First taste

It’s been entirely too long since this blog has been updated.  I suppose we’ve been too busy eating, working around the house, and dreaming of our summer garden to write.  This is of course no decent excuse when you consider all those blogs out here on the interwebs that are updated weekly if not multiple times daily.  Well, let’s get back to it, shall we?

The most exciting news other than the fact that we’re finally showering in our actual shower and not in the basement (hopefully more on that soon) is our recent foray into home brewing.  I got Max beer making supplies for Christmas, and since then, we’ve been brewing or talking about brewing most any day he has off work.  It’s become quite the obsession!

First pour

Our first brew, pictured above, an IPA, was a wonderful success.  It has a lovely hoppy taste and produces a beautiful thick head when warm.  We’ve already drank over a case of it and moved on to our next brew, a stout with the flavors of my favorite molasses spice cookie.  We should be bottling the stout in the next week or so, and drinking it in less than a month.  I’m anxious to taste it and see if the cookie flavor comes through at all.

I’m not going to get into too many details about the brewing process, just recommend two books we found helpful, Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher and The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charles Papazian.  Mosher helped us get creative and Papazian taught us to “relax and have a homebrew” throughout the sometimes tedious brewing process.  I will, however, post a few pictures from our first brewing experience.

Lots of recordkeeping.  I swear home brewing brought be back to high school chemistry.  Really a perfect project for a science major and an archivist…

Recordkeeping

Steeping the grains

Steeping the grains

Warming the malt extract

Warming the malt extract

Adding hops to the boil (And yes, I’m wearing a Victory t-shirt.)

Adding aroma hops

Transferring wort to the fermenter after cooling

Transferring wort to the fermenter

Measuring original gravity

Measuring original gravity

Transferring to the secondary fermenter a week later

Transferring to secondary

Finished beer…if you look closely you can see a thick layer of yeast at the bottom of the carboy

Finished beer

Bottling

Bottling concentration

And capping

It really is a satisfying process and one we look forward to repeating and perfecting for many years to come.

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