Monday, November 14, 2011

It's the Art of the Brew

My husband brewed beer yesterday. He is a proud member of that quickly growing group of homebrewers. It is not a cheap way to make some booze but more like an art form. I liken it to a pastry chef making the best desserts or a chef creating a masterpiece. Let's put it this way, too much time and effort goes into making that perfect beer to be wasted on calling it cheap booze.
He brewed from grains which is more complicated than from any of his malt extract kits. He set up his kitchen just outside our garage and cooked all day. He had to bring his grain to a boil and cook for so long. Even the water is prepared in a caring way. Then he transferred it to another pot and had more cooking to do. Hops were added and the chemical balance of his beer was constantly checked. A couple of more hours passed before his beer was ready to put in his carboy to start its first stages of fermenting. Truly a chef working on his masterpiece.
Can you tell that he has done this quite often? He has been doing this for many years now. Actually, the last few years he basically moth balled his equipment claiming he had no time to brew. With all that was going on with his job at the time, I suspect there was no heart to put into either.
I am an avid sewer. I can get lost in my sewing room creating something special out of a couple pieces of fabric. I have made toys, clothing, costumes and a few quilts. I lose complete track of time when I step into my sewing room. I guess it's like that with my husband and his brewing. Watching that satisfaction the he has as he brews. The constant checking of his latest masterpiece as it ferments. The schedules that he follows to make the perfect brew. His life's wish is to open a bed and breakfast somewhere South and serve his fine beers. I hope we can attain that for him.
However, this time he handed me the spent grains to make something more out of it. I perused several dog biscuit recipes and found the perfect one. Now my dog is begging constantly to get his treats. But he has to fight my kids for them too. Yes, my kids. See, the treats are made with spent grains, flour, egg and peanut butter. This bakes into a wonderful treat that apparently my kids kind of like too. I can't wait to get a phone call from school asking why I am feeding my kids dog treats. I guess I had better check their snacks tomorrow.

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