Friday, September 03, 2010

Taking after Percy...

My grandfather used to make beer in his basement of his home in Toronto. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not, as my mother likes to  tell me.  In fact, an embroidered picture on their wall reminded us all of the times when the kegs used to explode (a great gift from his wife, I believe. I wonder where that creation is now...). I was too young to remember the process, but it sounds like he made some unique kinds of beer and wine. Well, I can't say that he inspired me, but maybe in some small way I am taking after him.

For Christmas last year, my brother and his wife bought Matt and I a Mr. Beer Kit. I had seen it while shopping in the States with Jeff, and, good for him, he took note. It came with a plastic keg with pour spout, eight 1 Liter bottles with lids, labels for the bottles, and all the ingredients to brew your first batch of beer. Our first one was a light lager and we're anxious to taste our first batch this weekend. 

The process is by no means hard, but takes a little time. After boiling the ingredients in a large pot, you then mix with cool water and add the mixture to the keg. Give it a good stir, add the small packet of yeast, and then let it sit in a cool, dark corner for at least a week. The longer you leave it, the more intense the flavour will be. Before bottling, you taste a little bit from the keg, and if it tastes like flat beer, then you're ready to bottle it. Ours sat in the keg for over a week, and just the small sip we had was really good. I can only imagine what it will be like once it's carbonated and has some alcohol in it.

So, on to bottling. Matt handled this job very nicely, and each bottle was filled with just the right amount. We then let it sit in a cool and dark corner of our condo to ferment and gain more flavour. Since my brother kindly bought us the gift, we thought it only fair to share our first batch with him. We brought 2 bottles to their house last weekend, but didn't drink them. We thought the beer needed to rest another week still, or at least a few days. I haven't asked him if he's tried it yet, but maybe if he reads this blog, he can comment. We'll be taking a couple bottles with us this weekend to Ottawa to share with Matt's sister and her husband. Hopefully they are good... 

To be continued....


  1. Very adventurous! I know someone else who likes his homemade beer.

  2. Cool....
    Once you fine tune the recipes (aka paying your dues) you can make a really decent home brew. Usually better than beer store stuff--- then your hooked!

  3. Hey,
    Thanks for the reminder! I had completely forgot about the beer in the corner of the dinning room. I'll crack it open this weekend and we can compare notes when you get back. Looking forward to it!


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