January 14, 2015

Near beer

Let's talk a bit about beer, but not for too long and not just yet. A lot has been coming down the pipe in terms of my creativity. I've finished my grant, to the best of my abilities and I'm hoping a friend or two can go one it and help make it better and more presentable. I have a mural offer, animation on the go, some design work, and plenty of classes coming up. Below is my latest sketch, a Venus piece made with Copic markers and india ink applied with a variety of brushes, as well as some opaque white for the highlights.

I have been running around doing a lot, looking for work for the most part of my day. My latest curiosity, hobby and skill I'm developing when I get home in the evening is beer making. I'm not drinking right now, but I can't wait to gift my work to friends and family in the next three months as my current labours come to fruition.

I went to the vineyard and got enough supplies to make the first two batches that were part of my Master Beer Making course that I just recently finished. A guys got to have hobbies after all.  The best part about this one is that my parents gifted me the gear this summer, and now I'm finally putting it to good use.

The past two evening, instead of watching TV, though I could hear what my room mate was a watching which is nice, I made some brews.  I was able to sanitize and use my limited equipment to great effectiveness. The first batch I made was a blond ale and the second an IPA. I'm not particularly fond of IPA's myself, I find them too hoppy and bitter but I made it anyhow. It proved to be extremely informative and amazingly aromatic.

These are some of the grains I used in this hop bags and cheese cloth. I put the remains in my com poster but its also good for the birds. When you start making the wort it is kind of like oatmeal. It smells good. Then it goes thru a bread stage as it sweetens up. Then you add the hops in a variety of stages to produce, bitterness, flavour, and aroma. There are so many hops to choose from that do a variety of things to the brew.

Here are some of the hops I used to finish the IPA, and some of my great and sanitizing stuff. There are 9 minutes left until I add the Fuggel hops and the Citric hops and turn the flame off. After that everything goes into the primary fermenter, the heat is reduced and then I pitch the yeast. The rest is all about patience, a many splendored virtue.

Here is the gear that my parents gave me this summer. I'm optimistic that it is finally being put to good use making close to 46L of beer. Intend of sharing it with those around me who are willing to risk trying an amateur's first attempt. The recipe is good and I have tons of experience making wine so everything is overly clean and the method meticulously followed.  Who knows, it may come in handy during Stampede. The brew in the carboy n the left is the IPA, the right bucket has the blonde ale fermenting and the box in front has all the sanitary equipment, and extras needed for the task.

 I decided to add one more thing in before bed for the neighbourhood kids and anybody else who like me, loves root beer. Sure its late and I'm tired,  but in 3 weeks the payoff will be worth it. It is all bottled and in the first week will be fermenting bubbles but no alcohol and then I'll cold age it for at least of couple of weeks.  I have a total of 60 L of liquid love to look forward to. I can't wait.


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