i admit to not always taking full advantage of my weekends. sometimes, i spend half the day lounging around reading or watching movies. sometimes, brady and i go for a long walk. sometimes, i just take a hot bath and drink wine. dog walking is a fun way to spend the day, but i’m rarely left with enough energy to do anything productive, which seems to overflow into the weekend. fortunately for me, my bosses are two fantastic women who happen to love food and beer just as much as i do. and the other weekend, a big group of us headed to barleycorn’s craft brew in natick to brew our very own beer. having never actually participated in beer brewing before, in spite of studying the process and having multiple friends that brew, i was beyond excited to get started. i know a lot of people are great at full-out home brewing, but for my first attempt i was really glad to have experienced brewers around to answer questions and keep us on the right track. the staff at barleycorn’s was patient and helpful, and we also had a few guys in our group that knew exactly what they were doing – very helpful with a bunch of newbies, especially since we were sipping beer and hard cider through most of the process.
rather than rewriting the beer-making process in my own (probably undereducated) words, i’d rather tell our little story through my photographs. if you want the nitty gritty details, i’ll refer you to this delightful and simple explanation, or this more thorough, scientific version.
you can always bring your own recipes to follow, but barleycorn’s provides a number of recipes to choose from. (thank goodness.)
next, we measured out extracts to provide some extra flavor and speed up the brewing process…
…along with hops and sugar. since we made saison and schwarz beers, we also got to add bitter orange to the mix.
after measuring the estimated alcohol content of our beer, we cooled and strained the wort and then transferred it into fermentation tanks, where yeast was added.
after a few more beers, we left our beer behind to ferment and have been waiting with anticipation ever since. and this upcoming weekend, we’ll all head back to bottle our beers and take them home. i can’t wait to taste the final product – i have a handful of friends that all brew their own beer, and i have a feeling that after tasting beer i helped to make, i’ll want to try it again…and again.
thanks so much to barleycorn’s for letting me wander around with my camera!