Brewing is a method of training the Cooking skill and allows players to create ales and other beverages, many of which provide temporary bonuses for certain stats. Brewing is objectively more complicated and time consuming than other parts of the Cooking skill, but the results can be more rewarding. Mature ales, especially if collected in calquat kegs, are very valuable.
To brew ales, you have to use the fermenting vats located in either of the breweries in either Keldagrim or Port Phasmatys. Each place has only one vat, and they must come to completion before another ale can be attempted. These are the steps to follow in order to brewing ale:
- 2 buckets of water must be added to the fermenting vat. (except for cider, where only the apple mush and nothing else is to be added.)
- 2 lots of barley malt 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 going mature. It is obtained from the Trouble Brewing activity, on the isle of Mos Le'Harmless. The quest Cabin Fever must be completed to access this island.
- Add the distinguishing ingredients that determine which beer/ale you are making.
- 1 pot of ale yeast is added to fermenting vat as the last ingredient, beginning the brewing process. An NPC near the vat will fill your empty pots with ale yeast for 25 coins each in Keldagrim or for 5 Ecto-tokens each in Port Phasmatys (remember to bring your amulet of ghostspeak or Morytania legs 2 or higher).
- Once the ale yeast is added, the ale will usually take one to two days to brew. If the brew is not ready, the examine text will say, "[whatever 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.
- Once it is done brewing (examine will say "This vat is filled with [whatever ale]."), 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. The result of filling an already full barrel are not productive.
- Use 8 beer glasses on the barrel or 2 Calquat kegs.
Note: 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 4 buckets of mashed apples. Once all 4 buckets are filled, add them to the fermenting vat, then the ale yeast into the fermenting vat and wait.
Note: Remember, you do NOT need to put in water or barley to make cider. The stuff also cannot be added to cider, as it has no mature phase.
With normal brewing, a player can randomly make a full vat of matured ale, shown by a (m) next to the drink or an (m1-4) for a calquat keg, noting how many pints are left in the keg. The chances of ale maturing depend of the type of ale being brewed rather than the player's Cooking level.
Matured ale is stronger than normal ale, providing an additional +1 to the ales original boost. (example: Dwarven Stout +1 mining/smithing, Dwarven Stout (m) +2 mining/smithing)
Note: "The Stuff" is NOT required to make a mature ale, it simply increases the chances.
"The stuff" is available from Honest Jimmy for 50 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 to 64%. You only have a 5% chance of a ale maturing without the use of the Stuff.
"The stuff" must be added right after the barly 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.
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."
Practical collection and harvesting of ales
For players interested in larger scale production of ales, the question of "when will it be ready" comes up very often. The answer boils down to: one to two 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 24 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 (rare-ish, around 1/20 chance), on ultra rare occasion, the ale may jump completely to finished(~). 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. Ale's 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.
(~)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.
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 cheep, and with little effort. Note that a full batch 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 are 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 extremely 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.
Types of ales and ciders
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 grown by the player using them (especially since they're really 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 except cider have a mature phase. 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 and Dragon bitter 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 their bonuses.
|Total healing||Boosts*||Distinct Ingredient||Notes|
|See instructions above.
4 buckets of apple mush, 1 ale yeast
No buckets of water, barley malt, or 'the stuff'
|One of very few items that boost Farming.|
|4 Hammerstone hops||Mature version is very valuable: Dwarven stout is one of the only Smithing-boosting items in the game.|
|4 Asgarnian hops||Apparently capable of dissolving gold.|
|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||34||314||1||
|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.|
|4 Krandorian hops.||Useful for some complex combat applications.|
|Moonlight mead||44||380||4||Heals: 4HP||4 Bittercap mushrooms||This ale heals the player instead of boosting stats, similar to basic beer. Some believe that it lowers Strength, but this is confirmed to be untrue.|
|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||54||446||1||Cooking: +5% + 1
|4 chocolate dust||This ale's mature version is extremely valuable: Provides +1-5 Cooking and is a preferred alternative to spicy stew. Chef's delight works similar to the wizards 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 (approximately level 70 for full boost from non-matured version).|
|4 Wildblood hops.||One of very few items which boost Slayer.|
* For a mature ale: Simply add +1 (or -1) to all stat effects of the basic ale. Example: Slayer's respite (m) Slayer: +2, Attack: -3, Strength: -3.