I really enjoy the self-sufficient feeling I get from brewing my own beer. It tastes so much better, I’d never choose mass-produced beer over homebrew. I lived in Italy for two years, and it was molto dificile to get ingredients over there. Further complicated by frequent business travel, it just wasn’t going to happen. The local wine in Veneto Province is so good I didn’t miss beer very much, and when I did, the selection of great German beers at Camp Ederle was satisfying.
I’ve been back in the States for almost a year now, and I’m finally getting around to brewing again for the first time in more than three years.
From our former residence in North Carolina, I had a can of Coopers (no apostrophe) hopped malt extract I bought before the move to Europe. The can, along with the packet of yeast that came with it, travelled to Italy and back, so was a bit beyond it’s ‘best by’ date. But it’s basically canned sugar, right? I decided to use it anyway and see what happens. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t resurrect the well-travelled packet of brewer’s yeast, so I tried an experiment. I used Flieschman’s bread yeast. If the taste isn’t right, I can always use the stuff to marinate hamburgers on the grill.
In less than an hour, the bread yeast had gone to work. In two hours, kreusen was beginning to form inside the six-gallon carboy. There’s some serious fermentation going on in there.
In about three days, I’ll rack the contents into a five-gallon container for secondary fermentation. After about six days I’ll put the brew into brown one-liter bottles with ceramic stopper tops.
Will Steve’s homebrew be fit for human consumption? Stay tuned.