Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Home Brew Report

From Chestertonian:
here is some news on my homebrew: I bottled it a week ago, Thursday, May 24, finally finishing the arduous chore at 1 a.m. the following morning. It is yellow-orange in color and will be about 4 to 5 percent alcohol by volume. Homebrew is flat up to this point. When yeast reacts with fermentable sugars in the wort, it gives off alcohol and carbon dioxide. All the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape during the first and secondary fermentations by means of an airlock that you affix to the fermenters.

The carbonation takes place in the bottles (or in the keg, if you keg your beer). Just prior to bottling, you add "priming sugar" to the fermented, flat beer by removing a small portion, boiling it with the sugar for about 15 minutes to let the sugar dissolve and also to kill any impurities that may be in the sugar. Then you add the solution back to the rest of the beer, mixing it well. This disolved priming sugar initiates another fermemtation with yeast still in suspension in the beer and once you seal the beer in bottles, it carbonates, or "conditions." Bottle conditioning is still used by smaller, craft brewers to carbonate their beer (most notably, Sierra Nevada of California and Bell's Beer of Michigan). Bottle conditioning leaves a small layer of sedimented yeast at the bottom of each bottle. This is especially evident with Bell's.

This makes homebrew especially healthy, as yeast is an excellent source of vitamin B complex (attention ladies!).

It takes roughly three weeks of conditioning for beer to be ready to drink. I tried one last night after just a week and, while it was definitely carbonated, it was still very rough, needing more time to round itself out.
Interesting report, Chestertonian. I hope some folks here will get to try this brew when they come to the conference.


  1. Interesting! Chestertonian's homebrew sounds quite healthful. When the culture repents of its prudery in the form of neo-Rosocruscian New Age noncarbonated organic potions, we'll all go back to beer... and live to be one hundred and fifty!

  2. Thank you, Ellen. :-)

    Tell me more about these "neo-Rosocruscian New Age noncarbonated organic potions," so that I may more easily avoid them.


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