Home Brewed Beer: A Writer’s Best Friend?

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 by Anthony Rapino 17 Comments

Confession.  There is little to no relationship between home-brewed beer and writing, except the little known fact that if you write while drunk on homebrew you’ll be visited by the beer goblin who will grant you one publishing wish…per beer…per day.  That’s why alcoholic writers are so famous.  And so, well, drunk.

To get off topic for a second, I sometimes wonder what would happen to the poor newbie writers who take all the advice I ever gave on this blog.  They’d end up alcoholic, drug addicts.  That’s certain.  Beyond that, I’m scared to speculate.

Back to beer.  In truth, I’m not a big fan.  I like an occasional drink now and then, but my bar-hopping days are behind me.  So why in the world would I take on home brewing?  The easy answer is I like food science.  The world of yeast and fermentation is not new to me.  I’ve dabbled in fermentation in the past, making homemade pickles, ginger ale, and sourdough.  It’s fun.

So when my brother suggested we try making home brewed beer, of course I was in.  We drove to the closest brew store (45 minutes away) and purchased all the needed equipment as well as our first batch’s ingredients.  We decided to go the slightly cheaper and easier route of using a can of malt extract rather than boiling up fresh malted barely and hops.  We’ll go the fresh route next time, but this being our first shot, we wanted to ensure success.

Walking back to the car with all our gear, I noticed many gazes of admiration.  One man even  mumbled to his young son, “I’ve always wanted to try that,” while pointing out our brew-kit.  Yes, it would seem home-brewing is the secret passion of the masses.

Back at home we boiled up our first batch of wort, adding some extra spices (coriander and orange peel) to create a Blue Moon clone.  Honestly, the hardest part of the whole process was properly sanitizing all the gear.  Though, I do have an inkling that bottling the beer will be time consuming as well.

My brewing goal is twofold.  First, I’d like to create a coffee flavored beer for when I write.  I’m pretty sure I’ll achieve transcendence with such a valuable concoction.  Coffee and beer at the same time while writing?  NYT Best Sellers List here I come!

Second, I want to brew an autumn-themed beer, probably pumpkin spice.  That’ll be just about perfect.

Our wort has been actively fermenting for two days now.  In another few days, once fermentation stops, we’ll bottle the beer and let it age for a couple more weeks.

I’ll post more pictures after the next stage.

 

Happy Drinking.

 

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17 Responses

  1. Indigo says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a pumpkin beer. I’ve had Samuel Adams Octoberfest..which is more a roast toffee.

    Should try making mead sometime. Now that I have fone memories of. ;P. (Hugs)Indigo

    • It’s interesting you mention mead. I told you about *my* brewing goals, but my brother’s brewing goal actually *is* mead. So yes, we will be brewing mead at some point too. 🙂 Honey beer sounds good to me. There’s a local honey guy who has raw honey that is delicious.

  2. Indigo says:

    Make that ‘fond’. I’ve got laundry on the brain.

  3. Katey says:

    Yeah, that’d definitely get you transcendence, man.

    I really like food science, too–and my husband is obsessed. He’s been considering brewing for a long time, too.

    Well, we both really like beer as well. Might have something to do with it…

    • You two should check it out. The only thing that held me back this long was the initial gear purchases. It ran us about $65 for the brew kit, another $24 for two cases of new bottles, and something like $30 for ingredients. But after that it’s just ingredient purchases (you can reuse the bottles). It actually ends up being cheaper to brew your own.

  4. DRC says:

    Hmmm…pumpkin beer. I am, however, trying to picture the effects of coffee beer. Could be interesting. And Mead I’m interested in too. I actually have my characters in my last novel brewing mead. T’is their favourite tipple…
    Enjoy brewing.

    • Thanks! Pumpkin beer I’ve had. I dare say it’s more about “autumn spices” than pumpkin flavor though. Coffee beer I’ve heard of but never tried.

  5. Andrea says:

    I’ve thought about getting something like this for my step-dad. I don’t drink but thought it would be kind of cool to watch him make it. That is until I realized how expensive it all is.

    • Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t call it “cheap” to start. The equipment, bottles, and ingredients all together ran us about $130. But everything other than the ingredients was a one-time thing.

  6. Home brewing sounds like so much fun, but even our attempt at root beer didn’t turn out so good, so I’m not sure. I’d like to hire myself out as the official taster of everyone elses home brews though. 🙂

    • Hired! I wanted to try rootbeer too, but ended up doing ginger ale to mixed results.

  7. Cate Gardner says:

    Even though I don’t like beer, the pumpkin spiced one sounds delicious.

    • need to come up with a name for it. Maybe The Great Pumpkin. :-p

  8. Schhhwweeet!

    Good luck on your beer brewing endeavors, I think it’s wicked cool to do and may your bottling experience be speedful.

    FYI, I’ve been reading your blog for a good year now, and I’ve not become addicted to anything, and I’m very susceptible to suggestions — yanno, just in case you’re feeling a hint of guilt or something.

    • Thanks, Kara! I’m glad reading my blog didn’t land you in rehab. I should add a warning to the site: “May cause sociopathic tendencies.”

  9. marcy says:

    coffee beer. hmm. I’m not sure I want any fizz in my coffee. but I can’t wait to hear more. It’s like a science experiment with a hopefully delicious outcome, yes?

    • I haven’t actually started a coffee beer brew (this first one is a Blue Moon Clone), but I still may give it a shot. We’ll see… 🙂

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