Looking for a simpler life, but not too simple…

Chocolate cherry stout

Today is my favorite day of the month. That’s right, beer making day. This months special was a stout with hints of chocolate and cherry (my fave). Thanks to my friend Matt helping, it made it a breeze.

First up you have to get the water to 180 degrees.

heating water

after that I added the grains, and let that brew for about 20 mins.

grains boiling

Then removed from the heat and added the malt extract, and back to the heat to get it to a boil. Once it reached a boil I added 1 oz of New Zealand halter hops, and let that boil for 40 min. After that I added a 1/2 oz of American Summit hops for 20 mins with a dash of Irish moss flakes for clarity.

This is my friend Matt dropping the hops in.

adding hops

Next I chilled the wort (unfermented beer) in a container with ice, and a wort chiller till it reached 65 degrees. The wort chiller is 3/8 copper tubing that I drop into the beer, and hook up to a garden hose to filter cold water thru the wort to cool it, and then into a bucket to water the plants with.

lowering temp

This is me checking the temp.

checking temp

Next I filtered the wort into a glass carboy to let it ferment. Sorry I forgot to get a pic.

And voila you have fermenting beer.


From there I will keep it in a unplugged freezer for a week to keep it at a stable cool temp, and then transfer it to a secondary fermenter for another week. Then comes the pain: bottling day. I’ll bottle all the beer and let it sit for about 3 days then taste testing begins. Usually after 7 days the beer is ready to drink.

I get all my ingredients thru Seven Bridges. They are an organic brew company out of California with great customer service. I have been ordering my ingredients from them forΒ  almost 2 years and haven’t had any problems.


11 responses

  1. So that’s how beer is made! Very interesting.

    December 24, 2009 at 5:42 am

  2. Arp

    Can you drop by in Florida for a taste-test in, oh, sometime in May/June?

    December 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

    • I do plan on stopping in Florida to do some scuba diving. As to when that will be I don’t no quite yet. But I’ll let you no, And we can get together and have some brews. πŸ™‚

      December 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      • Arp

        Cool. We’re moving there sometime in Spring or Summer. Very curious to check out the RV too – we want to do come RVing at some point as well.

        December 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  3. Teri

    Hey Justin, love the blog, keep it up! Love you too!

    December 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm

  4. HEY!! Fellow brewer here!! LOVE the idea of the unplugged freezer for regulated temps!! Very cool. I’m an on line friend/fan of your wife, and HOPEFULLY on your journey north, I’ll be able to say I’ve met you and your family in person!! Can’t wait to see what else you’re up to! Consider yourself stalked. I’m adding you to my feed reader. πŸ˜›

    December 25, 2009 at 8:37 pm

  5. hillary13

    Brings me back. We used to brew pre-kids and probably more importantly pre-teeny tiny apartment with no space to brew. It was our favorite day too!

    December 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm

  6. love this idea. my hubs is also a home brewer and plans to get our family on the road in about 5 years, sound familiar?? we’ll enjoy following your adventures and living vicariously. he blogs too at http://www.thebeergardener.com, but hopefully you’ll post a bit more regularly than him!

    and chocolate cherry stout. duh. wow. sound delish.

    December 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  7. Julie

    oooo! I would love to hear more about the NM organic farm. I’m looking for a place I can work/camp/take my kids with me like that! I’ve been reading Tara’s blog for some time as we have a lot in common. I’m an unschooling, urban homesteader in Salt Lake. Before doing this, we lived in a camper for a bit too (me, hubby, kids) I’ve been considering the nomadic life again tho. Oh why can’t I be 50 people!?

    December 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  8. Nice idea! I was thinking about writing something along these same lines. Will have to bookmark this for future reference.

    December 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm

  9. Excellent! We brew too..buy use the cooper’s mix..haven’t gotten into the real fresh grains..yet πŸ™‚ I bought the hubby a bottle topper..to put the lids on glass bottles..no more homebrew in plastic.
    I’m the one who sent you and Tara a link to the earthship house in NM, some months ago! Blessings on your new journey. We’ve always loved traveling..but have settled down, doing the off the grid thang Down Under.

    January 1, 2010 at 3:28 am

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