Our cidering experience emboldened us to try our hand at brewing beer. Conceptually, it’s very simple, but the devil is in the details. There are so many types of grain, hops, and yeast; so many different brewing recipes with very specific requirements for temperatures and times; and, of course, the threat of contamination from all manner of microscopic nasties. But at least you get to be indoors, whereas cider usually entails a fair amount of exposure to wet and cold, picking and pressing the apples. And while the apple season is short, you can brew beer any time of the year.
For our first foray we opted to use malt extract along with a small amount of steeping grain for flavor enhancement. We’re hoping to make a very hoppy American IPA style of beer. Things went pretty smoothly so far – now we’re anxiously awaiting the first signs of life from the yeast that will tell us that the primary fermentation is underway. About a week from now, we’ll be siphoning the brew off the sediments for secondary fermentation with addition of some more hops. Finally, in about 4 weeks, we’ll be bottling. Looks like this is going to be a brew for 2013.