Saturday, November 15, 2014

Silent Night Panther Stout

I had plenty of free time a couple of weekends ago, and so I pulled out all of my beer brewing materiel. After a Sunday's afternoon of steeping and boiling (but mostly waiting), I have 5 gallons of beer fermenting in my laundry room. I expect this batch to be drinkable by Christmas time.

Fermenting in my laundry room. Looks kind of gross right now. It's normal!

Steeping my grain

As an avid beer enjoyer and cooking enthusiast, I think it's fun to brew my own beer. It is also very simple!

Atlantic Brew Supply is nearby, and where I buy most of these items. However, it seems that many home and garden stores also carry beer brewing and wine-making items.

My brewing gear includes (but is not limited to):

1. 6-7 gallon turkey fryer kit (includes large pot, thermometer, and propane burner)
2. A propane tank
2.5. A barbecue lighter (or matches)
2.7. 1 beer brewing kit (includes grain, malt liquid extract, hops, yeast). I prefer buying these kits for ease of use - a shoe box full of all of the ingredients that you need to create a fabulous beer.
3. A large wooden spoon for stirring your hot boiling beer (called wort).
4.4. Irish moss* (added to wort for clarity)
5. A 6 gallon glass carboy, or other container where the beer will be left to ferment. It should be sealed, but with a vent to let gas (a product of fermentation) escape.
6. A rubber stopper (a "bung") to seal your carboy
6.9. An airlock** or venting hose. 
6.96. Bleach (always handy)
7. Star San, or other no-rinse sanitizer. This is the best way to sanitize your beer bottles, airlock, and tubing.
8. A siphon, for moving the wort into the carboy
9. About 60, 12 ounce beer bottles and caps

*Irish moss is a protein coagulant added at the last stages of boiling the wort. It clumps a lot of the larger particulates in your beer, so they fall to the bottom. This makes it easier to leave them behind when you pour the wort into the carboy. Less particulate matter = clearer beer.

** When fermenting your beer, place an airlock and rubber stopper into the top of your carboy. The airlock lets excess gas escape your carboy, but prevents outside air and bacteria from getting into your beer.

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