Friday, July 19, 2013

Brew Camp - Home Brewing 101

Sat. May 18

Several weeks ago I took an introductory class to home brewing at my local home brewing shop Brew Camp A one hour crash course into making your very own beer. I was as giddy as a kid in a candy shop. I have always loved drinking beer and have been an avid cook in the kitchen, so this seemed like a perfect marriage for me. I sat in the front row, took notes, asked questions and kept my ears open and if there is one word repeated more than beer in that class it was sanitize... sanitize... sanitize. And that your beer is only as good as your water, since after all water is the main ingredient of beer. Chicago water, I learned, naturally has chlorine in it, which is not a friend of beer flavor, so first step is to extract/neutralize and remove the chlorine.

There are a few ways to go about removing chlorine from water, here are two:
1) filtration: run water through a carbon filter
2) neutralize: fill a bucket with 5 gallons of water and add a crushed Campden tablet then let sit overnight.

I was a sponge for every word the instructor poured and by the end of the class I was purchasing all my very own home brew equipment, a complete starter kit including a wort chiller and ingredients to make a Belgian IPA.... And so my journey begins...