Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homebrewing - Batch #1: "Potable"

In the last several years, I have been getting more and more into craft beer. The big name lite/light beers have been fun, and they did what their intended purposes were in my early 20s, they got me drunk. And, there will always be times where I just want a light refreshing beer, but lately, I've been enjoying this thing called, flavor. Having tried now over 100 or so different craft beers, I came up with the crazy idea of, brewing my own.

I researched, nothing. I just know Mr. Beer is a beginning beginners kit, so, I went on Amazon and ordered one up. It came, with an American Pale Ale mix. Of course I didn't just want to make the beer that they already had formulated, I needed to put a touch of my personal genius in it. Hence, the start of Batch #1.

I should have maybe thought of stuff that might compliment the pale ale better, but, I had this crazy idea of, brown sugar, maple syrup, macadamia nuts, and vanilla. Recipe is as follows:

1 can of the Pale Ale wort stuff (included in kit)
1 of the booster stuff (included in kit)
1 cup of Pure Maple Syrup
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of chopped Macadamia Nuts
Tbspn of vanilla extract (more on this)

So, I think the vanilla may have been a bad idea, well, scratch that, I think extract may have been a bad idea. To add vanilla flavoring, I'm thinking now that beans should be used.

Anyways, I let my beer ferment for about 3 weeks, though I think for so many ingredients and the higher ABV, perhaps I should've let it ferment for a month or more, but, I was antsy. Then 2 Sundays ago, I bottled the beer to start the carbonation process. After 7 days, I was far too anxious to see what I had created, and threw one of my liter bottles in the fridge to cool down for consumption.

The verdict that night, was...not so good. The aroma was of, not sure, the taste, was, sweet, and slightly off, though it overall tasted like beer, so that's good. I couldn't drink it, and left the remaining bottle in the fridge for an extra day. Then last night, I opened it back up, and wouldn't you know, it was much better. It was, drinkable. The flavor still isn't anything anyone would ever purposely buy, but it did make me realize that I need to let the remaining bottle condition for a while longer, perhaps 1-2 weeks more, and I might have what can be called, a likable beer on my hands. I named it, a very appropriate name: Potable.

Well, I felt like I needed a "brewery" name. I couldn't come up with anything. I can be a perfectionist that gets nothing accomplished when I try to think of names. Then, for really no reason, I thought of the name my Dad had given to a fulfilled dream of his. Back when I was a kid, my dad wanted to start up a deer farm, and from what I think I remember of the story, he was told by some that it was nothing more than a dream. Well, with hard work and determination, he succeeded (yes, I grew up on a deer farm, fallow deer if you feel like looking it up), and named the farm, "Dream Valley Fallow".

I live in an apartment, nowhere near a valley, but I felt for batch #1, it was only appropriate to name my "brewery", Dream Valley, in homage to my dad, my mom, and my childhood, hence the start of Dream Valley Brewing.

This however, isn't a dream job or career of mine, I have no delusions (like I do with so many other things). No, this is just going to be a hobby I want to start. It's mostly in fun that I call my homebrews a "brewing" company, and using a Mr. Beer kit seems like it is cheating. But, I hope to in the future get actual home brewing equipment, and hopefully create beers that are more than just, potable. Up next, is a porter. Details to come soon.

Batch #1: Potable, is just that, not great, not good....potable

1 comment:

Bulldog said...

Kevin and i brew beers almost every week...were brewing 2 or three on Saturday. If you have any questions about brewing Kevin has a lot of experience and has a crap load of brewing equipment. Brewing beer is really fun and I will say you probably will becomenaddicted to doing it.