Gut Rumbles

September 15, 2005

i need a hobby

Even though I seldom drink beer anymore, I'm thinking about cranking up my home-brewing apparatus again. I made some damn good beer years ago and I know I haven't forgotten the knack.

Most brewers fart around with clearly defined styles. They'll try to make their own versions of German lagers and Irish dry stouts and so on. I do that sometimes, but I also like to yank bizarre original recipes out of my rear end, and that's how this ale was created. I tried a bottle of Flying Dog's Snake Dog Ale, and I decided I wanted to do something sort of similar, only fruitier, and I threw together ingredients that seemed likely to get me where I wanted to be.

Thanks to steve h. for describing something that makes home-brewing a lot of fun. It's no crime to play around with your beer and create your own recipes. I experimented with a lot of different hops (those put the "bitter" in your beer) until I discovered what worked best to produce the taste I wanted in a certain batch.

I liked to add lemon peels to wheat beer. That gave the finished product a real summertime taste. I put nuts, fruit and berries into some of the darker beers I made. That taste follows through in the beer, especially if you use pecans and plums.

I made some of the best beer I ever tasted right on my kitchen stove.

I think I'm going to start doing it again. I've got all the equipment... and if I don't like the way it looks or smells when I'm ready to bottle it, I'll just cook it down into moonshine.

I've also got a still on my back porch.


This post you sound better, so hopefully you
feel and are! When and if 'n you do make some 'shine. I sure would like to try it...............

Posted by: Captain Harley on September 15, 2005 09:58 PM

Brewing is a great one. I've been doing it for 25 years. I'm a traditionalist, and like my brews to follow style (I've started entering competitions, and won awards the past two years for my brew).

But, that's the great thing about homebrewing. You can make it any damned way you like!

Lots of people get out of brewing because bottling can be such a pain in the ass. There are tons of alternatives out there now that are easier to deal with. Drop me a line if you need more info.

Posted by: The Other Mike S on September 16, 2005 12:03 AM

Try some chili pepper or star anise.

Posted by: Ironnerd on September 16, 2005 12:15 AM

When I was a kid back home in Ireland, my Dad used to throw a handful of raisins into the barrel when he was brewing beer...

Posted by: Jack on September 16, 2005 02:16 AM

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You might be able to crank up some beer but I've seen your "still" on the back porch. It's just a dusty pressure cooker and some aluminum pans still in a split carboard box wrapped up with duct tape. You're a big kidder on that moonshine business! The TALK you do about illegal stuff is the only "shine" you're making!

Posted by: robert on September 16, 2005 08:39 AM

Bottling is better than nothing, but kegs are way better. All you need is a crappy freezer or a small, cheap fridge. Kegs are less likely to get infected, they're less work, and you can take them to your blog meets and impress the hell out of the other drunks.

Posted by: Steve H. on September 16, 2005 09:02 AM

Hey Rob,
You shoulda tried the Spam Beer a buddy of mine brewed a couple of years back. It tasted like a mild lager. Until after you swallowed. It had a finish that tasted EXACTLY like Spam.


Posted by: Lamont Cranston on September 16, 2005 09:14 AM

Robert--- you know not what lies you tell. Several people on my blogroll have sampled my 'shine, and Catfish watched me make a batch.

I DO NOT use a pressure cooker.

Posted by: Acidman on September 16, 2005 12:35 PM

I agree. A good hobby. I brewed last weekend and am doing it again this weekend.
Take a look at the Tap-A-Draft bottles/mini-kegs. They are much better than bottles.

Posted by: Dave S. on September 16, 2005 03:27 PM

Do it. I will buy some.
I will put in for the first case of "Gut Beer".

Posted by: Terry on September 16, 2005 03:40 PM

You need to make Belgian-style ale. Nine or ten percent alcohol. Two beers will get you through most of the day.

Posted by: Steve H. on September 16, 2005 04:10 PM

Good one! The Belgians may be moonbats (at least the gubmint there) but they do know how to make beer. I lived there a while (mostly Antwerp) about 30 years ago and they have/had a somewhat fruity red beer called "Trappist" on tap in most bars. Fine stuff. 4 or 5 in an evening and you can sing with the best of 'em even if your throat's cut. There was also a "Dortmunder" (not the one you see imported here) that was very good. The Dutch are no slouches either, though many of their beers tend to be too light. Most German beer is absolutely great, but I remember the Trappist most fondly.

Posted by: Horrabin on September 16, 2005 08:45 PM

I used to make beer in prison, gallon of tomato puree, two pounds of sugar and one packet of yeast. Wasn't real good but we got drunk. Murry

Posted by: Murry on September 18, 2005 04:25 AM
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