Yesterday I brewed up a nice (I hope) batch of Pale Ale, as well as an Apple Ale (not cider, but rather a beer with apple juice replacing some of the water and sugar in the recipe). The latter, along with the stout I started after thanksgiving, will work well in some of my recipes (Cakes, breads, and so on) if they’re less than drinkable.
If they are really tasty, then so much the better, for I’ll have 6 gallons to put down pretty soon.
I’m happy to have taken on this new hobby (yes, another one) that my wife slid under the Christmas tree a few years back. (She new I’d like it, and she was right… what took me so long? Am I worried that another interest will fill up my days, or push other intersts aside? Nope. At least not now.
With these kits from Mr. Beer, I’m basically making brownies from the box, rather than doing everything from scratch (not that either is terribly difficult – from scratch I mean). Also, working from the box (with hundreds of recipe variations available online) I’m pretty much guaranteed a fair amount of beginners luck in the quality dept. (Or so I’m choosing to believe.)
The stout will be ready to sample on Sunday, but will be better if I can hold off a little longer. Unfortunately the Pale Ale won’t be ready in time for Christmas, as it’s supposed to chill in the bottle until the 26th. 😦 I was hoping everything I needed would have arrived in time for a Pre-Christmas gathering at my grandparents… but the mail had other ideas. It’ll be fine for New Years, though nowhere is it written we can’t try an early nip. Perhaps I’ll try a little everyday to see if it keeps getting better!
Even though the Pale Ale and the The Apple Ale took me about an hour to brew, The latter will take considerably longer to finish. 3 weeks to ferment in the keg, then 3 weeks in the bottle. Minimum! (Oh well, others require months of waiting….) No prob, I need time to collect more bottles (or empty the ones I’ve already filled!)
But just in case expectations fall short, I’ve started to amass recipes for beer bread, biscuits, mustard (yes, mustard), and so on. I’d bet that the Apple Ale will work wonderfully in crepes. The recipe I learned In Bretagne called for beer instead of milk, (and were fantastic with cider) perhaps a splash in my grandmothers apple brownies will be a welcome addition!
In the end I may have a hard time deciding whether to eat or drink my beer! Oh, the problems we must endure!