Monday, March 12, 2012

Yeah, I have time for another hobby

So for his birthday last year, my lovely in-laws got Peter a complete set of homebrewing equipment. We were quite excited to try making both beer and wine at home, and demonstrated our excitement but putting the kit in our closet and letting it rest for a year. Seriously, why does time move so quickly when I'm not at work? A couple of weeks ago, we finally got it together to visit a brew store and get a couple of ingredient kits. Since my first choice (Pumpkin Spice Porter) is a seasonal beer, not available until the summer, we decided to start with Imperial Nut Brown Ale and Red Ale. Less than a month later, and we've got the nut brown ale conditioning in a secondary fermenter, red ale beginning to ferment in a primary bucket, and a growing list of recipes we can't wait to try. As Peter says, "we're beer people now"
According to the owners of more than 1 brew store, the most important part of the process is sanitation. Accordingly, my kitchen got a good scrub down with bleach before we started. I will let Peter brew anything legal if it means I get to live in this environment. Look, you can see counter space!

Ah, that's more what I'm used to
Preparing the grains to go into the water to steep for 20 minutes. See my monster new brewing pot? 24 quarts, that thing is HEAVY when full.
Making sure the temperature doesn't get too high. Over 170 and tannins can start to come out.
Even though it looks like she's giving her daddy a rather rude gesture, Gabriella was actually being such a good girl, keeping herself occupied while we worked. Side note, know which game she's playing? OREGON TRAIL!!! Love the Nook!
Also, she's a good helper.
MMmm hop pellets!
After boiling for an hour, you've got to get the wort cooled down quickly so that bacteria don't have a chance to establish. Filling our sink with ice water did it in about 20 minutes.
The only time in the process that you want to aerate the mixture. Gotta get some oxygen in there for the yeasties!
Yeast ready for pitching. Ladies, I married the man who takes these pictures of me. I know you're jealous
Time to leave the yeast alone to enjoy their feast!


  1. [...]I will let Peter brew anything legal[...]

    You think you're clever, don't you?

  2. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?