Category Archives: home brewing

Shop Brew!

On Sunday I ventured to Woodland Hills for a day of beer brewing with the Maltose Falcons. Thanks to daylight savings time, I woke up late and barely had time to shove a piece of toast in my mouth before I had to leave.
Luckily, I arrived on time, we got our recipe and set to work gathering the ingredients. And yes, that DOES indeed say 36LBS of pale malt, 9lbs of Brown Malt and 6lbs of English Caramel. We were brewing 30 gallons of beer that day – serious stuff!
We got to work choosing our malts.
And weighed out the hops.
Then we got to work mashing the grains.
After letting the grains steep at 154 degrees for 60 minutes, we mashed out by running 168 degree water through the grain bed until it drained all the sugars, starches and proteins into another tun.
Once we’d filled the second tun, we brought the wort up to a boil…
And added the bittering hops.Then we had another 45 minutes to wait until the addition of the aroma hops, so we got to work feeding ourselves – the most important part.
Oops, that’s not the food I meant to show you…
There we go! Espresso shortbread cookies…
And of course my Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon. Those disappeared within half an hour!
Along with more beer. It’s the rule of brewing – “Relax, don’t worry. Have a homebrew.” And we sure did!
I also brought along a growler of Dos Beckis, which was quickly consumed!
After the final addition of the aroma hops, we quickly brought the temperature of the wort down with an immersion wort chiller that connects to a regular garden hose. The copper coil carries the cold water through the wort, rapidly bringing the temperature down.
We then filled all of the carboys or fermenters and oxygenated them before pitching in the yeast.
The cold break – the proteins have been chilled so quickly that they coagulate and then drop to the bottom of the carboy, resulting in  clearer beer.

My beer had a very active day yesterday, screaming away through the airlock in my closet, but it’s quieted down a lot already. Possibly TOO much. For now, I’m going to…

“Relax, don’t worry. Have a homebrew.”


Filed under beer, beer is good, beer tasting, brewing, Caramelized Bacon, Dos Beckis, home brew beer, home brewing, Maltose Falcons, Oatmeal Stout Brownies, Woodland Hills

Back to the Basics!

     Dairy-free for five days and already my skin is looking so much better. Crap. Obviously I’m happy that my skin is clearing up, but DAMN am I gonna miss my gelato!

I am SO thankful they carry dairy-free sorbets and soy options!
I tried a little variation for breakfast yesterday – MIGAS! I snagged this recipe from Jenna, cut it in half and substituted baked blue corn tortilla chips for regular fried, and shallots for onions.
No cheese, but it was still pretty good!
Green Monstas and Kitchen Sink Salads are back with a vengeance! This one had half a bag of mixed greens, 1/2 of a zucchini sauteed with herbes de provnce, 1/2 a cup of lentils, 1/2 a chopped bell pepper and 1/2 a can of yellowfin tuna in olive oil (the oil drained out, obviously).
I’ve missed these!
The hikes are back as well! Went on an INTENSE one this morning to enjoy the beautiful 68 degree day and now I’m full of happy endorphins!
     Today is bottling day!!! I’ll be sipping some good brews while I bottle my beer (the official name will be posted when I pour the first glass), and then cooking up an amazing meal with my new cookbook from Williams Sonoma! Tomorrow is BREWING DAY!!! I’m heading up the coast to brew with some of my boys from college. 
Have I mentioned how very awesome my life is?


Filed under beer, bottling, dairy-free, green monsta, hiking, home brewing, Jenna Weber, kitchen sink salad, Migas, Paciugo, sorbet, strawberry balsamic sorbet, Williams Sonoma

Brewing My First Beer!

     Merry Christmas!!! I hope you had a wonderful day full of family and love and food and happiness! I’ll try to recap the foods sometime soon, but first, I need to recap a very important gift!

     One of my presents was from my brother and his wife (aka “the vegans”, now to be known as “the brewers”), and I got to utilize that today! I’ll give you one guess…

If you still don’t know, the brewers took me to pick up a homebrew kit! 
     We stopped by The Home Wine, Beer and Cheesemaking Shop in Woodland Hills to get supplies and ingredients for my first ever homebrew
Carboy fermenter and fermenter lock and stopper.
The home brewer’s bible.
Pitchable yeast.
6.5 pounds of amber extract.
     I’ll do a basic glazing over of the steps we took to make my beer so I don’t bore you too much. First off, and the most important step:
Try an amazing beer that you’ve never had before – this one was made with Nelson Sauvin hops that are only grown in New Zealand. The aroma is very familiar to apricot and pineapple, and the taste has a slight similarity to orange juice, with plenty of hops aftertaste. 
Me likey!
We boiled about 3 gallons of water, then added the extract and brought it back to a rolling boil.
Stirring like crazy!
Boiling sugar. Yummmm!
We added an ounce of Hallertau hops and boiled the wort for an hour, then added another ounce of hops for aroma and cooled it in an ice bath.
After the temperature had been brought down to about 75 degrees, we sanitized the fermenter and the siphoning setup with Star-San.
After draining the sanitizing fluid, we siphoned the beer directly from the boiling pot into the carboy.
Afterwards we topped it off with filtered water to bring it up to five gallons, put the stopper and air lock on, then stowed in my closet to ferment for two weeks.
I don’t have any clothes left in my closet, but I think beer is more important anyway!
     Now I just need to think up a name – any suggestions? It’s an amber ale, so I’ll probably include “amber” in the name. Maybe Dec-Amber? Too corny? 
C’mon, I need help here!


Filed under airlock, amber ale, beer, carboy, extract, fermenter, Hallertau hops, home brewing, Joy of Homebrewing, Nelson Sauvin, The Home Wine Beer and Cheesemaking Shop, Woodland Hills, yeast