Sunday, January 17, 2010

278. Making Soup.

So today I did something I have not done in probably 8 years or maybe more. I made beer. Making beer is basically just like making soup. If you can follow a recipe and make soup you can make beer. This will be a nice chocolate oatmeal stout in about 4 weeks. The first photo is my Batch Sparge. I am trying to get the sugars out of some oatmeal and other grains. This next shot is of the flavoring grains. 1 lb chocolate malt, 1lb black patent malt, 1lb roasted barley and 1lb of crystal malt. They are in the steeping bag. This is just like making tea. You have to be very careful or you can end up with tannins which are very bitter and do not taste very good at all.
This is just before I added the Flavoring grains and had just added the Malt extract. Basically it is sugar. It adds flavor plus gives the yeast something to feed upon.

And now a shot with the water from the flavoring grains. This is the point where it needs to be boiled for an hour. I added Amarillo hops for flavor. The last 15 minutes you add hops for aroma and Irish moss to clear the beer.

Once you have it all cooked you move it into this nifty 5 gallon bucket and try to cool it down as fast as possible. It always takes me forever to get it to cool down. Even in a sink full of water and ice it is still too hot to add the yeast. Hopefully in the next hour it will be cool enough to add the yeast.

Once the yeast is added it will ferment for about 2 weeks in the basement. It needs a place with no direct light and roughly a 70 degree temperature. At the end of 2 weeks I will have to clean all my old bottles or I could keg the beer. I am leaning toward bottling because it is much easier to transport bottled beer than it is to transport a keg. This is a beer to be shared. Showing up with a keg seems kind of weird to me.
With time to age it should be good to go in about 4 weeks if I bottle or 2.5 weeks if I keg. At this point I am in no hurry and wanted a nice heavy beer for after the 12 hours of Mesa Verde. I have made this beer in the past and it turned out really nice. The only problem was that it is a meal in a bottle. Lots of rich flavor but very filling. Remember the old Miller Lite ad's ? Well with this beer the argument goes something like.. Tastes great. Very filling. Tastes great. Very filling.


Jube said...

Tastes great. Very filling. VERY GOOD!

KC said...

Wow, I had no idea you could do that.

Blackdog said...

Until about 2 years ago it was illegal to combine the ingredients into beer. You could buy everything but you could not brew the beer. Luckily the law was never enforced.