Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

I’ve made a couple of ciders, some ginger beer, and a wine or two. They’ve been fun to make, and relatively easy.

I have stayed away from beers because, quite frankly, I found it a bit intimidating.However, I am giving it a try today. The first thing I can say about it is that when my kits instructions included “brew day” steps, they weren’t kidding.

The second thing I will say is that when I pulled the grains out of the water after they had steeped for 20 minutes, it was a very pleasant smelling liquid (wort) they left behind. It was slightly nutty with a hint of a corn smell. The grains were carapils and caramel. As I write this, I am waiting for the wort to begin boiling so I can move to the next step. More later.

As I wait, watching the pot for it to boil, I begin to think it never will. My mind is going over the next phase. After all the warnings about letting the LME (liquid malt extract) carmelize on the bottom of the pan, I find myself wondering if maybe I should have stayed away from beer after all. It seems this must be a fairly regular occurrence.

I am fairly certain that I prevented any of the first batch of LME from carmelizing. However, I learned tongs are useful when making beer if you drop your spoon into the wort while trying to lay it across the pan.

At this point, I’ve added the first LME and noticed that the wort basically smelled neutral afterward. Just a slight hint of the smells I noted earlier were left. I’ve also added the Willamette hop pellets. Gave them a sniff before adding them into the wort and immediately recognized how beer gets its flavor from hops. Funnily enough, adding them to the wort made it smell like I was boiling hay.

The first 45-minute boil is over. I just finished adding the second bit of LME and the spices. The spice packet had a very nice citrusy smell. I will be very pleased if I end up with a clean, crisp beer. It needs another 15 minutes of boiling, a cold bath, and then into the fermenter for a while. A few minutes into this last phase, and the wort smells grand.

Done. Well, sort of.  I’m done for a few days anyway. I got the wort cooled down and transferred most of it to the fermentation container.

I use “most” for two reasons. One, pouring out of a giant pot into a 5″ opening is hard, and it didn’t all make it. Two, some of the wort came out with the trub, left-over solids. But, I got it in there and got everything sealed up. Now, the first wait.

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By Derek

Father of three. Married to my best friend. Follower of Jesus Christ. Love the outdoors.

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