Is It Brew-Thirty Yet?

15 12 2010

I’ve really been meaning to write more lately, but to I’ve been a little sidetracked with a serious case of the apathies.  I couldn’t think of much write about, but homebrewing has been on my mind a LOT lately.  Therefore, here I am to write about homebrewing!

This is really just a picto-blog about a special homebrew day I had with a some friends.  These three guys I know were brewing a smoked beer (called a Rauchbier) for a competition and I just showed up to tag along like a little puppy dog.  A puppy dog who wants to brew beer.

So yeah, this beer was a smoke beer.  You may be asking yourself, “How does one smoke a beer?”  I know smoking a beer barely even makes sense, but they dip bacon in chocolate at the fair so you tell me “Why not?”  As a side note, Ben wants to brew a bacon beer, so……. yeah.

To the brewery!

This is Ben.  Ben is smoking a beer.  Smoking a beer is actually fairly simple and only adds one additional step to the brew process.  The grains used to make the beer have to spend a little time in the smokehouse before being turned into beer.  As you can see, we decided to not only smoke the grains but to make this a smoke apple beer and add some apples to the smoker!  Pure genius.

When you smoke the grains and apples they take in some of that nice smokey flavor that will be passed on to the beer.  You have to be careful though because if you smoke them for too long or with the wrong wood or smoke too much of the grain your beer will taste more like a campfire than a good smoked beer.   And Smokey the Bear does not approve of campfire flavored beer.

After the grains are smoked you have to “mash” the grains.  Basically that means soak the grains in hot water to get all the starches out.  The starches are the fermentable sugars that yeast will eat and turn into alcohol, thereby creating the magic of beer!

I also want to point out that this is the most legitimate way to make beer.  Using the grains like this literally takes your beer from grain to glass.  This beer started out with nothing more than a bag of grains and a few apples.  In a few more weeks it will turn into beer… hopefully.  Ideally, it will be delicious beer.

This thing on the right is what we affectionately call a “keggle.”  That’s a combination of the words KEG and KETTLE.  Clever, I know.  This is literally an old beer keg with the top cut out that works really well as giant pot to brew beer in.  Brewing beer in a beer keg… appropriate.

Everything seemed to go really well on brew day.  I really do think the beer is going to become something special and unique.  That’s the real joy of homebrewing.  You take very basic and simple ingredients, follow a simple set of instructions, and in a few weeks you have beer.  And not just any beer, magical beer.  Ok… the beer has no magic powers, but generally it’s very tasty and is a product of your own labor.  There’s something very fulfilling and satisfying about creating your own beer.

I want to give a shoutout to the real brewmasters behind the whole operation: Ben, Ryan, and Brandon.  They came up with a really unique and special recipe that I think will turn out to be fantastic here in a few weeks.  I appreciate them letting me tag along and learn a little more about brewing.  BONUS, we got to sit around for a few hours drinking homebrew and playing tailgate games.

As a side note, I think my first homebrew (Wheat beer) turned out really drinkable.  I’m proud of it as my first beer produced.  My second beer is out of the fermenter and in bottles.  I tasted it before it went into the bottles and I think it’s going to come out quite nice.  It’s a robust Porter and should be very roasty and toasty on these cold winter nights.  On tap for my next beers are a special India Pale Ale that Brandon gave me the recipe for and a Lemongrass Wheat beer that is out of my own twisted mind.  Hopefully, they turn out fantastic and I hope to share one with all the readers someday soon.  Brew On!

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2 responses

15 12 2010
World Beers Review » Is It Brew-Thirty Yet? « The Long Spin

[…] the original here: Is It Brew-Thirty Yet? « The Long Spin Related Posts:Thirty Somethin Aging for nine months smoothed this beer out a bit. …bottles for my […]

16 12 2010
Mom

Kudos to Geoff-I must say the first beer was really good.

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