Vegan MoFo 2010: Day Fourteen

Day Fourteen: Brewing Brown Ale
Matt and I finally comitted to brewing beer this weekend! We've talked about it for ages, and everything came together yesterday afternoon. We went to the brew store as planned and purchased most of what we would need to complete the process. For this batch we'll be brewing a brown ale, similar in style to the Newcastle Brown Ale (which is NOT a vegan beer by the way; ours is!). After sanitizing every inch of our kitchen, the equipment and ourselves, we were ready to begin the process.

We started with our a bag of barley purchased from the brew store and set it to simmer in a large pot. After all the malty goodness was extracted we removed the barley husks, and munched on a few handfuls. The grains' sugars had been released and it tasted delicious! All that was removed will be composted, while the remaining liquid (wort) was set to a boil.

A powdered malt extract was added, creating more sugary food for the yeast to munch on. After some more boiling we tossed in the first set of hops, known as bittering hops. This was done to provide the basic "bitter" flavor component. After about twenty-five minutes we added another dose of hops in two parts. In order to bring a delightful herbaceous aroma back to the wort, we added a second, sweeter batch of hops during the last 7 minutes. This way they aren't in the boil long enough to have their aroma boiled away.


We then added the wort to our sanitized carboy along with three and a half gallons of distilled water. Before pitching the yeast, ice was added to the sink around the carboy to help the cool the wort. After about thirty minutes, the yeast was added, and the lid and airlock were in place. The carboy full of soon-to-be beer was set to rest in our back room; it'll be atleast a week before we can bottle. By tomorrow or Tuesday, the yeast should be having a frenzy, which I hear is really cool to watch. I'll try and snag a picture tomorrow.

And just so this post isn't completely devoid of food, we made baked polenta fries and festival. Festival is a slightly sweet fried bread popular in Jamaica and can be eaten with savory meals or as dessert. Why are they called "festival," you ask? Because eating one is like having a festival in your mouth. They are very similar to hushpuppies, but I don't think they contain as much cornmeal. Though traditionally oblong-shaped and sort of flat; mine were much too round and puffed up quite a big! But oooh were they tasty.

Jamaican Festival: because eating them is like a having a festival in your mouth!
Baked Polenta Fries


  1. Anonymous11/15/2010

    Exciting on the beer front! I hope it turns out well.

  2. Thanks! We had a little swig before sealing up the carboy. I think it's more hoppy than we wanted, but should still be tasty.