Day 135: Go to a brewing class

January 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

And not drink any beer.

Unfortunately I was there as a journalist, and therefore had to remain an outside observer. That means I took video and photos while the students made stouts, ambers, pale ales, and in one case, a gluten-free IPA. The beer will sit for two weeks in these giant buckets, after which time the students will come back to pour it into bottles with custom-made labels. I asked one couple what they were going to name their Belgian Trippel, and they said, “Triple Rainbow or Harvest Beast,” in honor of their dog.

As a beer-o-phile, I found it incredibly interesting to see all of the ingredients poured into the beer, such as liquid yeast, malt extract and hops. A student with celiac disease had to use sorghum, a type of wild grass, instead of the malt extract because it has gluten. Another one of the students brought a jar of honey from his dad’s beekeeping farm in northern Michigan to make a honey brown ale.

Other interesting facts I learned:

  • Hops have almost all the same resins in them as marijuana.
  • The difference between ales and lagers is that ales are brewed with top-fermenting yeast, while lagers are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast.
  • There is no difference between a stout and a porter.
  • Chocolate beer uses chocolate extract instead of real chocolate because the oil in real chocolate screws up the taste and consistency.

Now, just as the brew master finished the class with this video of the Three Stooges taking on some home-brewing, so shall I:


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