October 7, 2012 by ET
The South may be home to a long list of ales well worthy of bellying up to the bar for, but sometimes the best tasting beer can be found in your backyard. With the right kit, anyone can be their own brewmaster of the universe. Craft night has a whole new meaning with this Do It Yourself, err I mean Brew It Yourself (BIY) project.
In short, I was thirsty and my husband needed a hobby, so I visited All Seasons Gardening & Brewing Supply in Nashville. The staff helped me select a kit with all of the equipment essentials needed for a first time brewer, including the fermenting bucket, tubes, thermometer, malt, hops, yeast and grain.
Best gift ever, I know. It was, until I found this bucket fermenting in my bedroom closet. Hopefully my heels have been re-homed for good reason, and in a few weeks I’ll have a full glass of home brew.
Not unlike a skull and crossbones society, there is a fraternal order of home brewers, so I was not surprised to find a boys club in my backyard one Saturday afternoon. My husband had recruited a friend and seasoned brewer for assistance and moral support, and the guys were hard at work on a batch of I.P.A.
When I stepped outside and caught a whiff of the distinct aroma of hops and grain, I was glad the BIY project was outside. I’m pretty sure the smell would have stained my curtains. The guys were boiling the hops and malt extract in the grain steeped water.
A crisis had just been adverted! “We had to buy more beer, because we ran out,” my husband said. On average, it takes about two hours and a six pack of cold beer to brew a new batch of your own stuff, so running out of fluids is a home brew emergency.
Thankfully, the boys were able replenish their supply and get back to work watching their pot boil.
After the batch finished boiling, the guys cooled the liquid temperature and poured the batch into the fermenting bucket, where it will sit for three weeks before being transferred to a keg for another week or so.
All of my fingers are crossed that it turns out tasty and this ale tale ends hoppily ever after. Stay tuned for a sequel post about the BIY project.