live brew

It’s brewing day! And to make it extra-special, I’m going to live blog it, or as much of it as I can without interrupting the process, because when it comes down a choice between to satisfying you, my faithful reader (you are still out there, aren’t you?), or successfully brewing a batch of beer, you’re going to lose. Sorry. That’s just the way it is.

Step 1: Crush the grains, load them up in an old sock. It’s not literally one of my old socks. It’s a bag made out of cheese cloth that looks an awfully lot like a sock, especially after it gets re-used a couple times. Yech.

Step 2.: Dangle the sock over the edge of a 12-quart ceramic pot, fill the pot with two and a half gallons of water, light the cajun cooker, set the pot on it to boil. The grains are mostly for color. Steeping them for the fifteen or twenty minutes it takes to bring the pot to a boil is just long enough to get all the color out of them that I want.

Step 3: Nuke a brat in the microwave, because I’m STARVING!

Step 4: Open a beer. You can’t brew beer if you’re not drinking beer. It’s a law. A physical law, like gravity. You can’t break it. Don’t even try.

Step 5: Eat the brat and drink the beer. There. Now you’re in the PERFECT frame of mind to continue brewing. Continue.

Step 6: When water boils, remove grains, turn down heat, add malt extract. That’s right, I’m an extract brewer. Don’t like it, don’t have to drink my beer. More beer for me.

Step 7: Add wort chiller of my own invention. Yes. I invented the wort chiller. BOW DOWN BEFORE ME!

Step 8: Put 1/2 ounce hops in an old sock, drop sock in wort, boil for thirty minutes.

Step 9: Repeat step 8. DON’T ASK WHY! JUST DO IT!

Step 10: Add finishing hops during the last 10 minutes of the boil. Because you’re finished, that’s why. MAN, you ask a lot of questions.

Step 11: After boiling wort for one hour, remove from heat, chill to sixty-eight degrees F using wort chiller. If you don’t have a wort chiller, PANIC! Continue to panic for at least sixty minutes. The wort will cool down to sixty-eight on its own by then. Also, it’ll probably be useless. That’s what you get for panicking.

Step 12: Pour wort into big glass bottle, measure original gravity, plug the opening.

Step 13: Slap forehead with palm, unplug carboy, add yeast. You can skip this step if you remembered to do it just before “plug the opening” in step 12.

Step 14: Open a beer, drink while cleaning up mess. Drinking beer is optional this time, but you really want to by the time you get to this step. Trust me on this one.

I was not kidding when I said it was Brewing Day. Everybody was brewing. Wil Wheaton was brewing. If you weren’t, why not?

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