December 6, 2009

Home brewing

Yesterday was a fun day for me - I got to try my hand at home brewing for the first time. It's something I've been interested in doing for a while now. Brings to life the academics of what I've been reading about lately.

Also, yesterday was a great day for home brewing. We got our first "snow" of the season - big, wet flakes that didn't stick (at least not in Philadelphia proper; may have been different in the 'burbs) but were really pretty to watch fall.

Me and the boys - 3 friends who have been doing this for about 2 years and started Philly Beer Club - made a holiday porter. What I learned is that there's a whole lot of waiting that goes on. Waiting for the wort to be made. Waiting for the water to boil. Waiting for the water to cool down. And once all that is done, the longest wait of all - waiting for the beer to ferment and become something you actually (hopefully) want to drink. That's going to take a couple of weeks.

All of the waiting did, however, give us a chance to drink some beers. And that's when I knew this was something I could really get down with. We all brought some beers and some food, and spent the afternoon brewing, talking, eating and drinking - including a couple of beers the boys had brewed before. Doesn't get much better than that.

I'll be heading back over in a few weeks to help with the bottling. Then we'll let the beer age in the bottles - and then we'll finally be able to taste the fruit of our labors. I can't wait!


  1. I've been homebrewing for almost a year and we just produced our fifth batch. When we brew we find clone recipes online so most of the time they come out pretty close. Our Dogfish Head 90min was by far our best. Our latest - a Pyramid Snowcap (Seattle, WA) - didn't turn out too well. It's a winter warmer, but it smells kinda like and ash tray :( We burned the wort a little during the boil. It was a double batch too, supposed to be for holiday gifts, haha. Cool to hear you're trying your hand at home brewing! Good luck with it and let me know how it turns out! @illuminatedeye

  2. Sorry to hear that your holiday gifts went awry. :) I will definitely let you know how ours turned out. I had one beer that the guys had made previously that was really good and another that was not-so-good (which they openly admit. We took a couple of sips and then tossed it). Home brewing is a lot fun and I'm excited to do more.

  3. I'm heading on over to Home Sweet Homebrew in a few days to pick up a homebrewing kit for my boyfriend's Christmas present. We've never homebrewed before and I know he is going to fall in love with the rituals of brewing and certainly the end result (hopefully!).

  4. Let me know how it goes! I was a bit surprised by all the necessary equipment, but it was a lot of fun and I'm sure he's going to love it!