Home Brew Update
I spent the better part of Saturday cleansing, sanitzing and dry heat sterilizing in preparation to bottling a sweet Bavarian wheat beer that has quietly fermented over the past two weeks. Now that it is bottled, it will age for three weeks before serving. Only then will I know if all my efforts to create this beer was successful. Of course, I’ve appealed to all the brewing gods for a drinkable batch of beer.
It is one thing to enjoy craft beer and another to create craft beer. Surprisingly, I found Donald Rumsfeld accurately summed up the daunting task of home brewing with his famous quote:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.
I’m certain Donald did not have home brewing on his mind when he coined this quote. Still, I’ve yet to find a more suitable quote that captures my experience with home brewing.
Craft beer brewing is part art, science and a touch of alchemy. There are many factors that need attention while creating beer and there are at least a thousand ways you can screw up a batch of beer; from poor quality wort ingredients, dormant yeast to gaps in cleaning and sanitizing. Basically, I’m crossing my fingers that everything worked as it should. I did taste the beer when measuring the final specific gravity before bottling. The beer tasted smooth with a hint of sweetness. I’m hoping that is a good sign.
Another nugget of knowledge: The amount of careful work and time required to create home brewed craft beer has made me carefully reconsider whom I will share this gift of hops. Always remember to drink responsibly and to share beer responsibly. Essentially, if you annoy me – no beer for you!
Batch #1: Bavarian Weizen
Fermentation started: 7/7/2013
Starting Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.012
Bottle Date: 7/20/2013
Open Date: 8/10/2013
Malts: Alexander Liquid Malt extract, Wheat dry malt extract
Hops: Tettnang hops (bittering), Saaz (flavor)
Servomyces yeast nutrient
Yeast: White Labs ‘Hefeweizen’ yeast