Wednesday, February 06, 2008

the Brewing of the Beer

Ahh, summer of 1992. Remember those wonderful days of our youth? If you weren't born yet, I feel strange about you reading my blog..... Well, in the summer of 1992, just after graduating from Linfield, I decided I wanted to make homebrew beer. I visited Powells and picked up a book and set out to acquire the items needed to brew beer. The funny part was that my dad laughed at all the equipment relaying stories that he used to brew beer in the bathtub. What was wrong with the bathtub?....he would ask....

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Fast forward to 2008 and Mikey, Anna and I are brewing some beer. Mike and I visited Steinbarts for the ingredients and lo and behold, beer was being brewed. Granted, we started with a beer at the Green Dragon, then wings at Fire on the Mountain and oh yeah, a pitcher of Amnesia. Who says you shouldn't dring when brewing?

The simple steps are as follows:
  • 2 gallons of water heated to 150 deg.
  • 1/2 lb of Victory malt and 1/2 lb of Crystal malt cracked.
  • Grains in water for 10-15 min.
  • Remove grains (we had a mesh bag to facilitate this.)
  • Add in Malt Extract (gooey stuff) and bring to a boil.
  • Stir Stir Stir.
  • Boil for an hour with 1 oz of Amarillo hops.
  • After boil, cool WORT to 75 deg.
  • Mix WORT with 3 gallons of clean water in a bucket.
  • When temperature is around 75 deg, transfer to CARBOY - straing out hops while pouring through fresh hops.
  • Add Yeast!
  • Store in dark, yet moderately warm space. In the winter it should stay above 65, but no higher than 75 deg.
  • Attach fermentation plug and hose and leave for a couple of days.
Those are broad strokes on the process. There are many more steps in the process even I don't know. I guess we're making an Extract Ale similar to what a Sierra Nevada would be like. We succeeded in getting the WORT boiled and strained into the Carboy. Only one minor spill. We added the initial yeast and moved the carboy to the basement to vent off. After a day, nothing was happening, so I asked a brewer and it was suggested that the yeast may have been bad. We added more yeast.
One day later, still no activity. I asked another brewer and he suggested that the basement may be too cool for the yeast. After moving the carboy upstairs, it just took off and began spewing the goop that happens when beer ferments. What a joy to see your little baby spitting off gas.

So, here we are. The beer is actively fermenting in a bedroom closet. We need to get and clean bottles and begin planning for batch 2. So So exciting.

mikey stir

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1 comment:

Vicki Jean said...

Beer is a lot like bread -- it likes to be warm.

My sweetie is getting rid of his brewing supplies. I don't know what he has at this point, but perhaps I can divert some to you.