Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Birthday Present

Yea, I know, this is a way belated post. My birthday was well over a month ago. But, I wanted to check out the results before I blogged about it.
I love my wife!
The wives out there (no offence) would probably have gotten their husbands birthday presents like socks, or sweaters, or ties or something boring like that.
No, not my Kristin. She bought me a beer making kit! (then again, what about those women who got their husbands a BMW??).
And so, like a mad professor tinkering around in his lab, I couldn't wait to try it out.

The kit comes with all kinds of parts. A big plastic barrel, some plastic beer bottles, and the all-important brewing mix, which contains the hops, spices and for all I know, toenail dirt.
It also comes with a manual, thankfully. I guess this prevents dumb people like myself from fermenting something into methanol and going blind. Anyway, I thought it was pretty straightforward.
All I had to do was to dissolve the brewing mix in water and slowly bring it to boil. And for a personal touch, I added in some orange peel zest.
After that was done, let the mix ferment in the barrel in a cool, dark place. They recommended at least 1-2 weeks, so I left it there in my basement. Except, like a boy on the night of Christmas eve, I kept peeking and checking in on the barrel, which probably didn't help. Then again, I was worried it was going to blow up or something.
After the fermentating, put 2 tablespoonfuls of granulated sugar into the bottles. And if you don't have a funnel you can always improvise with the junk mail you have sitting on the kitchen counter. I guess I must have missed this part in my chemistry classes, but apparently this is the thing that carbonates the damn thing.

Fill bottle up with the beer mix concoction, and leave in in a dark place for another 1-2 weeks. I kept my stuff in a brown paper bag in the basement, completing the picture of an alcoholic!
And waa-laa: Home Made Beer.
I must say, it turned out pretty damn good. Then again, I'm probably biased, and the higher-than-expected alcohol content might have played a role. But I was impressed by the outcome.