Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Beer Brewing and Bubbles

This past weekend we started our first batch of home brewed beer. I had planned to photograph the process and do a fancy step-by-step tutorial but that did not happen. We may or may not have been a little overwhelmed by the process and aren't really sure if whatever is fermenting in our five gallon bucket will be drinkable and/or alcoholic. Better to do our first batch, see what needs to be fixed and then document the process when we actually know what we're doing. For now, keep your fingers crossed!

We actually brewed twice on Sunday. We started by heading over to our friends' house. George and Elma were also brewing for the first time and George had opted to do it from scratch with grains and hops. We went the beer kit route, thinking it would be easier for first timers to get right. It turns out the kit was just as confusing as the George's method. As soon as we bottle this beer we plan to start another batch, this time without the aid of a kit. It's sort of like baking a cake from a box - only okay when you're feeling lazy. Generally, I prefer to see and feel the individual ingredients. It makes me feel closer to my consumables.

One good sign - our beer is happily bubbling in the airlock. This means that it's definitely fermenting. Whew!

As for our other home grown projects, the shiitake block needed to be refrigerated for three days before we could start growing mushrooms. It's currently taking up way too much room in the fridge and weirding out our guests. Just another day in the Henneward house!

(Ignore the Crisco in the back. I use it once a year for pie crust, because sometimes a substitute just won't do. Also, the OJ is strictly for screwdrivers. Priorities, people!)