Please welcome guest blogger Carmen, who is going to fill us on her attempt to make sweet, sweet beer in her very own home. Trust me, this isn't Mr. Beer.

My friend Sara and I recently took a class on brewing beer. Needless to say it was the best damn class I've ever taken. So instead of waiting to see how our pale ale turned out, I asked my friend Carlo (beer brewing master) if he would like to have a brew session. So we took advantage of the February heat wave and brewed some beer on his back porch while others were drinking on stoops and rooftops.

Carlo's old roommate was a chef and bought tons of equipment for brewing and then moved to New York leaving it all behind.


Next we took a trip down to Bev Art Brewer and Winemaker Supply, where I took my class the week before, to get ingredients. Carlo wanted to get started on making a coffee porter. So he went with a Robust Porter kit. I'm a huge fan of hops so I decided to go for the India Pale Ale kit.


We started by heating up about 5 gallons of water. We had to have it at a temperature that wasn't boiling so we could soak the barley for about 15 minutes.

Then we brought it up to a boil (about 212 degrees Fahrenheit). That's when we added the malt extract and bittering hops. We then let that boil for about 55 minutes, added the finishing hops and let it boil for 5 more minutes before running the counter-flow chiller. This bad boy built by Carlo chills a 5 gallon vat of boiling beer in 5-7 minutes. Its pretty much just a copper coil with cold water running through it.

Next we prepared the yeast and then poured it into the carboy. Then we poured the beer from the boiler into the carboy, then sealed it up with the airlock. The processes were pretty similar for both beers.

The IPA turned out lighter than the porter. In about 2 weeks, Carlo will be adding 15 shots of espresso to give his coffee porter its flavor and I'll be adding whole hops for a process called dry hopping which gives the beer an enhanced hop aroma. Then 2 weeks after that we'll be bottling...

The beer baby.

Leftover yeasty film from the process

TO BE CONTINUED....tune in, 2 weeks from now, for an update on our brewin' crew.


Kelly said...

The suspense is KILLING me!!! mmmmm Beer.

dr. demento said...

i second second that.