Chris has a knack for coming up with really cool date ideas. I don’t know where he comes up with them, but really does come up with some cool things for us to do. Our most recent date was a trip to brew our own beer at Barleycorn’s Craft Brew in Natick, MA.
When we first arrived, they gave us a list of different beers that we could choose from to make. There are IPA’s, Lagers, Specialty Beers and frankly, just about any kind of beer you can imagine. The list/menu explains what each beer is and I think I’m safe in saying that there were at least 100 different kinds of beers to choose from. We went with a lager. It was actually called the Firehouse Lager and the description on the menu said “Similar to a Sam Adams Lager, but mildly hopped for less bitterness”. Since Chris was a fire fighter in the military and we both like lagers, it seemed appropriate.
Each beer has it’s own recipe and yes, there are people there to walk you through all the steps.
The first step was for us to measure out our grains. They told us exactly which ones to use and how much of each to measure out.
Then we had to grind them – and when I say we, I mean Chris.
We then took all of our ground up grains & had to steep them for about 20 minutes.
One that was done, we had to measure out extracts to add into our mix. Again, they told us exactly how much to measure out.
They were heavy, so here is Chris adding them to the vat.
Then we had to let our concoction boil for a while.
Next up, we had to measure our our hops. We had to put them in different bowls because we had to add them in at different times.
In case you’re w0ndering, we got this sheet of paper with all of the times on it so we knew when to add what to our pot.
Here we are adding the hops at the specified times:
Once it was done, they helped up pump it out of the vat where it was going to sit and ferment for a few weeks. Depending on the beer you choose, it had to sit for two or three weeks before you can go back to Barleycorn’s to bottle your beer.
We added some yeast and that it was it for the day.
The beer we chose had to sit for three weeks before we could go back to bottle, label it and take it home. And I’ll tell ya all about that tomorrow.
The one thing I feel the need to mention if you’re planning on doing this yourself, though, is to bring a book or make sure your phone is fully charged before you go. There is A LOT of downtime while you’re waiting to measure things or add them in to your brew and there is no place to wait. You just kind of have to stand there, so be sure to bring something to occupy yourself.
It was a seriously cool thing to do and if you ever get a chance to do it, go for it.