Saturday, January 9, 2010

Home Brewing

My in-laws got me a beer-making kit from Mr. Beer. I've been reading up on brewing while my first cask ferments. I thought I would start with one of the "easier" ones that came with the kit, a Blonde Ale. The steps are to make "wort," which is the sugary stuff that yeast eats first. Wort is a combination of barley seeds (or wheat, etc.) that has been allowed to sprout partway (this is called malting) mixed with hops, then to add the yeast. The yeast eats the wort and makes alcohol and CO2. During fermenting, the CO2 is released through small holes in the cask.

Soon-to-be Golden Ale fermenting

Then after a week or two (ideally two but I'm on a deadline), I'll transfer the beer into bottles and add sugar. The bottles don't have holes in them, so the CO2 the yeast makes when it eats the sugor will stay in the beer, carbonating it. It'd be better to give the whole process a month or so, but I'm hoping to have the first batch ready when my in-laws visit next weekend, so I'll bottle it tonight.

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