Sunday, February 15, 2009

Get your booty movin'

We love Bebop Hoedown. It is really about as simple as that. So, we felt it imperative to share this with everyone. Both Justin and Carrie have known Sonny for many years now, and think it is impossible to know a nicer guy. We can tell you one thing, when we actually get to open our brewery .. plan on hearing some good music ~ they don't know it yet, but they will be playing there!
Just click on this link, turn the sound WAY UP and get ready to boogy:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Brews of 2009

Saturday turned out to be a very gorgeous day, so like many homebrewers across the valley, we headed outside to brew. We got started at 8:45 am, while it was about 45 degrees out. It quickly warmed up to 62 degrees though, which was quite nice.
We were especially fortunate today because of the amount that we were able to brew. We brewed two 10 gallon batches of all-grain beer: our stout, "Ruby's Deep Winter," and our brown ale "Back Porch Brown." In the top photo you can see the Back Porch Brown still finishing sparging, with the wort being collected in the bottom kettle. In the right side of the photo is our stout in it's final boil. We had decided to brew the stout, as St. Patrick's Day will be upon us soon and it just seems quite wrong to celebrate without a stout. St. Patrick's Day is not only special to us because of our love for beer but also because we were married that day ~ 2009 will be our 4th anniversary!

Here is another shot of the brown ale, March's competition beer for Star City Brewer's Guild, finishing sparging with the wort being collected in the bottom kettle.
One of the really great things about this particular brewing day was the reaction of our boys. They were both not only very interested in it all, but very excited about getting to help. In the above photo you can see Shannon helping add hops to the brown ale, in the bottom photo you can see Tristan getting his turn adding hops. Shannon has been very proud of the fact that he gets to help brew beer. And while we certainly don't condone underage drinking, teaching them about brewing beer is another matter.
We believe in being self-sufficeint and sustainable, and we practice urban-homesteading. Brewing our own beer is part of that. Since we're also homeschooling the boys, we like that in learning how to brew beer they are also learning stuff like volume measurements, some basic math skills, along with the processes of how things come to be. Shannon helps measure, weigh, and grind out the grain. In the summer we grow hops, so they learn about horticulture and caring for the land, as well as the plant. In the fall they get to see how the hops are harvested and stored. They also learn about safety, something that is every parents' concern, since there is boiling water and wort and flames on burners. So far they've managed to learn this lesson very well .. much better than the dogs who keep getting their fur singed!
All in all yesterday's brewing went pretty smoothly and much quicker than we had anticipated. Wind was a little bit of an issue, as it kept blowing out the burner. We were much luckier than some others who had not only burners being blown out, but lids being blown off, and even glasses being blown over! Both beers are now in the fermenters, chugging away like they ought to be. Our only dilemma of the day was using the "new" keg and having to pour some beer over the edge of it, into a fermenter. Hopefully this won't pose a major contamination threat. We will plan to drink that stout first though, just in case. Not like any beer, much less Ruby's Deep Winter Stout, sits around waiting to be drunk for very long here anyway!!