Thursday, January 22, 2009

99 bottles of beer on the counter

i live with a beer brewer. he'd be the first person to say that he's not a "real" brewer (whatever that means), but then he'll break out the 'original gravity' and 'protein break'. if you're not a real brewer, you won't know what those things are. but i digress.

beer has been brewing in my house for the last 11 days. it's happened before and though i get the basics of yeast and grains from my bread-baking days, i don't get beer. it's a mystery to me.

so, for the uninitiated, i watched the process carefully and came up with these easy steps for making homebrew.

1. drink beer. (apparently, brewing begins with drinking. it seems like we're getting a little close to a chicken and egg dilemma, but this is what they did...oh! and you have to look reflective while you're doing this step. very important.)

2. next comes the malt. (I think some grains slipped into that pot while i wasn't looking, but no matter. malt provides the 'body of the beer' - still not sure what this means, but that's what they said...and food for the yeast to make alcohol. this is an important step.)

3. more malt. (because of the importance of this step, i got involved to make sure alcohol happened. you can't leave these things to chance, you know.)

4. drink more. (this actually happened a lot more than portrayed here, but i'm trying to keep these guys looking respectable.)

5. get hoppy. (hops are actually a flower that account for the aromatic bitterness of beer and help prevent it from spoiling. at one point, Cob exclaimed, '14.2% alpha acids, my ass!' which has something to do with the bitterness index of these particular hops. either way, i refer back to my point about not being a "real" brewer.)

6. fermentation in the carboy (notice the vodka bottle...brewing beer requires some obsessive sterilization procedures to avoid creating off-tastes in the beer. this is one that i think may just be to continue with the whole drinking theme. Here, Cob is "sterilizing" his mouth before creating a suction in the tube to the carboy.)

7. [10 days later] bottling. (this is the only part i really understand. beer goes in bottle. cap goes on bottle. clean up kitchen.)

8. naming the beer.

i give you Cold Snap Ale, an IPY IPA (for the non-Arctic types: International Polar Year India Pale Ale).


Moosekahl said...

What a great photo series on brewing! I consider myself a beer snob (it helped there was a brewery right across the street in college). Looks like brewing is a family affair!

Kristen's Knits is the right place! A good friend of mine from my old church works there. Small world. I am extremely crafty but knitting hasn't been added to my list. I have a few partially finished crocheting projects in my craft room though. Nice to find someone online with a few connections to "home".

Anonymous said...

Until I married the handsome brewer featured with Cobbie, I thought a carboy was a guy you had sex with in the back seat of the Chevy.

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Anonymous said...

Very nice