Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Brewing

Last Christmas my wife (I've always disliked the DW abbreviation for a spouse. DH always sounds like Designated Husband to me, though maybe that's just as accurate.) Anyway. Last Christmas my darling wife was going to surprise me with a Groupon for a brewing kit at the local brew shop. We went to the shop to check it out and it was stuffed to the gills with people wandering around with all kinds of weird crap. The staff was over worked and there was a line at the counter. I took a few panicked looks at the glass thingies, and the plastic whatsits and the whole row of brewing kits and ran.

Bad Image of what I got.
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Over the next few months I did some serious online research and found out that you don't have to sacrifice a rabbit every full moon to appease the brew gods and that brewing at home actually looked quite easy. And if I got the stuff for beer I could also make cider and soda. So here rolls my birthday, and another Groupon, this one for Midwest Brewing Supplies. These guys set me up with a novice brewing set and a couple of recipe kits





Within the month I had brewed my first batch of beer. A nice Autumn Amber brew. I tried it at every stage and got more and more worried as time went on. Then it was the 4th of July and I was going to drink my own beer by God. So I put a six pack in the fridge and resigned myself to shitty beer all day. As I started up the grill to cook the first of about 200 burgers that day I popped the top off one of my own beers and took a swig. Some sort of magical process had taken the swill I had tried not even three days before and turned it into liquid gold. I immediately ran home and put another 12 in the fridge.


Here is the fun thing about brewing your own beer, one of the fun things at least. You want people to try your beer, I'm like an Amway rep now. Knock, knock.... "Oh crap, it's Woodman, hide, he's going to make us drink his beer again!"

Ok, I'm making the beer, now DD needs to get the outfit.  

Another interesting thing about your own beer, and I find this is true more often than not with home made whole foods is that instead of throwing back half a dozen Coors Lights I'll sip two or three of my own.

To date I've made three batches, and have a fourth down right now. I was pleased with the Autumn Amber Ale, and the Lemon Coriander Belgian Wheat, the Octoberfester I messed up on. It was way to carbonated and I almost made bottle bombs out of them, then when I went back to fix them they are now too uncarbonated. But, they make great cooking beers, so no real loss. My fourth batch is a Dunkleweizen. Next I'm going to make an EZ wheat.

I've also made several batches of Hard Cider, but only in gallon lots instead of 5 gallons. I've made two with juice from Kroger/Walmart, and three with fresh unpasteurized cider from the local orchard. I'm still working on the sweetness level and am not quite totally satisfied yet, though it's pretty darn good I think I still like Woodchuck/Woodpecker/Strongbow better.

This is a serious wall of text and I'll post more about brewing later this week.Still haven't tried Kindle blogging, need to get around to that.

Next time, we're going to blog about marmalade again, and the gritty details of home brewing.