise almost always take roughly 2 to 3 days. Players are best off checking their vats daily or twice daily, and not seriously expecting any result for 2 or more days.