Between dreams and reality exist whole dimensions.

Brewing up a storm

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So my super awesome wife and I decided to do some brewing and give the results as Christmas presents. Actually it was mostly her idea and I went along because it’s awesome. Above are the results. The one on the right is my batch of Mead (technically Metheglin since I added spices) and the one on the left is Ye Really Olde Fashioned Rot Beer. Or maybe we should just say Sarsaparilla. Turns out, the FDA doesn’t like Sassafras unless it’s been deSafroled, which makes it a pain to get cheap. So we substituted extra Sarsaparilla instead. It smells kinda funny, but we’ll see how it turns out.

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1 cup Molasses, 2 cups Cane Sugar, 2oz Sarsaparilla Root, 1oz Yellowdock Root, 1oz Burdock Root, 1oz Licorice Root, and 1/2oz Hops (not pictured)

Above we have the ingredients we used for the Root Beer. Hopefully the batch will turn out. We are trying to brew it up to be mildly alcoholic, but if it comes out tasting bad I actually think the culprit will be the Burdock Root. That stuff smells awful by itself. Also, we’ll probably look into getting some Sassafras Root if this batch doesn’t come out right. We should know in a few weeks.

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6lbs Wildflower Honey, 5 Cinnamon Sticks, 6 Cloves, 2 Sprigs Rosemary (not pictured), 1 Star Anise.

The Metheglin is going to take a lot longer. It won’t actually be done until December, and even then I’m supposed to let it age in the bottles for at least a year. But I’ll probably only age a bottle or two; I’ve had unaged Mead before and loved it, and I’m just too impatient to wait that long. I tried a little of the Must (unfermented Mead) and it tasted great, just like Christmas in fact.  I’m making it as a dry Mead, so it won’t be very sweet, but the cinnamon and cloves and rosemary should give it about the perfect spice.

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Here's the Root Beer Wort in an ice bath, cooling after the brewing before we put it in the fermentor and add the yeast.

I wish I had though to snap some pictures during the brewing process, but it sadly did not occur to me. For those of you unfamiliar with the brewing process, it goes something like this: first, disinfect the hell out of everything. The last thing you want is to ruin a batch because you didn’t kill some miserable little bacteria. Next, boil you water (preferably spring or carbon filtered, pure with no chlorine) and whatever brewing ingredients your recipe calls for. Next you cool it in an ice bath (careful to keep the lid on now that it’s cooling to prevent contamination). Once it is cool enough pour it into the fermentor and add the yeast (usually already prepared in a separate container with warm water). Store somewhere moderately warm, and wait.

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And here is the ginormous funnel we used to get it all in the fermentor.

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One response

  1. Me

    Very cool! I liked the pictures that showed more of the process as well.

    September 28, 2011 at 08:00

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