Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brewing Beer

I finally started my Midwest Brewing Red Irish Ale brew kit that I got on Groupon a few weeks ago. 

My dad came over to help me.  I remember him brewing when we lived back in Nevada and the whole house would stink.  Now, my whole apartment smells WONDERFUL.  I guess it's an acquired scent. 

This kit was much more involved than the kits he's used in the past.  In fact, we had to watch a DVD and take notes, just to get it all down.

First of all, we had to heat up the water and soak the roasted barley (in that little cheesecloth bag) at 150 degrees.  Not quite boiling, but getting nice and brown. 

Then you take out the little baggy and add the malt sugar.  We put the carton in warm water to loosen it up a little.  It made it easier to pour. 

Then you get your dad to stir it up.  He's stirring so fast that his hands are blurred!!  

 Here's the tough part.  Get this giant pot of ooey gooey liquid to boil.  And don't let it boil over! Boil-overs are a HUGE mess, not to mention, you're losing liquid gold here, folks. 

Once it starts to boil, put a bag full of bittering hop, that look like bunny crap before you soak them.

And baby crap after...  (I will save you that image)

Then you add the aroma hops for just about 5 minutes.  They look exactly like the other hops.  Surprise, surprise.  

Boil away....

Pour it all in a CLEAN (make sure it's clean, and then clean it again) bucket.  The kit I got came with this powder that you mix with water that cleans it really well.

Then you want to cool this stuff, and cool it FAST. The faster you cool it, the clearer your beer is.  (Or so says the DVD we watched.) We sent my mom off for some ice cubes. 

Cool it to somewhere around 80 degrees... Or room temp.  This sticky thermometer didn't really work...  So we just ballparked it.  

Here's where we took a hydrometer reading.  This helps us know when the beer is read to be bottled, and the alcohol content when it's done.  

After that, we sprinkled the yeast carefully over the top and plugged it up.  

Once this little guy on the top starts to bubble and rumble, it's ready to be transferred into the carboy.

So that's where I leave you.  The apartment smells great, the beer is hanging out on my kitchen table, and I'm getting thirsty!  Now, it's just a waiting game.


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