[Bordermarch] Brewers Guild

Lathrop, Dave Dave.Lathrop at valero.com
Mon Jul 30 11:05:03 PDT 2007

Bordermarch Brewers Guild met Sunday and actually accomplished
something. There were 13 Bordermarchers present, and food was plentiful
with lots of refreshments. Or new Guild Principle, Josh, led our group
through the process of making a 5 gallon batch of honey mead.

We started by boiling about 2.5 gallons of spring water then slowly
added 15lbs of honey. The temperature of the batch was maintained at a
steady temperature of about 150 degrees for about 1 hour. While we were
watching the brew cook Josh let all present sample some of his own
homemade ale. After the hour was up it took a team effort to pour the
brew from the boil pot into a 5 gallon glass jar used for the primary
fermentation. Some spring water, 1.5 gallons, was first added to the jar
to reduce the chance of breakage when the hot brew was poured into it.
The jar was capped with a device that lets the gasses out, but inhibits
anything from entering the jar. We had to wait some time before the brew
was cool enough to add the yeast, so more sampling of Joshe's ale took
place. When the brew dropped to about 100 degrees we added the yeast to
the jar. The whole mess was agitated and then a food grade tube was
inserted into the mouth of the jar. The other end of the tube was
inserted under water in a 5 gallon plastic bucket. This final step will
prevent any foreign matter from entering the jar and will allow the foam
that is produced during the fermentation process a place to go as it
exits the jar. We also added 4 tsp. of yeast energizer and checked the
specific gravity of the brew to get a base line that that will be used
throughout the whole fermentation process. The specific gravity of this
batch was about 1.1 which indicated that we were right on tract with the
recipe. After about 4 days we will divide the brew into two separate
jars and hopefully make some honey mead with one batch and blueberry
mead with the other. This entire mead making process will take several
months, in the meantime the Guild will meet again and perhaps start some
another batch. Several in the guild have expressed interest in brewing
some beer and ale as well as cooking wines. We also had Aaron Whitewolf
show us his method of producing quick mead. He produced a nearly
finished product in the time it took us to boil water. He will let his
quick mead age for at least 2 weeks. The Guild has accumulated a vast
library of brewing books, and between all its members has enough
equipment to go into the brewing business. We will continue to collect
gear and supplies as well as knowledge of the brewing process. Our hope
is to implement some sport of brewing competition at our events. It
seems that most of the other baronies have a head start on Bordermarch
as far as brewing goes, but with the enthusiasm shown at our first
gathering the Bordermarch Brewers Guild is headed towards greatness!!



HE Santiago

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