Beer Lab

In my free time I also brew my own beer. Not in the turn my nose up at store bought beer because "the best beer is beer that was handcrafted in the Bavarian hinterlands with water from a prehistoric glacier" kind of way you seem to find with most homebrewers. I still drink Miller Light and other domestics and for the most part I try not to push my homebrews on other people. So I am not your typical homebrew guy. For me it seems to be more of a scientific fascination. I like to figure out why these ingredients make this beer taste like that or exactly how two different strains of yeast alter the taste of identical batches of wort (unfermented beer).

This weekend I made two 5-gallon batches of beer, both as Christmas gifts. I don't want to give away any secrets so thats all I'll say about who hand their hands in helping me. I'm an extract brewer that does partial boils on my stove. So I don't have any grand delusions of being a master brewer. But I do need to keep better track of what ingredients I'm using and in what amounts so I can reproduce a beer if it turns out really well. So this blog entry is as much for me as it is for anyone else.

Irish Red Ale (Brewed Nov. 21)
6 lbs - Liquid Pale Malt Extract
1 lb - Raw Honey
0.5 - Cara-pils
3 oz - Roasted Barley 300L
1oz - Amarillo Hops (60 min to boil)
1oz - Amarillo Hops (15 min to boil)
White Labs Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004)

American Amber Ale (Brewed Saturday Nov. 22)
6.3 lbs - Liquid Amber Malt Extract
1 lb - Crystal 10L
1oz - Amarillo Hops (60 min to boil)
1oz - Cascade Hops (15 mins to boil)
White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001)

Both of these brews take about 4-6 weeks until they are finished, or at least drinkable. Christmas is five weeks away so I am going to cross my fingers and tell the receivers that they'll better results if they wait until New Year's to open them up. It won't hurt them to open one on Christmas Day, but I wouldn't expect it to taste done.

I probably should have done this earlier, but five weeks early or not a gift card is a historic achievement in my career as a Christmas shopper.