Meet Alan. Alan is the latest to don the Hat of Authority in order to lead our intrepid band to new heights of exploration and discovery. At his urging, the past weekend’s brewing moved outside of the now familiar barley/hops/water/yeast formula. Instead, we prepared root beer - sweet, non-alcoholic, old timey, soda pop root beer. As I had suspected, the processes are not at all dissimilar. All of the same elements are there – you boil water, add some sort of sugar and a bittering herb, and then add yeast. The only real difference lies in the fact that the wort goes straight to the bottles after you’ve pitched. Carbonation happens the exact same way, but because it’s not allowed to ferment, you don’t get anything more than trace alcohol. Of course, because there’s still so much sugar in it, there’s a very real possibility for ‘splodey bottles.
It’s very exciting. Like spies or high-seas pirates exciting.
We also brewed beer on Sunday just so I could feel whole for having something living in my closet again. (I delight in hearing the burbling of the yeast when I come down for breakfast in the morning.) The goal was to craft something akin to a Belgian abbey-style tripel, but I think the grains I chose gave the beer just a little too much color. This morning I also realized that I managed to forget the Irish moss to clarify it. I’m guessing that I’m going to end up with something akin to an opaque Leffe. I’m thinking that if this goes well, there may be further experimentation with the style… just because it is so delicious.
Incidentally, today is Mardi Gras, so I expect plenty of drunken revelry and gratuitous nudity from y’all.