…the mice will play. Or in this case, when Mrs. G is outta town, I often get bored and have to find ways to entertain myself. There’s only so many movies I can watch that she won’t watch (ie Sci-fi, comic book based movies like Wolverine or nerdy moveis). One way I’ve found to entertain myself is to brew beer. I’m no expert at this, it’s only my third batch, but it has been fun so far.

Boiling the wort.

Boiling the wort.

Being an amateur, I haven’t graduated up to brewing with malted grain or all-grain. Like I said, this is only my third batch, so I’m keeping it simple and using the canned hopped malt concentrate. You have to start somewhere, right?

This is the one I chose this time. Cooper's Dark Ale.

This is the one I chose for this batch. Cooper’s Dark Ale.

     It’s advertised as:

Rich mahogany colour and a creamy head. Roasted malt aromas with a hint of chocolate, generous mouthfeel dominated by roasted malt flavours, sufficient hop bitterness to give balance and a dry finish. A favourite amongst dark beer drinkers.

     We’ll see how it turns out in a month or so.

Chilling the wort.

Chilling the wort in a sink full of ice water.

     I didn’t get anymore pictures of the whole process as its kind of hands on and honestly I wasn’t thinking about it. I will report that I checked on it this morning and the yeasties are doing their job, eating the sugars and producing carbon dioxide, which you can tell by checking to see if your airlock is bubbling. I’ll keep you posted on some other steps down the road and how it ends up turning out.

     I will say that if you like to cook (especially if you like baking and using precise measurements, temperatures and yeast) and you like beer, than you will enjoy making your own beer. Yeah, it’s a labor of love and takes a lot of time and patience (mostly waiting for the next step which could be weeks down the road), but when you hand somebody a cold one, they take a sip and say “That’s really good. You made that?” it will bring a smile to you face and it makes it all worthwhile.

 

If you are a bit apprehensive about where to start, try looking up homebrew + your city and I can almost guarantee you will find a store that can walk you through what you need and how to do it. Most places will be more than happy to share their knowledge and get you started as they have a passion for beer and want to share it. If you find a place that isn’t friendly or not eager to help, go someplace else. In my experience, that is not a problem. The problem is more likely getting these people to stop talking about a subject they are so passionate about. If you are in the DFW metroplex, I can not recommend Homebrew Headquarters  in Richardson enough. These guys are super friendly and super knowledgeable. Heck, they even threw in a 12 pack of empty bottles the first time I went in and got started. I just had to wash them and get the labels off…

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