Sunday, March 6, 2011


Zach and I are in the midst of our third beersperiment. Our first two have been pretty straight forward. One of them was almost prepackaged. I bought it from the Whole Foods beer store and you just follow the directions. Over winter break though, Zach asked me to go pick up the ingredients for our next beer at Brooklyn Homebrew in Gowanus. I thought I was just going to walk in to the store and say something along the lines of, "Uh yeah, that one looks good." And pay for some stuff and leave. Turns out there is a lot more to it than that.

First you pick the beer that you want to make out of a recipe book. I wanted something that was more than the typical ale or wheat beer. I wanted something delicious like Magic Hat #9. I wound up sitting on a footstool flipping through a beer clone magazine. It was pretty crazy looking at and trying to read the recipes for some of my favorite  breweries. They had recipes from Long Trail in VT and Lefthand Brewery in Colorado.

Malt bins

Now the ball is in my court. We are going to make 50 bottles of this stuff, so I needed to figure out what I'd like to drink this spring. As I'm faced with this question of What is your favorite kind of beer? I can't answer it. I've had lots and lots of beer and lots of kinds of beer, but I can't decide. I try process of elimination. Not porters. Not stouts. Not wheat beers. Not lagers. Not sure what Bocks are, Do I like Scottish Reds? I like Ales... but not all ales... Long Trail, Magic Hat and Red Seal are my 3 favorite beers and they're all ales.... Hm. It sounds so boring saying, "I just really love an ale."But, I do. So I chose the Saison Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale Clone. It has cardamom, orange peel and coriander in it. Along with 2 kids of hops and 3 kinds of malt.

You order the hops at a counter. I ordered Strisslespalt, though
not with a straight face because that is a funny word.

On day one you do the boil. This took about 3 hours, start to finish with all of the sanitizing of tools, heating and cooling of water and steeping of delicious components. For the first two hours, our apartment smelled like fresh baked bread while we made the mash. Then after we added the hops and spices it smelled like potpourri. After the boil was complete, we cooled the liquid and put it into the 6.5 gallon carboy. We had to aerate the liquid after adding the yeast, so Zach and I sat on the living room floor for about 15 minutes trying to vigorously shake a two foot tall glass container full of liquid w/o a lid. Twas an interesting sight to see. I'd say we were pretty successful. Now it sits for a week then goes into bottles for 3-4. Tasting party will be on the first nice Saturday in April.

Below is a video of the wort (the liquid that we made that will become our beer) on Day 2 of fermentation. Yeast is crazy!

1 comment:

  1. I wish there was a place like Brooklyn Homebrew out here in Iowa City. Your beer sounds absolutely amazing. Enjoy!