Thursday, January 1, 2009

Brewing in the New Year - Part 1

This Christmas, Santa was nice enough to bring a home brewing kit for my partner-in-crime, the Absent Minded Professor. "Brewing beer at home?" You could say, "What's the point?" It stinks, you're spending as much in ingredients as you would on a few packs of high quality brew, and there's no guarantee that it will turn out, not to mention the fact that you have to wait with the patience of a Tibetan monk to see if it even tastes okay. And you're absolutely right. But patience is a virtue, and I think that finding out where my favorite foods come from (and yes, beer is a food), is part of what being a Foodie Wannabe is all about.

Today was brew day, and we woke up with all the excitement of young scientists getting to break into a shiny new chemistry set. We started the brewing process. First, we boiled 1.5 gallons of water in a 12-qt stock pan. Then we took it off the heat, and stirred in 6 pounds of amber malt and 1.5 ounces of hops (we're making a red ale - I nominate we call it New Year Beer, the Professor wants to call it Maiden Voyage Ale). Returning the mixture to the heat, we let it boil and reduce for one hour. Then, we mixed in the last 0.5 ounce of hops and enough spring water to reach 5 gallons. We mixed the liquid over the tub, just in case. Crisis, and spills, averted, we let the mixture sit to cool to room temperature (4-5 hours). Then we added a packet of Dry Ale Yeast and stored it away for the fermenting magic to begin. The waiting game should take a few days, but let's be honest, we'll be vigilantly checking the container to see how everything is progressing. Updates will be coming soon - any other ideas for a name?

1 comment:

Becky Carroll said...

Sounds like fun, Jessica! Can't wait to hear about the tasting.