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August 11, 2008


Well, I'm making my own beer. I've got two systems going: one in which I make five gallons at a time from kits that include everything you need, and another one where I make two gallons of "experimental" beer at a time using whatever I have on hand. It's actually a fascinating process to boil the malt extract and hops, then add the yeast and let it ferment. The yeast get going and 24 hours later the airlock is bubbling with their farts--carbon dioxide they produce while digesting sugars into alcohol. The biggest pain is sterilizing equipment and bottles, but for a total of maybe two hours work, I get around 55 *really good* beers. Nice.

I got inspired to do this after getting tired of paying more than a dollar per beer for "the good stuff" like Samuel Adams or New Belgium beers. Doing it myself works out to around 50 cents a beer and it tastes (most of the time) better than anything you can buy. And I can make unusual beers that simply aren't available in the states, like English Bitters or German Doppelbocks and Oktoberfest. Yeah.

If you're interested, get this book: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (thanks, hareball) and shop at the greatest brew supply shop on the internet, Austin Home Brew. They offer flat-rate $6.99 shipping and, since food isn't taxed, I don't pay state taxes on any ingredients. Booyah.

Incidentally, I also make wine from this recipe. Despite being cheap, it's actually quite good and very simple. Now it isn't Shiraz or Pinot Noir, but it's a dry red wine that tastes better than box wine like Franzia.

Nothing beats doing things for yourself. I've been on this kick lately where I'm not wanting to pay anybody to do things or make things for me--bicycle repair, oil changes, eating out--and making my own liquid entertainment satisfies like nothing else. Cheers.

Posted by tat at August 11, 2008 07:53 PM

It's funny, but it's those exact kinds of thoughts that got me to buy myself an animal hospital and stop making other people rich.... :)

Going to have to try this, really into the wine thing now and finally at a point where I can distinguish many different tastes and types - could see myself really getting into the world of home brewing! :)

Great post! :)

Posted by: Deb at August 11, 2008 10:32 PM

Glad I could help.

You may want to keep a log book of your favorite recipes, and don't be afraid to try different things. When I was up in Seattle, one of the best brews Gary and Jay introduced me to was based on an impulse.

They were cooking a stout and Jay saw his daughters chocolate Easter bunny sitting on the table. After a little surgery, he put the tail of the bunny in the mix and voila, Bunny Butt Stout was born! It was goooood!

Cheers, and Happy Homebrewing!


Posted by: hareball at August 18, 2008 10:50 AM