|...but what shall we wash down our victory with?|
The short version of brewing is just this: Sugar + yeast = alcohol.
Beyond that, it is cooking. You see, you could eat cardboard and vitamins and get all the nutrients you need. Cooking makes taking in your sustinence more pleasant. Any conscious person can make alcohol, a brewer makes it tasty and enjoyable. That's what I am trying to learn to do, make beverages that are tasty and enjoyable.
My parents made "country" wines many years ago. We lived in a house that had a nice backyard, including an apple tree, two cherry trees, a sweet cherry tree, and a grape arbor with a few vines on it. As a family, we would pick the fruits, mush them up, and squeeze out the juice. Mom and Dad would do their magic stuff, and there would be this giant upside-down water bottle with mashed up cheeries in it, and a little glass bubble blower on the top. I didn't know how it all worked, I just knew that when Mom and Dad shared the Cherry Bounce with us kids (in small quatities) and their friends (in much larger quantities!), everyone was so much happier. To us kids it was forbidden fruit, to the guests it was the hard working hospitable hosts, and to my parents I'd like to think it was a chance to share success with family and friends. My parents always took full advantage of knowing that it is far better to give than to receive. The smiles on their faces as their friends thanked them for quite literally the fruits of their labor taught me much about the value of giving and sharing. My parents' friends always had a good time when we brought out the Bounce, and that just made my parents have an even better time.
So, where to begin? For brewing I decided slow and simple would be a good place to start. Some members of my Shire brought some Hard Cider to this years Pensic Pity Party for the group to share, and it was delicious. They said they made it using a simple kit they bought called "Oz Tops". A quick search on the internet informed me that such a kit could be had from a brew shop in Northwest Calontir (read St.Joseph, MO) for $14.95 + S/H. I ordered one up, spent 60¢ on a can of generic frozen apple juice, mixed, capped and waited. 3 days later I sipped what I had brewed, delicious!
|Once you have a recipe you like and are done fermenting it, you might want to read the section on Stopping fermentation.|
|Prize Winning Mead! Step by step instructions (with pictures!) on how to make mead.|
|Items to add to Brewing Page:|
|Small fruit press for juicing||Pre-mashing the apples|
|Pressing the fruit||Collecting the juices|
|The "be patient" part|
|Please be sure to see the Pictures section for some samples of my work.|