My husband and I started our home brewing adventures back in November over Thanksgiving weekend so we would have our first batch ready to share at Christmastime. We had been talking about taking up this new hobby for awhile, and finally bit the bullet and gave it a go! We came upon a Groupon for a “starter-kit” from Midwest Supplies, which sells products for home brewing and wine making. It came with everything you needed for for first batch, including the ingredients for the beer! My mother and father-in-law make wine, so I figured we should brew the beer in the family.
So far I must say, I wish we had started sooner! It’s a relatively simple process if you can follow directions, and all of the batches we’ve made have turned out great in my opinion. I feel that I’ve gained a greater appreciation for beer in general, and the many layers of flavor that goes into even the simplest batches. We haven’t strayed too much from the standard recipes, but do have plans for branching out a bit with our upcoming brews.
So far we have made an Irish Red Ale, Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (one of my favorites), Weizenbeer, Raspberry Witbier, India Pale Ale, and a Kolsch (one of the husband’s favorites). For the Rasberry Witbier, we just added raspberry puree to the mixture during the fermentation process. When making the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, added chopped chocolate and oats to the grain mixture and steeped them during the initial boil. As I mentioned earlier, this activity has given myself and my husband a greater appreciation for beer, and dare I say – my husband has become a beer snob! This is a far cry from his previous life of Bud Light-only-drinking. One thing to be careful of with home brews and craft beer in general, they are often much high in alcohol content! I only need about two beers to make me feel like I shouldn’t drink anymore…could be dangerous!
In honor of American Craft Beer Week next week, I’ll be posting some beer-themed dishes and reviewing some beer flavored confections I purchased from a local bakery! Well since it’s Friday, I think I’ll go crack open a homemade brew to celebrate the end of the week. Have a great weekend everyone!