Monday, November 22, 2010

We made beer

That title isn't some strange euphemism for getting drunk; we genuinely made our own beer.

Our neighbor is an experienced home brewer and after hanging out with him enough, it's hard not to get the urge to try it yourself. Luckily (for me), our neighbor is also used to helping people out, so he walked me and some other folks through the steps a few weeks ago (Hannah was away on "Teach a Friend to Brew" Day -- apparently a real thing).

We ended up with just shy of two cases of Scottish 70 Shilling Ale. I should clarify that I was attempting to make Scottish 70 Shilling, the end result wasn't just some fortuitous byproduct of "well, let's throw this stuff together and see what happens." We were short a couple bottles worth because my physics were off and I didn't have the primary and secondary fermentation carboys at appropriate heights. Ah well, live and learn. Our neighbor was nice enough to let us use his carbonation system to bottle everything, which let us cut about two weeks out of the conditioning process. Basically, we had drinkable beer eight days after starting.
Since San Angelo stopped recycling glass about five months ago, this let us put some of the bottles we've been stockpiling since the summer to good use.

The beer was/is pretty good. I'm not just saying that because it was homemade. Well, I am saying that because it's homemade, but other people have been polite enough to not spit it back in my face or get sick when they try it, so I'll take that as a compliment.

This past weekend, Hannah got to be more directly involved and basically made the whole thing herself -- an oatmeal stout. It's doing it's thing in the garage right now. "It's thing" means making a huge mess during the fermentation process. Last time I wasn't prepared for the bubble-over so I had to spend a good chunk of time scrubbing the floor. This time I put the fermenter in a plastic tub to make the clean up easier. My sister-in-law was concerned that the brewing process was similar to making meth. Luckily for my house, that's not the case, as I assuredly would have blown everything up by now.

Since the first round, I've also straightened up the garage to keep things better organized. There wasn't much risk of contamination of any kind since nothing can get in the fermenters, but sticky, oozy things and bike parts don't necessarily go great together. Or, more accurately, they do go great together, but I prefer to keep them apart.

1 comment:

Gordo Byrn said...

An entertaining read - there's something about making our own stuff!