Saturday, October 15, 2011


So, I'm taking a short break from my normal correspondence themed postings to show you some pictures of my activities today: BREWING DAY!

That's right, today we brewed the Imperial Stout.

Earlier this week Clay helped me make a yeast starter.  This is it: 

A yeast starter is basically a very simple terrible beer made solely for the purpose of feeding the yeast.  We want to build up a large population of yeast because the Imperial Stout is a very alcoholic beer, so there need to be enough yeast to survive the deadly alcohol.  You don't have to make a yeast starter for every beer.

Here it is again. This is what we actually poured into the beer.  The yeast settles to the bottom and then you pour off the extra on top.  But the yeast goes into the beer last of all.

Here is one of the first steps of brewing beer:

Right now this is just the malted barley soaking in water.

Next fun step: pouring the malt extract into the brew. :-)

This is as thick as molasses. Ooooh.

We poured two of these jugs in the wort (but at different times).  Total that's 12 pounds of dark malt extract syrup.

Then comes lots of stirring and making sure the wort doesn't boil over.

This is by no means a how-to of beer making.  I'm describing here the steps I took photos of!
There's also a lot of sanitizing and you add hops and other steps. It's not hard, but don't try to make beer by looking at this post!!

Anyway, after chilling the wort in the sink surrounded by cold water, ice and cold packs, you get to pour it in the fermenter!
In our case, a bucket.
You also add 2 gallons of water to the fermenter before you pour in the wort.
This makes five gallons total of delicious beer to be!

The you put the lid on and rock the beer back and forth to aerate it...
and this is what it looked like after that!
 This is even before we put the yeast in, so before it is fermenting at all!

Oh boy. I am so excited.  I just love the photo of Clay pouring the wort into the bucket. Dark as night!!

And now I have about four months to wait before I can drink it.
I just hope I can think of a name for it before it's ready!
Any suggestions?

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