Brew Day: Organic Red Ale

Last Saturday, we brewed our second homebrew, a red ale using all organic ingredients from Seven Bridges Organic Brewing Supply in Santa Cruz. This time, we are fermenting it in a 6-gallon glass carboy instead of plastic fermenting bucket, and the results are way more fun because we can see the activity!
To go along with our all-organic ingredients, I also began reading Sustainable Homebrewing: An All-Organic Approach to Crafting Great Beer by Amelia Slayton Loftus. You'll notice that the individually wrapped packages on the table aren't the most sustainable, so as we get better at this and begin designing our own recipes, we can begin buying in bulk and reduce waste. Maybe someday we'll even grow our own hops!

 The malted barley grains after steeping.
 The red ale brewing on the stove!
 The view of our backyard orange tree through the backdoor while brewing.
Shortly after this photo was taken on Saturday, the gardener came and pruned the tree, so there's far fewer oranges hanging now. The last time we tasted these oranges, they were very sour, so we're waiting to try them again.

Here's our beer bubbling away in its glass carboy in the closet. It's hidden behind a blanket and the closet door to protect it from sunlight, which can cause chemical reactions that make the beer go bad. The blow-off tube that goes into that vase is in place to avoid foamy fermenting beer from exploding in the closet. As the tube bubbles into the vase with released carbon dioxide from the active yeast, it makes a soothing bubbling noise. Almost like a lullaby!
And like last time, I made cookies with the spent grain. Yum!

The brewing process went much smoother this second time. We had a better idea of what we were doing and planned ahead better, with clean water to use for adding to the wort and plenty of ice for cooling the wort after brewing. Perhaps next time we'll try something more complicated!

Later this week, I'll post recipes for kimchi I made recently, as well as sourdough pizza dough, so talk to you then!
Green Gal


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