July 15, 2012

Til Death Brew us Part: Groom as Guest Blogger

Kevin with his two kegs of beer for July 4th
I mentioned in my previous post that I'd be welcoming a Mystery Guest blogger. I had no idea he was so on top of his writing! Without further ado, meet my handsome groom, Kevin! He surprised me with this one, he's a better writer than either of us gives him credit for.

While I'm off in quilting and wedding planning land, this is where Kevin is, brewing beer! He brewed two batches this summer and I was surprised by how good it was!

My lady followers, feel free to read on, but this post is definitely for the boys!

Homemade brewstands.

Guest blog from Kevin:

For the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine. For our wedding I am turning water into beer. I have been an avid fan of home brewing since I first turned 21. I take a lot of pride in my beer, just as much now as I did back then then.

That first batch of beer has a special place in my memory, and has left a lasting taste on my palate. I started out making 5 gallon batches of beer in a bucket out of canned liquid malt extract. I made that first batch by the book, Charlie Papazian’s The Joy of Homebrewing

I was attempting to make an India Pale Ale for my first beer. 

It is a beer drinker’s beer.

Heavy on the hops. 

Heavy on the malt. 

Heavy on the alcohol kick. 

I carefully measured out and combined my ingredients into a boiling hot wort. Diligently adding hops to the boil at prescribed times to ensure the proper flavor was achieved. I took my temperature and hydrometer readings carefully and after cooling the wort from the boil, I let the mixture ferment for two weeks.

After two weeks I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer as it was finally time to open the fermenting bucket and see what my wort had turned into. BEER! I open that bucket and smelled the magical aroma of Pacific Northwest hops. I had created beer. Now it was just a matter of getting the beer out of the five gallon bucket and into a manageable container.

My first attempt at bottling beer proved to be dangerous. To carbonate the beer, you transfer the beer out of the fermentation bucket into the bottles, and add a little bit of corn sugar. As the beer carbonated up over the next few weeks, it became apparent that I used too much sugar due to bottles spontaneously exploding. It was a HUGE mess.

In the middle of the night, one of these bottle bombs would go off, and everyone in the household would wake up scared shitless. This fact made it necessary to start drinking the beer, and fast.

The first sip I took of my first beer. It brought back the memory of my first sip of beer as a kid. 

PID electronics
There are no words to describe how that beer tasted, the anticipation of the first taste far surpassed the actual taste .

It had the aroma of 50 dandelions coupled with the sweetness of an unripened persimmon and the refreshing finish of mouthwash. One drink of this stuff and 3 days later my breath was still kicking.

Over time, my techniques, equipment, and ingredients improved. I went from using malt extract out of a can, to whole malts, and from a handheld dial thermometer, to PID temperature control. 

My beer has slowly graduated into a very drinkable form.

The question is what style of beer should I make to commemorate the big day?

This summer's brew. Foaming nicely.

1 comment :

  1. I can attest to Kevin’s recipe was skeptical about the taste at first, since when I was a kid helping my dad with making home brew and sneaking a taste, I never thought it tasted good. It was made with the malt can method…..it was not the best. Probably a good thing I didn’t find beer taste so good then…lol
    The taste of Kevin’s beers could be easily compared the local major brewery (Anheuser-Busch) Great recipe & brew Kevin.


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