Saturday, October 15, 2011

Irish Red Ale: A Change of Pace for the Winemaker

I love wine, that surely goes without saying, but I also enjoy a good beer. My girlfriend's father has been brewing beer for a little over a year now, and he's met with great success. His ales and stouts and cervezas have been wonderful, and he now almost exclusively provides beer for family gatherings and as a parting gift each time we visit. It's enough to tempt the winemaker to try his hand at beer.

And that's exactly what happened. I had been tossing the idea around for some time when groupon in our area was an all-you-need beer kit (that's a daily deal website with deep discounts on--usually--local goods). I selected the Irish red ale as my beer to brew, and soon I was on my way! You can see the finished product here; it was so unfortunate, in order to take the picture I had to pour this glass and sip it while writing this post!

The kit contained yeast, priming sugar, liquid malt extract, a pound of grains, aroma hops, and bittering hops. All in all I spent a good amount of time sanitizing, and then about three hours brewing. I let the beer sit for a while after fermenting to clear, then racked it, added the priming sugar, and bottled it. Altogether a very simple experience, and very rewarding. The older the beer gets, the better it tastes, but to someone who is used to waiting months before tasting wine, beer is a nearly instantaneous reward!

I'm on my second batch of beer right now, but that's not all I've been up to!

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