Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

Back to my Brew-ts (like "roots"…c’mon, work with me here!)

May 26, 2009
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Before I was a self-proclaimed oenophile (and hopefully soon an accredited one through the Society of Wine Educators!), or even the ace blogger* you know and love (*denotes sarcasm), I liked to brew beer.

Yeah, a few years ago, I had an awesome* double-procedure of septoplasty/turbinate reduction and tonsillectomy. Obviously blessed to be an expert in wine tasting*, I’d been living life with a crowded mouthful of tonsils and a 90% blockage in my nose. Needless to say, the recovery period from having my head cleaned out like the cavity of a Thanksgiving turkey put me out of commission of a while. So, while sitting on the couch for 2 weeks, unable to work by decree of Human Resources and half-cocked on liquid codeine, I quickly realized that sujection to daytime TV was a worse fate than my painful circumstance. So, I sent one of my caretakers (thanks again to my Mom and my wife!) to fetch some books at the store; I wasn’t prepared to recreate Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Once my rations arrived, I went right to reading this one:

Fascinating stuff. If you’re into cooking, and especially food science, you should definitely try to brew beer. I’ve done a few batches, and How to Brew definitely is a good one to get you up to snuff.

Anyway, the youthful exuberance of my beer-curious buddy Booty has inspired me to get back into it. Who knows, soon you may be able to create memorable hangovers with one of our soon-to-be famous signature brews.

With summertime pretty much in full swing where I live, we decided to start out with a hefeweizen, or wheat beer. It was supposed to be an adapted version of a blood orange hefeweizen, but most of the blood oranges I bought ended up being regular oranges, it was to look more like the color of road rash…thus:

The ingredients for homebrew (clockwise, from top left): Liquid Malt Extract, Oranges, Malted Barley, Hops (pellets)

Basically, the first step: steeping the grains in 150-160 degree water to extract the “goodness”. These are scientific terms, of course.
Not a step for most beers, but here we’re making a syrup with the “blood” oranges. Stupid grocery store.

Boiling the wort (unfermented beer). This gets proteins to coagulate out, and carmelizes some of the sugars.

Adding hops. This is done several times during the boil to add bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Making a creepy facial expression does not effect the process, but apparently I thought it was important to do so.

Adding the yeast is the final step before fermentation. Different strains produce way different beers…same goes for wine and athlete’s foot.
Booty, looking incredibly excited* about getting ready to bottle the beer a week later.

Bottling the “Scraped Knee” up. How will it taste? Only time will tell!!!