Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Lord Bless Charlie Mopps

David, my Y roommate from 2005 (not to be confused with David, my boss) and I spent the last month brewing our own beer.

This is something that I've wanted to do for some time now.  When Dave-o returned to Estes earlier this summer, he and I got to talking about homebrewing and we decided to try it together.

Being our first foray into beermaking, we used kits for everything.  We made a trip to the Boulder homebrew store and purchased a kit that included the fermenting and bottling buckets, bottle capper, and other indispenible brewing items.  We all picked up an ingredients kit for an Irish red ale.  The only things we didn't get at the homebrew store were bottles (these are readily available at your local liquour store; all you have to do is drink the beer that's in them) and the brewing pot.

David was convinced that we could easily find a large stock pot suitable for brewing at any trift store for a cheaper price than what we would have paid at the homebrew store.  This didn't quite prove true; however, after scouring most of Northern Colorado, we did finally come across one.

The ale we made took a few hours of intitial preparation and brewing, then ten days in the fermentation bucket.  My kitchen stove and counter top served as the brewery, and the apartment had a certain yeasty air about it for most of that time.  Then we bottled

This past Sunday marked two weeks.  The sugar we'd added to the beer just before bottling gave the yeast just enough fuel to produce carbonation.  In fact, David and I were pleasantly surprised that when we removed our bottle caps we heard that familiar sound of escaping gas.  We weren't quite sure how things would turn out.

Our fears were unfounded.  The beer is quite good, a nice balance between malt and hops.  And it went well with the crock pot chili we had for dinner.

Now we're contemplating our next batch.  I'd like to move away from the ingredient kits and see what we do on our own (though I don't mean come up with our own recipe; that's a bit premature).

We have quite a bit of the first batch left yet to drink.  Anyone want to help?