V and I brewed beer on Sunday!
We have fabulous friends who actually mounted their own brewery in Chicago. (Madly waving at Tracy and Doug) They were nice enough to have us over for an evening´s brewing before we left and then a few weeks later brought the resulting red ale over for a night of bbq and billiards. Good times.
My brother has become quite a homebrew savant, as well. While I was visiting in July, he was kind enough to schedule a brew/bottling session for me. And I did my share of sampling of his efforts while I was there.
There´s much more of a brewing culture in the rest of Europe than Spain, which is dominated by a few huge market players and little or nothing in the way of micro-breweries that we can find. And Estrella Galicia is the only Spanish beer we´ve seen outside Spain.
Last Christmas, after some searching online, I bought a kit thinking that it was something V would enjoy trying. He´s really the beer drinker in the house, I usually prefer wine. But between one thing and another, it has remained in its box in a closet. He insisted that I shouldn´t just go ahead and do it myself, that he wanted to participate. So finally Sunday we went ahead.
The kit came with 2 plastic buckets and taps, 2 cans of malt/hops, a packet of yeast, a packet of hops, and a packet of ¨cleanser¨.
Cleanliness is godliness in brewing - you don´t want any wild bacteria screwing up your results. A thermometer and a gizmo that measures density (densometer?) some tubing, bottle caps, etc., finished out the kit.
So after soaking the instruments in the bleach solution we started off proofing the yeast in 27 C water.
Mixed the malt mixture with boiled water, carefully stirring so it wouldn´t stick and burn.
Took the mixture to the bathtub to cool it down before adding the yeast.
Topped up the batch to 23 liters.
Fitted the lid and air valve. And left it to repose and ferment back in its space in the closet.
This morning we had bubbling!
So now we´ve gotten our feet wet with the kit, I´m hoping we can venture a little further and actually use some combinations of grains/hops/malt of our own choosing.
Most exciting. I may have to plant hops.