Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Have Plenty Of Beer

So why do I still think that I need more? Obviously my beer fridge stays fully stocked with a fine selection of yummy brews, but every once in a while I still crave something different. It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned that I actually brew my own sometimes (which means that I haven’t done it) and I pretty much tell y’all everything I do. There’s a reason I’ve put away the brewing equipment for so long though, and of course I’m gonna tell you.

For a most of the year, I was brewing (and drinking) my own beer non stop. I had a lot of fun seeing what I could come up with; especially since I can pretty much make whatever kind of beer I wanted. Since my favorite kind of beer is an IPA, I decided that I would make an extra hoppy one for the very first time. Up to that point I’d made a few pale ales, but never an IPA. I went crazy with the hops on that first batch, and it wasn’t too bad. Well, at least some of them. Out of the batch of 16 bottles, only about 5 of them were any good. I gave one to my good pal the MadSS to try, and he was less than impressed. When I asked him how he liked it, he said, “It wasn’t good.”

I knew I messed up somewhere in the bottling process, and that resulted in most of my brew not being carbonated. I was so discouraged that I stopped making beer for a long time. It wasn’t the MadSS’s comments that made me stop, but rather the fact that I knew I screwed up. Something changed for me the other night though, when the sudden urge to brew some beer hit me. I decided to take some baby steps this time and do it the simple way.

This is a pre-made beer kit, which was given to me by Little Miss Sunshine back in the summer. She took a trip to New England and decided that she would bring home some old-timey beer for me to make. I was in a self-imposed beer-making hiatus at the time, so I parked it on the shelf for a while. Finally I decided that I would give it a shot, since it seemed like the perfect way to get me back into making beer. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and I didn’t need any of my fancy equipment. I started by mixing in the barley and hops (creating the wort):

Next step was to simmer it for a while:

After about 45 minutes or so, I cooled the pan of wort and got ready to ferment it. The directions said that this will make about a gallon of beer, so I used (per their recommendation) a gallon jug of spring water. After mixing the wort with the remaining water, I added the yeast and mixed it up. I topped off the bottle with the stopper and airlock:

Yeah, I know it doesn’t look much like beer. If you’ve ever brewed your own, then you’ve seen this before. It will look better by the time I drink it though (hopefully.) Now I just have to let it ferment for 5-7 days, then I can bottle it. I guess I’ll let y’all know how it turns out in a couple of weeks. Hell, maybe I’ll be drinking it for Christmas if I’m lucky. I hope it’s good.

Since it’s been a little too cold for me to get out on my bike, I guess I’ll be stuck doing “inside things” for a while. Maybe I’ll whip up another batch of beer while it’s still cold outside, or I could just finish off what’s in my beer fridge. So much for my “offseason” training program.


Anonymous said...

Not only does it not look like beer, it smells like shit! Don't boil over, that smell'll stick around for a while!

Chili Man!

TheMutt said...

When it's ready, I'll make sure you get a bottle. Cheers!