Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a home brewed cup of cheer...

After steeping, boiling, cooling, fermenting and settling, our honey ale homebrew creation will be ready for sampling in 3 -4 weeks. Although this was Tison and my first experience making our own beer, to Philip, the brewmaster and my sensei, this is becoming old hat. 

Up until now Philip has been searching online sites to gather the ingredients he needs to produce his own beer, searching- that is, until Brewniverse opened in the Town Oaks Square on the corner of Line and Pierremont. 

To begin the process, we met up at Brewniverse to gather supplies. Philip picked the recipe for the White House Honey Ale, the first beer known to have been brewed in the White House! 
Brewniverse had all the ingredients we needed except for honey and bottled water!
And what's home brewing without enjoying a few beers along the way?! Tison selected the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack. My favorite was the Old Fezziwig Ale - which we kept saying throughout the day with an old man accent "Oooooole FezziWIG!"
The owner of Brewniverse just purchased this grinder and we christened it with our grains!
I am not going to give you every step by step instruction on how to do this at home yourself because I am no expert - but I will say it was a lot of fun. It's like baking a cake- it's all about the timing- only a cake doesn't have the "warming-light hearted effect" that a good beer offers.
We added the honey and that's the yeast on the right. Did you know that without yeast- no alcohol would be made? 
After everything had steeped for proper time, the ingredients got an ice bath. We needed to drop the temperature quickly before putting the ingredients into the primary fermenting container.
Once the temperature reached 70 degrees, purified water and the yeast were added to the primary fermenter.
This is the airlock that goes in the lid of the bucket. It allows the gases to get out of the fermenter, but stops the outside air from getting in the fermenter. Philip sent us a video of the airlock on our beer and it looked like this:

When Philip "racked" the beer into the secondary fermenter last weekend he said it looks and smells great. "The aroma of the honey and the hops is perfect!" I can't wait to have my first glass of home brewed cheer at Merpy Christmears!

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