Monday, March 14, 2011

Home Beer-Brewing

Greetings from The Roost! This week for the "barn hop" link up I'll be covering home beer-brewing! This is actually my hubby's domain, so he'll kinda be taking over for me a bit during this post with all the technical stuff (ladies, if you ever want to surprise your sweetie with an awesome gift that he'll swoon over, just get him a home beer brewing kit, available online. But be warned: he'll become addicted and then take over your entire kitchen for a day...) He started with a premixed kit with all of the ingredients but his latest batches have been adaptations of other recipes with ingredients purchased from a local brew shop. In the future, we'd like to grow some of the ingredients ourselves! And now, onto the gory details of brewing. This particular set of photos is from recipe for an american stout.

The mash
1. The Mash: This is where the ground malted barley is steeped in hot water for an hour to extract the fermentable sugars, kind of like a brewing tea.

2. Lautering: the grain is separated from the liquid (called wort). Additional hot water is poured through the grain to extract more of the sugars.

The boil
3. The Boil: The wort is rapidly boiled for 1 hour, and the hops are added along the way. This sterilizes the wort. The heat and hops also cause proteins in the wort to coagulate, which will later help to clarify the beer.

4. The Chill: The wort is chilled quickly  to 70 degrees celcius, the perfect temperature for happy yeast and good fermentation of an ale.

5. Fermenting: The wort is poured into a 3 gallon glass fermenter along with the yeast. Carbon dioxide will bubble off until the fermentation is done, about 2 weeks. In this process the yeast converts the sugars extracted during the mash into alcohol.

6. Bottling: The beer is then transferred to sterile bottles (we reuse ours each time by sterilizing them ourselves). Additional sugar is added to cause extra fermentation after bottling, which will carbonate the beer once it is capped. The bottles are aged to 2 weeks.



The finished product

One of our good friends is a graphic designer, and he made these awesome labels for our first ever beer, "Dominicker," named for the breed of chickens we raise (pictured at right). The name of the mix is "American Dream Stout." Featured on the bottle is our very own Mr. Rue (he's famous!)

Have any of you brewed your own beer or grown your own hops?  Or do you have any good recipes for original brew mixes? My husband's next original brew is called "Bourbon Brown Ale"  and should be a crowd pleaser at Derby time! 


  1. Love this idea of brewing your own beer! I would also like to make wine too. Love your blog and we too have a, love, love the heritage breeds.
    I am your newest follower!
    Caroline from Boho Farm

  2. Hi Caroline! Thank you for your sweet comment. I totally agree about making my own wine too- another one of our long-term dreams! So glad to hear you have a Dominique as well- awesome! Thanks for following :)