The Blog for Women Who Brew Beer

Archive for May 9th, 2010

A Perfect Mothers’ Day Spent Bottling and Brewing Beer

Posted by Maggie on May 9, 2010

I just spent most of Mothers’ Day bottling my last batch of beer, which had been in the carboy for one day short of two weeks, and brewing a new batch.   Mmmmm.  The wonderful smell of beer brewing.

The kids helped put the caps on the bottles and the bottles in a box.  I don’t really let them help with anything else because I like everything to be as clean as possible with no random saliva falling into the bottling bucket etc.  And the brewing is too hot for them to participate safely.

Here is the recipe for the beer I brewed today, California Ale #8.  This is a 3-gallon batch.

  • Specialty malts: 0.5 lb pale ale malt, 0.25 lbs. honey malt, 0.25 lbs caravienna
  • DME: 1 lb. pale ale, 2.5 lbs. pilsen
  • Hops:  1 oz. Hallertaur at 60 minutes and 0.5 oz. at 5 minutes
  • Yeast: California Ale, White Labs 051

I’ll see how it turns out and update.

6/6/2010  I would say that this isn’t hoppy enough.  It is really mild.  I think that it would be better with a different type of hops at 5 minutes to give it more flavor.   My friends seem to like it well enough, but this is my least favorite beer I have made.

6/19/2010.  Still not that good, so time is not helping much.  I don’t know if the problem is the recipe or maybe the fermentation temperature.  Maybe it was too warm for this yeast.  The European Ale brews will be ready for consumption in a few days.  I hope they are better.


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Brewing as a Creative Outlet

Posted by Maggie on May 9, 2010

Keeping the brew warm on the pilot light until fermentation starts.

I used to paint with oils, mostly figurative expressionist. I loved it. However, with young kids, a not-so-big house, and little spare time, I have had to give up painting for a while. So what to do? Drawing? I was thinking that something practical would be nice, with some useful outcome. Beer making, for now at least, is a great creative outlet.

How is it creative? Mostly in the development of new recipes. The process itself also feels creative. I am creating something, afterall. Then there is the aesthetics of the process. The looks of the finished beer. The look of my carboy in the kitchen wrapped in an out-grown red sweater from my daughter. The smell of the wort boiling away. The crates of brown bottles in the garage. It’s art.

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