Monday, September 19, 2011

Winter Ale

pany hose steep sack...classy

wort after first set of hops

ready to pitch the yeast

oh...friends...let me tell you how nice it is to be brewing again after a 2 year hiatus...i still can't believe its been that long, but i know this to be true since this is the first time i have made beer in our current home. i planned on giving some home-brew as a Christmas gift...also i missed brewing, so at the faintest hint of fall i jumped right in. (also - at the faintest hint of fall i began roasting and soup-making and fall decorating, but i suppose that is a different post all together...i am a bit of an optimist)

i wanted to make a beer i hadnt made before. i also wanted to make a "spicey" beer. the few fall beers i have made before just were not that spicey enough for me...but i have a feeling from the aromas of this wort that this beer will carry that spice all the way through. there is cinnamon and nutmeg and lemon zest and all kinds of hops - 4 oz of hops to be exact, at all different stages of brewing.

there are also grains. so i think this is the most complicated beer i have made thus far. hopefully it will be the most complicated, but successful since i have attempted complicated before and not quite seen it through.

but oh...the happiness...of seeing the wort come together. of smelling the thick air of malt. of the spices. of being able to occupy my time sewing right around the corner...checking in on it every few minutes, while getting some projects crossed off. of remembering my happy brewing times and the thrill of making something yourself that could easily be bought at the store.

if you are interested in getting started in home-brewing and live in the long beach area - please go find Steinfillers - they are so helpful and they drink beer while they talk to you. awesome. if you are not in long beach, then google your nearest home brew store and go make friends. i have popped my little head into many a home brew store outside of my home town and found each one to be so eager to help anyone get started. i have steinfillers on speed dial and frequently call them with questions and not once have i been treated with anything other than some other beer nerd so happy to help!

PS - if you are curious about the process you can read about how i make beer
PPS - apologies for the horrible pics...i couldnt find my camera...

some notes to myself for next time:

you do not need any more iodine carlee - you have like 6 bottles. are more than set for like 100 more batches.

for that matter - you also have enough bottle caps to bottle about a thousand bottles.

you need to get yourself some grain steeping sacks because you have no more panty-hose to cut up.

you also need to plan on brewing better and buy distilled water and ice, ice, ice...because waiting 2 hours for your wort to chill is not only not fun, but not good for the beer.

do not ever let your children see your glass carboy - they think its a fun receptacle to put leaves and trash and what-not in...(dont worry...i spent over 40 minutes cleaning it and sanitizing it before i attempted brewing)

and finally, remember to have beer in your fridge while makes brewing THAT much better!

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