Tuesday, April 1, 2008
New Hobby Announcement
that's right. i collected another one. on a family reunion trip to kentucky we sampled my husband's uncle jerry's home brew and it was quite tasty and i always thought that it would be a neat thing to do. a couple weekends ago we were in san jose for easter and uncle jerry was there and he convinced me to try it out.
he made it seem so easy. its not so easy by the way. at least not to me. i am not the best with recipes or sanitizing, which are both good things to be good at in home brewing. i am fortunate to live in a city that has a great local brew store - in case you too are in the long beach area and want to know more about Stein Fillers - click here. i should have gone to the store without my 2.5 year old because i dont believe brew stores were designed with toddlers in mind. all sorts of glass bottles and fun bins with all sorts of dangerous things skewed about like a candy store. i was so preoccupied with trying to make sure bryson didnt kill himself or cost me a fortune in breaking merchandise that i didnt listen too carefully to the owner's instructions on how to brew my beer - or make the wort - or whatever cause i didnt listen.
i bought an equipment kit, which came with a book so i thought i was all set because the book - how to brew - looked pretty comprehensive...however little did i know that there is not one agreed upon way to brew beer.
this is what i ended up doing - and the truly sucky part is that i wont know if i did it all correctly until about a month from now when i can actually try the beer. i started with ingredients for a california pale ale, which came with cascade pellet hops. there were no instructions included on what to do with the hops and different people on the darn internet said varying things so i sorta improvised, which i am not sure if that were the right decision, but i tried calling steinfillers and they were closed and i had already activated the yeast, so i had to keep going. i boiled about 2.5 gallons of water - took the pot off the boil and added the malt syrup and stirred it in until it was dissolved. i then put it back on to boil and added 1 oz of the pellet hops. i then found something else on the internet that said cascade pellet hops were aroma hops and should only be added at the last 10 min of the boil so i took out the initial hops and boiled for 10 min then added another 1 oz of hops and boiled for 10 min. some hops you boil for an hour for the bitterness and some you only boil at the end for aroma so my beer i am thinking will be somewhat bittery and aroma-y (aromatic?).
whatever ends up happening, i will have about 5 gallons of either decent tasting beer or completely undrinkable pseudo-beer. the good news is that the ingredient kit was free and the bottling process will be free if i can manage to save up 48 bottles to bottle later on. i will keep posting the progress, more for myself than anything so that i have some sort of record of what the hek i am doing because who really knows. so this will be a learning batch, which is fine - i already know what i will do differently next time, which is all you can hope for when you begin a hobby, right?