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A little less than a happy high
I forgot to mention that Pablo and I bottled last night, and that I was struck with the casual efficiency and speed with which we put away five gallons of nigh-on beer. The whole process seemed fluid and easy, something to be done without a great deal of thought. Cleaning and sterilizing is still painful, mostly for want of a) a bottle tree and b) a second faucet, and one of these can be remedied. Regardless, it seemed like a watershed moment.

Sunday's brew was my first mini-mash, which entails actively drawing sugars from the grain as opposed to relying solely on extract. I'm not sure that I managed to reach full starch conversion, but I can say conceptually, mashing doesn't seem that out of reach any longer. I also managed the process solo... which I chalk up to the short notice and the promise of Bill Murray flicks in place of the usual cheesy HKAT fare.

More one than the other...
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_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: April 13th, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, in my case, it was indeed the short notice, but not from you - even shorter notice from R's family that they wanted to get together for a brunch-type thing. Glad it went well, albeit solo.
komos From: komos Date: April 13th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, no worries... It was one of those days where I thought it would be cool if I had company, but I was fully prepared to fly solo. I got what I needed done, and I even got to nap a bit, which is a luxury I don't often allow myself.

How was brunch?
mittenstein From: mittenstein Date: April 13th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

something that just occurred to me

Pedro Picapiedra y Pablo Marmol?

That's the Mexican version of 'Fred Flintstone' and 'Barney Rubble', even though those first names aren't the proper equivalents.
komos From: komos Date: April 13th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: something that just occurred to me

Well, we are constantly getting into crazy misadventures because of my ill-thought out plans...
cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: April 13th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
But do you put dinosaur ribs on the side of your car while at the drive in?
komos From: komos Date: April 13th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That would certainly explain what happened to my shocks.
why_style From: why_style Date: April 13th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

to bother you with more questions...

sounds like you're making real progress and enjoying yourself too- congrats! i've often thought that it would pretty much rock to brew my own tasty concoctions, but i've never taken a stab at it. i've seen these home brewing kits but was never sure if they worked or not- my roomie back in college got one of those plastic barrel kits but we didn't have very good results with it. is there a kit out there you'd recommend? or maybe just a good resource for finding out what equipment and ingredients would be necessary? not that i have the space in my tiny apartment for much, but i am curious.
komos From: komos Date: April 13th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Just for starters


The process of brewing is itself pretty easy. You can make a drinkable beer with water, a fermentable sugar, some kind of bittering herb, and yeast. Making a beer that tastes exactly like, say, McEwan's Scotch Ale takes a little more effort, but that's where you have room to grow in the craft.

The kit beers are a mixed lot, and mostly they'll produce beer that's drinkable and unremarkable. This is especially true of the ones that use pre-hopped malt extract, though I might be showing my bias there.

As for starting equipment, there's a good setup available here. I'm showing bias again, but I've never used a plastic bucket as a fermenter. I'm thinking about getting one for one of my crazy concoctions, but the glass carboys are generally better because a) it's easier to ensure that the system is closed, thus preventing unnecessary exposure to unwanted bacteria and b) it takes a great deal more to scratch glass. Plastic has the advantage of being cheaper, easier to clean, and less fragile. It's also stackable, which may be the deciding factor if you're short on space. Be sure to get Papazian's Joy of Homebrewing or a comparable beginner's guide as part of your setup. If you're interested in a slightly less reverent take, look into a book called The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible (which also talks about wine and Shhhh... stills.)

There's tons of information available online, ranging from beginner's guides to elaborate analyses of water treatment techniques. I find myself using beertools.com a lot to formulate recipes, and I've occasionally ordered goods from northernbrewer.com. There's also the homebrewing community here.
why_style From: why_style Date: April 13th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Just for starters

awesome, thanks! i so rarely engage in the commnuities on lj, but i suppose it's a good idea for something like this. i'll definitely do some reading up on it before taking the plunge, but i appreciate your pointing me in the right direction.
komos From: komos Date: April 13th, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Incidentally, if you haven't already, find yourself a good, stinky washed-rind cheese like epoisses or livarot and have it with a French farmhouse ale or a good strong Belgian golden...
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