Monday, March 15, 2010

Bubbles in the airlock and a valance in the window

One means cutie-tootie and one means there's beer brewing in the basement.

So if any of James' grip friends read this blog - he was in no way involved in the hanging of this beauteus yellow and white striped valance. He tried to stop me but I maced him and hung it by myself. There is electric current running through it so if he touches it he'll go down. We still have to paint the other window and then I will hang the second one.

Rosemary designed them and sowed them. We bought 1/4" x 1 1/2" boards that you stick in a pocket sowed at the top. Tack with finishing nails and fold it over. Then bang the nails in to the wall and it's cuteness complete. I think it sort of justifies the yellow counters and back splashes which I can kind of live with now. Very content. We may have nixed the blue even.

And NO - it's not a country kitchen. It's Chez Linda or The Blue Jay Café. 

Started the home brew last night. I'm mostly writing it down so that we can remember for next time. So many crazy steps. We made it easy for ourselves and bought the kit to make a pilsner, we'll start to supplement with other stuff in bulk as soon as we know what we are doing. 

So again, these are just the steps we went through and I know there are some seriously accomplished home brewers who may read this and we are so so so open to tips and suggestions! 

Everything gets scrubbed and good riddance to all contaminents.  The big 20 quart (5 gallons, 19 liter) pot, the fermentation bucket and all the little gadgets and tools that will be used in the process.

Making the wort
We will end up with a total of 5 gallons of liquid, so to start pour 3 gallons in to the cleaned fermentation bucket. We boiled it first just cause I read that somewhere, the cleaner and more sterilized it is the better. After that boil 2 more gallons in the big pot. At the same time heat some water to loosen up the malt syrup in. Our number 1 ingredient. Exciting.

When the water boils take the pot off the heat and pour in the malt syrup. It is supposed to foam up like crazy but we had only minimal foaming. OMG have we failed already!? But what are you gonna do, Dirk's encouraging words ringing in our ears. You are gonna get beer. Like it's really hard to FK this up.

Next the hop pellets go in. And now it's starting to smell like  a brew. Boil for about 1/2 hour and then add the hop leaves. We now have wort, the soup that will become the beer.

All this talk about cleanliness and sanitation and you want us to dunk a dirty gym sock in the soup. OK. You guys make the rules. So - put the hop leaves in the hops bag and put it in the wort. The gym sock only stays in for 1 minute and then it's time to transfer the wort from the pot to the fermentation bucket. It mixes with the 3 gallons of cold water and will hopefully be around 90˚, yeast pitching temp.

We activated the yeast in a container on the side 15 minutes before the wort was done.

The yeast goes in the bucket, we left it alone for 10 minutes and then stirred just a little bit. Lid goes on tight and the airlock goes in the hole of the lid. Fill up the airlock halfway and put the lid on that.

We stuck the bucket in the basement cause a pilsner needs a cooler temp to ferment, around 50˚. We woke up this morning and I ran right down to see if we had bubbles.

We had em! Bubbbbbblesss!!! Which means the yeast is doing its job and the fermentation is a go. 

The bucket will hang out in the basement for the week and we should be ready to bottle by next weekend.

And more importantly, we should be able to crack the first bottle when my parents arrive April 16th.


  1. Cheese, Louise, you guys are crazy, someone has to say it!!! ... ;-)

    No, you guys rock. OK, all looks good on the beer making, except that you should take the cap off the airlock, otherwise the carbondioxide can't escape ... details, schmetails ... ;-)

  2. AAAAAHHHHH WE'VE RUINED EVERYTHING!!!!!! I'm in the city but I'm getting on my bicycle right now to come and take that cap off.

    Alright. Maybe not. We're still gonna get beer, right?

  3. Tack! ;-) Det ska bli myyyyyyycket spännande att höra vad det smakar. Kanske till och med känna? Hoppas allt är bättre! Nya gardinen passar bra. Nu ska jag fortsätta baka till på söndag. Kram