Monday, June 4, 2007

to groove is to purchase

It's funny how close the correlation is between getting into a hobby and getting into debt. When I first started brewing just a few months back, I couldn't imagine how anyone could object to a little cloudiness or other tell-tale signs of homemade beer. Now I'm pretty much certain that I need to upgrade to a two-stage fermentation system, both to improve the clarity of the final product by siphoning the beer off of the trub, and to tighten the spacing between batches. Of course, if I'm going to have two different brews fermenting at the same time, I'm going to need a fourth keg for a total of two in reserve. And once I've got that in the house, I know I'll be even more tempted to forgo the shortcut of using dried malt extract and want to make my beer with actual grains. These will have to be mashed first--soaked and agitated in a hot bath to kick start the conversion of starches to sugar--then sparged (don't think I fail to appreciate the geeky jargon involved here). Fortunately there's a system available for these additional steps, albeit for a pretty penny, and th'usband is willing to give up some space in his toy closet to accommodate it. But what's going to happen when I decide I need a goat or some cattle to eat & compost the spent grain for me?

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