We decided to brew some beer prior to starting a certain type of testing on one of our current projects. The test phase was scheduled to last around 70 days. We figured we'd brew and bottle the beer at the beginning of the phase and then upon completion of that testing we'd all get together at a BBQ or something and celebrate our success over our handmade brew. A couple of things came up that didn't match with our plan. The test phase itself ended earlier than expected. Go us! No issues, hence none of the scheduled buffer was needed. W00t! The second issue was our program totally stymieing our attempts to set up the BBQ. They wanted to do something else and then that never happened. We got tired of waiting and started distributing the goods out in the parking lot.
Step back almost three months. A group of about six of us gathered at Brewbakers
in Huntington Beach on a Saturday morning to begin the process. Of those of us there only one had any experience with brewing. In fact he's an accomplished home brewer, but the quantity we wanted to make didn't really lend itself well to brewing in his home. We had decided in advance that we wanted to brew up four different types in order to try and make something that just about everyone would like. We settled on a stout, a lager, a red and another lager, but this one with a hint of lemon added to it.
The brewing process was great fun. We measured, boiled, mixed and filled for about three hours. Four half batches of beer. That's twelve cases of twelve 22 ounce bottles. Thirtysix bottle of each type. The whole time was spent eating bread, the baker in Brewbaker, drinking beer and generally having a good time. We finished brewing, saw our beer go into barrels for the next two and half to three weeks and headed home.
Just about three weeks later four of us showed back up to put our maturing beer into it's ultimately final dispenser. We proceeded to bottle 144 bottle of beer in about two and a half hours. We would have finished quicker, but then we wouldn't have been able to sample as much of our beer as we did. The cases were loaded up and again we all headed home. The cases were stored for the next two months or so.
Well last week we finally distributed. Unfortunately a lot of people were still interested and so those of us that made it only ended up with one bottle of each type for ourselves. That leads us to today and the pictures below. The night prior to distributing the brew the guy that was storing the bottles made some labels and applied them. Now remember this relates to what we were testing so the names of each relate to that. We ended up with SCTV Stout, Reflector Red, Power-Up Lager and Thermal Balance Blond. (SCTV stands for Space Craft Thermal Vacuum which is just about what it sounds like, you test the spacecraft in a vacuum and over changing temperature to make sure it does what it's supposed to. A reflector is used to redirect RF radiation to its intended destination on earth from space. A power-up is just that, turning on the spacecraft prior to testing it. Thermal balance is a portion of testing that puts the spacecraft through temperature variations and verifies that everything stays at a temperature that won't damage anything regardless of the surrounding temperature conditions.)
So without further ado the four types.
Today is my first taste since the bottling. I'm hoping for the best. I chose to open the red first to go with my Stouffer's White French Bread pizzas
. See below.
Definitely reddish in color. The head was a bit taller, but decreased by the time I managed to get the camera and take a picture. These are all unfiltered beers and there is definitely some sediment floating around. Nothing large though. We added a bit of carbonation during bottling, but the process itself would have added some as well. With that said it's very light on the carbonation. Still bubbling a little as I type this which is about forty-five minutes after opening. Taste impressions. Hmm, two things jump out. The first is the hoppy flavor. Reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The second is a bit of tartness. Not sure where that flavor comes from. All in all I'm very happy with this bottle of beer. I hope the others turned out as well.
Update: I forgot to mention alcohol content. All of the recipes provided for a beer with around five to seven percent. With that said I can definitely feel the affects after one 22 oz. bottle. Not sure where that puts it, but woohoo!
Labels: beer, home made beer