|Drinking a beer while brewing beer.|
|A jug of beer|
For this, my first attempt, I was making a Jalapeno Saison. Now, that sounds super fancy and thanks to Wikipedia, I know a Saison is "the name originally given to low-alcohol pale ales brewed seasonally in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, for farm workers during harvest season." What makes this a Jalapeno Saison is the addition of (you guessed it) a jalapeno at the end of the brewing process.
You will also notice in the above picture a swingtop beer bottle. This is (and all the bottles I used) are 15oz Grolsch bottles which allowed me to skip buying a capper and caps. I didn't discover these bottles until I had drank about 3 six packs of pry top bottles in anticipation of the bottling. Some mistakes can be hard on the liver, but good on the heart.
You'll also notice what appears to be sand at the bottom of the jug. It's the yeast, called trub, which is a word that accurately conveys the grossness and the lack of desirability that it get into you bottled beer. So, to avoid getting that into your bottles you have to siphon the beer from a jug to a pot, where additional sugar was diluted with water, and then from the pot into the bottles. This was definitely the tricky part and not a one person operation. In the end, though, Ben and I managed to get the beer into bottles with a minimum of trub.
|Nectar of the gods or failed science experiment?|
And so now, here they sit to ferment a further two weeks before I throw them into the fridge and cool them down. The recipe had some pretty explicit (and to my mind onerous) sanitation instructions that I skipped so all these weeks of waiting (5 from brew to taste) could just be a waste of time. But that's part of the fun. I'll let you know what it ends up tasting like, good or bad. I'm interested how the jalapeno ends up being tasted it the beer.
This is my first of what I anticipate to be many attempts in brewing beer. If you've got any interest, I really encourage you to get the Brooklyn Brew Shop kit. It's a great size for a small space. Almost all the ingredients are included, and the instructions are damn-near idiot proof. In time, I hope to discard the training wheels of the recipes. For now, thought, I'm happy to minimize the errors I could make.