The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Otis the Brewmeister

Recently I've picked up a bit of a new hobby. Brewing beer. Actually I've wanted to brew for awhile now, but after visiting my good friend Kelly and trying some of her husband's delicious homebrew, I decided that I should try it on my own.

Now if there's one thing in this world that I love it's a delicious beer. One that is full of flavor, crisp when cold, and has that feeling of just washing stress away with every gulp. Since I was in Germany as an exchange student I've been a bit of a beer snob which is good though because it keeps me from being an alcoholic and helps me find bars/pubs that are about having a beer and not just about getting drunk.

So the last few weeks have been pretty exciting for me. The first night I ended up taking a LONG time reading up on just what I was doing and pouring over the directions and instructions from masters on the internet. Then I went ahead and started brewing some of my own. And here's the crazy thing. It's pretty much just like brewing a nice batch of sweet tea. Basically you just put some grains in a bag, steep them like tea bags, add a bunch of sugar, bring to a boil, add some flavor and boil that with everything for awhile until the flavor permeates everything then just cool it down quickly so that bacteria don't start growing in it, transfer everything to a air-proof container, pour in some yeast and then wait.

It was really cool the first week or so when the beer was just starting to ferment. You think of beer and think that it would smell bad, but NO! Our house smelled like banana nut bread for a solid week. I thought that the wife was about to kill me because it was making her crave the bread that she can't have but loves. Once everything settled down it was just a matter of time. Cause people don't really make beer, yeast does.

So tonight was the fun part. My beer had done everything that it needed to do and it was time to bottle it. I added a little sugar to the brewed mix so that the yeast will make CO2 in the bottles to carbonate everything. Before that though I was slaving to get the labels off of the old bottles so that I'd have a nice clean bottles in which to stick my brew.

After that it was all about the siphon action. So with the help of the wife, we filled all of the bottles and put their caps on. Look how beautiful they are.

Plus the fun part is that there was enough that wouldn't siphon so that I could have a full glass of beer. Albeit the beer was totally flat, but in all it wasn't too bad, and it was a lot better tasting than it was a week ago. Plus it's about 9.45% alcohol, so even if it's bad I won't really care by the end of it all. Now all I have to do is wait 1 month while the flavors mellow out and the bottles carbonate, and then viola! I'll have delicious beer at about 1/2 the cost!

But now it's the waiting game, so I'm just hoping that in the meantime my bottles don't blow up like orchestrated fireworks. And if everything works out well, then I think this is going to become a new hobby. I have to admit it's really satisfying to know that something I made is so delicious already and I can't wait to see what happens when it's all said and done.


Unknown said...

Awesome! It it legal to make your own liquor? I wanna make my own vodka, hehe.

Unknown said...

Sounds kind of like I feel after I make homemade bread or sew something. I'm glad you've found a creative outlet.

Kellsotr said...

I just found your blog again...glad we could help to spur you on to greatness. Matt ended up making a butternut beer, because we could not find pumpkin and I had a butternut on hand, turns out to be some of the best beer ever, you should try it.

Kellsotr said...
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