Homebrew Journal #1

Welcome to the first Homebrew Journal!

In this feature, I will be tracking my progress throughout the world of homebrewing! Sometimes it can be intriguing, sometimes it can wacky, and other times, well, it can just be downright boring. This is why I bring to all of you a journal that discusses every aspect of the process. You’ll follow me through many different stages such as fermentation and bottling, and I’ll be educating you along the way. So, stay tuned and you’ll be rewarded with some fine facts and tips to help you brew your own! Without further explanation, let’s hop into it.

I am currently in the middle of fermenting my fourth overall brew. It’s a completely experimental fruit beer called “One fer the Missus…” and the recipe is wholly original. I found inspiration for it when watching my girlfriend choose a drink from the fridge. She rarely ever pulls out a beer; when she does, it’s usually something on the sweet side. So, I got to thinking, how would I be able to get her to drink more beer? The answer was very clear: craft my lady a very personal one.

The ingredients

She settled on a fruit punch ale and I got to work. I boiled two pounds of berries with over three ounces of hops during the hop boil. This, I felt, would create a tropical flavor balanced by tart sweetness, which is the idea behind fruit punch. But that wasn’t all I did. I took two pounds of peaches and two more pounds of berries, and threw them into their own pot. I poured gin all over the fruit to not only cleanse them of any bacteria, but to try and produce a very unique flavor. I took the fruit, gin mash and plopped it into the primary fermenter. I poured the newly brewed wort (beer before yeast is added) on top of the mixture and added an uncommon yeast. It was time to wait.

Fishing for berries

Fruit and gin mash

That was March 5th, 2012.

It has been one week since the mad science project and the beer, tonight, was transferred into the secondary fermenter. Usually at this point in the process, I am able to taste the beer and make a preliminary opinion on it. Tonight was no different.

After primary fermentation

Transferred into secondary

“One fer the Missus…” is quite an extraordinary ale and I’m not just saying that because I brewed it. The sweet fruit flavors are in no way overbearing like most beers in the same category. It is slightly bitter and the whole thing reminds me of pomegranate. The alcohol content is between four and five percent, making this one hell of a sessionable beer.

It still has three weeks to go, but if tonight was any indication, “One fer the Missus…” is going to make many interested beer fans out of many uninterested girlfriends.