My heart goes out immensely to everyone affected by the tragedy yesterday. I’m not going to ramble on about myself as a runner, all I will say is do what you can to help. Head to the Red Cross’s website to find out how to donate blood or money (even if $5 is all you can spare). Boston, we’re with you.
Hi there, peoples! Before I continue with this post, I am now officially out of my 20s. My birthday was Saturday and I welcomed 30 with wide open arms. So far (all four days of it) it’s been super swell and I’m looking forward to how the next decade of my life is going to unfold.
Now that that’s out of the way… I decided today to finally make use of the homebrew kit mi madre got me a while ago since it was a nice afternoon and I had nothing to do post-work. I stopped by a couple places to get final supplies and with recipe and materials in hand, it was time to mash in!
The kit is from Brooklyn BrewShop and is a Chocolate Maple Porter. As soon as I started heating the grain my kitchen was filled with a roasty, chocolatey aroma that was pure heaven. For the next hour I played around with my phone, enjoyed an IPA and kept checking on the mash to make sure it was maintaining proper temperature. Normally, this type of boiling and waiting would have me going nuts (organic chem lab was not the most favorite), but I actually enjoyed the process thus far. I guess when a tasty beverage and not a boring off-white powder is your product it changes things. Once I mashed out, I filtered the wort and realized I need a much bigger strainer if I am going to do anything bigger than one gallon. Actually, I probably need a bigger one period. TWSS.
After filtering out all the grain, I laid the spent grain on a nice little baking sheet and heated it in my oven while the wort was boiling. I’m leaving it in there overnight (oven off, safety first!) to dry out so I can make flour for a future project I found today.
As you can see, the process does get a little messy, especially in my teeny tiny kitchen. I felt like I was constantly stirring and then washing things during the process, but I guess that also helps pass the time while you wait for the next part.
It’s a good thing I decided to buy a decent sized cooler just after college, even though I barely used it. It worked really well as an ice bath to cool things down.
After I got everything nice and cool, I was able to transfer to the fermentation bottle without making a total mess of my kitchen. I did have a little extra that I had to sadly part with down the drain (I said I was sorry, poor beer) as it wouldn’t have fit in the one gallon bottle.
Ferment away! The bottle will sit for a couple days until the bubbling calms down, then the airlock will be put in place and the waiting period really begins! I found the kit to be really easy to use and understand. I know I’m late to the game and a ton of people are far more skilled, but I definitely recommend checking out a kit like this if you are completely unfamiliar with the process and are doing this on your own. I had a lot of fun and fingers crossed the brew comes out the way it should! Also, at the end of the boil you’re supposed to add 3/4 cup of maple syrup. I only had 1/2 cup (gah stupid) and added 1/4 cup of honey. I figured a chocolate honey-maple porter sounds just as groovy. We shall see! I think my next project will definitely be an IPA!
Okay I’ll come clean. I’m a pretty big anglophile. I love the accents, the culture, the food & drink, the sports, the cities, the guys who play the sports… where was I?
I got bit by the travel bug last year which took me to the UK, San Diego, Vegas, NYC, and a couple other local places in between. I’ve continued that trend with my boarding trip to Utah (so fun) and am now going to head back over to the UK for another visit in April! I guess I’m just slightly obsessed with visiting the UK and it’s also been a bit easier and cheaper than heading to other parts of Europe (so far, but don’t worry, I do plan to see more someday).
I absolutely adored the short trip I had in Scotland and I have to say it was just too short for me. I made it to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but I never got over to the third largest city in the country which is Aberdeen. Aberdeen has a bit of an added temptation for me as not too far (approx 16 miles) is the location of the bright and shiny, new brewery for my favorite UK craft beer, BrewDog. I fell in love with them during my time in Glasgow’s West End and I’ve managed to snatch up two varities of their beer back here in the states (reviews to come in a future post, hint: I Hardcore You & Tokyo*).
I’ve done a little pondering and thought why not take a wee beercation where I can see what’s happening over in the northeast coast, sample some fab beers, hopefully meet their ADORABLE pupper, and check out the first beer bar they ever opened in Aberdeen? So, next month I fly out to Aberdeen and will be staying for 4.5ish days doing who knows what on that side of the country. I imagine it will be filled with lots of great beer, some fun exporing, exciting interactions, and absorbing even more of the lingo from over that side of the pond. I can’t express enough how fricken excited I am! :)
PS – I am probably going to take a longer San Diego/Hermosa Beach beercation soon, too.