We procrastinated until the heat of the summer, imagining that we could get cold, hydrating, beer from Mark at Craftsman if push came to shove. Then it turned out that, pending the brewery expansion, his beer is all spoken for by existing commercial customers. Horror!
So we ordered yeast and beer kits from Seven Bridges: a Red Ale, a California Lager, a Belgian Wit, and yeast for a few batches of serial cider. The cider got pitched on Monday (it’s so easy to make cider – I can see why our forefathers were so fond of it), and then this weekend, we had a full Brewsday: 12 hours of brewing, from 10am to midnight, with a two hour break in the middle somewhere. Jon and Meg and Emily came over for various parts of the day to help, and brew, and watch, and snack, and talk. It was exhausting, and overwhelmingly hot and sweaty in the steam-filled kitchen with 35°C weather outside, but certainly fun. I also went ahead and built the collar for the Cold Box – it seems to have worked. The wood is drying out in place. Hopefully it won’t warp too much, and hopefully the 21-24°C. I’ll waterproof it when we get back from Santa Rosa.
We should make Brewsday a semi-annual holiday, once in April (light lagers for summer) and once in October (dark, toothy ales for winter). A crafty celebration of our domesticated microorganisms. And cider all the while, to fill in the gaps. It seems silly to enjoy making things so much. But then, I am an engineer.