Tag Archives: brewing

Beer — the Second Movement

15 Oct

Just last week I began the process of brewing a batch of White House Honey Porter.  In writing about that project, I promised that it would ultimately comprise a movement in three parts.  The first movement, the brewing itself, was probably the most exciting of the three.  Once that step was completed, I largely became a passive spectator.  It was up to the yeast to do the heavy lifting from then on.

And it took to that task with gusto.

Over the course of the past week, my airlock bubbled furiously as the yeast began to consume all of the sugars contained in the wort.  By this weekend though, it had stopped, meaning it was time for movement number two: transferring the beer to the secondary fermenter. (If you’re keeping track, it was a busy weekend.  I also grilled up some delicious Honey Ginger Pork Tenderloin.)

Siphoning into the secondary fermenter.

I have found that a secondary fermentation is a crucial step to obtaining a high quality finished product.  Sure, you can skip this step and still end up with a fine tasting beverage in the end.  But the extra rest in the secondary fermenter helps to take your beer to another level.

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Beer — A Movement in Three Parts

9 Oct

I don’t remember how old I was when my dad first got his home-brewing equipment.  Regardless of my specific age, I know I was still young enough to be disappointed when it turned out that the largest present under the Christmas tree wasn’t addressed to me.  And, that it wasn’t anything particularly cool; it was just mainly a couple of generic white buckets.

As time progressed though, I eventually came to appreciate the beauty of the age-old, yet simple, process by which water, grain, hops, and yeast transforms into the wondrous beverage that we call beer.  By the time I was in college, I had taken up the hobby myself, brewing my own batches of beer under his watchful eye and taking the finished product off to school with me. (More on the ways that my dad influenced me as a cook here.)

Certainly at the time my dad started brewing, and even later when I did, brewing beer at home was an activity shrouded in mystery.  I can still recall the confusion that would follow when I told people that I had brewed the beer contained within the bottles in my fridge.  Even more, I can recall their reaction when they first tasted it and realized: “hey, this isn’t too bad!”

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