Sunday, February 22, 2009

Great Activities for Pregnant Women: Beer Brewing...

Well, brewing beer doesn't involve drinking any beer anyway (at least not the beer you're brewing) so why not? Chris' friend from work has been planning to brew beer for about three or four weeks now, and today they finally got it together. We headed over there at a little after nine o'clock this morning to get starting on a project that eventually took about five hours. Much more than I was really bargaining for, and if not for my camera keeping me busy I think I would have wanted to lay down and take a nap in a bush, that's about how exciting it was.
Despite the slowness of the process though, the guy had a really awesome backyard and the lighting was especially good for photos today, so I took a LOT.

I really liked these old bottle caps that were part of the brewing kit that Ron gave to Chris a while ago, and that finally got used today. Thanks Ron!

Juggling clubs are a good way to pass the time waiting for things to heat up or cool down, that is if you're willing to risk being hit in the face by one, which I wasn't.

One of the first steps was to mix the grain with hot water and leave it to sit in this cooler (or warmer in this case) for an hour.

Using an intricate bucket with holes in it strainer system, more hot water was poured through the grain mixture into another bucket.

From the bottom bucket, after it was filtered through twice, the "wort" was poured into large pots for more boiling and adding hops and yeast.

Adding hops:

After adding the hops, you run cold water through a coil of copper pipe that goes down into the bucket and cools the beer, then runs out to water a tree on the other side.

Apparently, a lot of airation makes it taste better, so the three guys took turns shaking the bucket for five minutes. I was very glad to have a good excuse not to do that (other than that I'm not sure if I could even pick it up!)

Finally, the wort sits in this bucket until it ferments, and then is transfers into either a large glass bottle for more clarity, or bottles.

Overall, I don't think beer brewing will by my new hobby, although Chris seemed to enjoy it, as you saw in the photos. Too much math for me.


Chris said...

I did have a blast, and look forward to many more brewing days to come. I just hope my luck with backyard chemistry is better than my luck with teaching chemistry!

the Juggler said...

Awesome photo essay Emery! Quite an archive of the process and the event! Diggin' it.

And oh the hours you had to wait between each of those shots! :)

gordon uncle-in-law said...

i didn't see any pictures of chris drinking beer during all those laborious steps. i thought that would have been a necessary step for beer making, but then again maybe it wasn't.

Chris said...

Oh, there was a little drinking involved. There probably could've been more if I wasn't so nervous about screwing something up!