About Rachel&Sam

Saturday, April 10, 2010

159 Days - Brewing Our Wedding Beer

Most of you know that Sam and I are big beer fans.  For those of you that didn't know, Sam and I are BIG beer fans.  We are such big fans that we decided to brew a beer for our September wedding.  We went down to the Shenandoah Brewing Company (SBC) in Alexandria, VA to brew a Belgian-style Trippel Ale.  The guys at SBC gave us access to the ingredients we needed (Belgian candi sugar extract, Chinnook hops, Tettnanger hops, and Trappist yeast) and pretty detailed instructions on the brewing process.

For those interested in the nitty gritty:  

First we brought the water up to 200 degrees and stirred in the pitcher of candi sugar extract.  Once the brew was at a rolling boil, we dropped the heat and added in the bittering hops little by little in order to prevent it from boiling over.  After the brew bubbled for 75 minutes, we added the finishing hops slowly and let it bubble again for 15 minutes.  Then Sam stirred the brew in a circular motion in order to create a "dimple", or a foam circle, in the center of the brew.  The brew sat for another 10 minutes and then the guys at SBC poured it into a big white jug.  

Before we poured the yeast into the white jug, we got to taste the pre-beer, or beer that has not fermented.  Our pre-beer tasted at first very sweet and finished off bitter.  At that point, we also measured the gravity of the beer, which predicts the alcohol content by volume.  Our gravity measurement predicted that our beer will be somewhere between 9 and 10 percent alcohol by volume.  This made Sam very happy.  Thoroughly pleased with our brewing skills, we added the yeast to the jug and proceeded to roll the jug back and forth to each other for eight minutes.

C'est tout.  The guys at SBC will handle the fermentation process and in six weeks, we will go back to SBC to bottle our beer.  Sam says we are not allowed to drink it once it is bottled because the beer won't taste right for at least a few weeks.  Instead, the beer will sit for three months in our friends cool, dry basement where the flavor will develop into trippel-awesomeness.  We might have to taste test it at some point before the wedding though. . . 

To be continued. . .

No comments:

Post a Comment