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Brewing Lessons

Home Beer Brewing Can Be Fun! (and EASY)

I know that I love to go inside an old-fashioned pub with lots of earthy wood and even more great atmosphere to have a tasty brew. Have you ever noticed that many of these places have big brassbeer machines that add to that atmosphere and make it a favorite place to hang out with your friends?

Have you ever wanted to make your own beer? Do you think it is difficult or time consuming? Well, you can do it, and it's really quite simple to do.

I bet I know what you're thinking: There is no way you can fit a big, beautiful brass brewing machine inside your home or apartment - let alone afford it! You probably are right on that one, but no worries -home brewing does not require such a large piece of equipment. In fact, you'd probably be amazed at how little the homebrewer needs in order to make a crowd-pleasingbeer or ale.

To start with you need just one six-gallon fermenter jar with an airlock, and some ready-made malt with hops, and you're basically set to go. Now that you can get the malt extract in a can, there's no more messy and difficult malting of your own grains. Nowadays, it's just that easy.

Simply put - mix, brew, bottle, and enjoy. Mixing is done in a fermenter - just hot water, malt kit, add some cold water, and then yeast. It's easier than making bread in a bread machine (and that is pretty darn easy). Next, the brewing is done by the yeast (that hard working yeast - thank you!). Then, you bottle your delicious brew, and soon you can enjoy that first tasty sip.

As an added benefit, you save a lot of money by home brewing instead of buying commercial brands. You can brew up six gallons of your favorite ale for about $25 AND have a lot of fun doing it!

By the way, did I mention how much better a homebrew tastes when compared to the beers you can buy? Once you try the home brew, you will be spoiled and not want to go back to the boring, commercial variety again. But hey, there is nothing wrong with being spoiled.

Goat Scrotum Ale: The World's Most Popular Homebrewed Beer Recipe; 

Every beer drinker has their own favorite brand of beer. For many Americans, a Coors or a Budweiser will do, or perhaps a cold Mexican Corona. Some love an Indian Pale Ale, while still others need the malty taste of a dark Irish Stout. But when you ask those who love to make their own brew, in the comfort of their own homes, the number onebeer recipe of all time is Goat Scrotum Ale.

Beyond the initial reaction of cringing and thinking that it must be something really unappetizing, you might be a bit surprised to find it's anything but! In fact, one of the biggest reasons that Goat Scrotum Ale is so popular is due to the variety of ways that you can make it. For instance, you can make it taste like a spicy hot licorice, a bitter-sweet chocolate, or even a fruity ginger blend.

During the early 1800's, Goat Scrotum Ale first came onto the beer-making scene. At that time it was known as "Tumultuous Porter". The dark, spicy and quite fragrant brew drew in the crowds until prohibition hit, and then the brew and its recipe disappeared for a while. Thankfully, a man named Charlie Papazian did research and was able to bring the recipe back to the delight of all homebrewers andbeer drinkers alike.

So, I'll bet the question on your mind is: What is the recipe, and what does it taste like? Well, the first ingredients are five pounds of dark malt extract, one pound crystal malt, a quarter-pound each of crushed black patent malt and crushed roasted barley, and three and a half ounces of Hallertauer leaf hops. You will also need one cup of brown sugar and one cup of blackstrap molasses, one pound of corn sugar, two teaspoons gypsum, one teaspoon Irish Moss, and a package of ale yeast. Finally, about three-quarter cups of corn sugar to prime the bottles with.

This brew has a fairly long ingredient list, but then there are the optional ingredients as well. The optional ingredients that you can use all together, by themselves, or mix and match as you see fit. They are two to four ounces of freshly grated ginger root, up to two inches of brewing licorice, two tablespoons of spruce tree essence, anywhere from one to ten dried chili peppers, one-quarter cup of slightly crushed juniper berries, and/or six ounces of unsweetened Baker's chocolate or baking cocoa powder. (Can you see why this recipe would have so many variations in flavor?)

Now for the recipe itself: First, steep the crystal malt in the brewing water for one hour at 150F. After removing any leftover crystal malt, mix in dark malt extract, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, and one pound of the corn sugar. Bring to a soft boil and make sure all items dissolve completely. Next comes the hops: add in a quarter ounce, plus any of your optional ingredients, and boil fifteen minutes. Next, add another half ounce for an additional fifteen minutes.

Then, add in the black patent malt and crushed roasted barley, boiling another fifteen minutes. Add in another quarter ounce of hops and also pour in the gypsum and Irish Moss, boiling for 13 minutes. Finally, add the remaining ounce and a half of hops, boiling for two more minutes.

Allow the wort to cool to room temperature. Pour this mixture into the fermenter, making sure to strain out all the boiled items. Once the wort's temperature falls below 80F, pitch in the yeast. Finally, once the wort has completely fermented, prime the wort with the three-quarter cups of corn sugar and bottle. Enjoy!

(Credits and Thanks to Squido.com for content.)