2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brew Yourself

To Cap off this four day beer bonanza, Tim and Danielle (from the Brewers club) invited us over their house to brew a 60 min IPA. The recipe used was provided by Dogfish Head Brewery in their Extreme Brewing book.

Extreme Brewing is author and brewer Sam Calagione's instructive and engaging tell-all on brewing one-of-a-kind craft beers. Calagione is the founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, one of the fastest growing independent breweries in the United States, which has built a reputation for creating extraordinarily bold and daring beers.

They were expecting a couple of people from the club to participate/watch this event. The mourning of, I learned that I would be the lone BeerGuy in this venture (I think Ian had to wash his hair or something).

Upon arrival, I learned that this was a 201 or 301 course using whole grains, rather than a 101 course using extract. I was excited and overwhelmed to say the least.

The brewing process started by bringing 5+ gallons of water to boil at 175 degrees. Then the water was mixed with grains in a modified cooler and to maintain a temperature at about 168 degrees. This cooler was used to release the fermentable sugars from the grains.

After a period of about 75 mins, the “wort” was filtered from the cooler into a large modified keg. The cooler had a modified spout and filter that would keep the grains in the cooler and send the wort to the keg. The keg’s top was cut off to be used as a boiling pot for the 7+ gallons of wort.

Because only of about 5 gallons of wort was needed for the fermenting process, we needed about 7 gallons before the boiling process could be started. We added about four more gallons of boiling water to the cooler to continue releasing the sugars from the grain.

Once all of the sugars were released from the grain, the wort was filtered into the keg ready for boiling. We carried the keg outside to the lobster cooker and started the boiling process.

Once the wort was brought to a boil, we started adding three different types of hops in seven minute intervals for a total of eight intervals. Once the hopping process was completed, we added a cooling unit. This cooling unit was copper piping with rubber hoses connected to the end. One end of the hose was to be connected to a outside hose used to water the lawn. The other end was to disperse the water on the lawn.
This method is used to reduce the temperature after the boil without adding water to the brew. By moving the cold water through the copper pipe, the brew cooled down in about 15 minutes.

At this point, the beer was ready to be moved into the fermenting jug. It’s a glass jug that looks like a large Poland springs bottle. Activated yeast was added and capped back up for the fermentation process to take place.

I had a fun time learning this home brew process. It was a little complex and overwhelming at time, but I appreciated the invitation.


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