Home Brewing Pt. 1

I’ve been itching to try homebrewing beer for quite a while. I took a class at Brooklyn Kitchen a couple years ago, bought the kit but never followed-up. Recently, I was inspired by the release of the recipe for the White House Honey Brown Ale under a Freedom of Information Act. So I grabbed my brother and we messed up his kitchen in Bloomingdale last weekend.

Of course it is tradition to sample brews AS you brew. Fat Tire’s Snow Day and Heavy Seas Loose Cannon kept us properly marinated while we steeped the grains, boiled the wort, and added the first and second batch of hops. We then moved the wort to the fermenter, put the lid on and attached the airlock. And now we wait. The recipe suggests that we rack the beer for the second fermentation after 5 days, but while doing some reading on the homebrew forums I came across the notion of a “long primary.” Seems today’s homebrewers now agree that a single longer primary fermentation will yield a more clear beer with less risk of oxidation in the transfer to a second fermenter. After checking in with the guys at DC Homebrewers, I took their advice and am going to let it sit for 2 weeks before bottling and conditioning for 2 more. So I won’t have the beer in time for Thanksgiving, but definitely should have it to give as Stocking Stuffers!

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