Pizza and beer go together well. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a seasoned foodie) to tell you that. But you know what’s better than eating a slice while sipping on an ice-cold beer? Brewing a batch while baking a pie (and then of course eating said pizza while drinking an iced cold beer).
Last Sunday, I played apprentice to my very first brew: an Imperial Blonde Ale.
The very first step was making sure that we had cold beers to be drinking while we brewed, which Courtney explained is imperative. Luckily, we just received our very first wedding gift, and it just so happened to be pub style beer mugs! (Thank you again Erikka!)
We started off by boiling 2.5 gallons of water in a very large pot, that Courtney got more than a few comments about while carrying on the metro on the way home from Target. We put our grains (golden caramel grains in this case) in a mesh bag and took turns steeping for fifteen minutes. It smells amazing… like tea, only beer tea.
Next we added the liquid malt extract, stirring almost constantly to make sure that none of it remains in the tub or on the bottom of the pan. This contains the sugars that feed the yeast to make our little concoction alcoholic, so we don’t want to lose any of those!
While Courtney stirred, I went ahead and got started on the pizza: pesto, mozzarella and soppressata (aka Heaven).
Now the beer boils (“a slow rolling boil is the best kind of boil”) for an hour, and we gradually add the three types of hops: aroma, flavoring hops and bittering hops. At this point our whole kitchen smells amazing.
After we add the dry malt extract, it’s time to cool the wort, which must be done as quickly as possible.
Once the word is cooled, Courtney transferred it into a bucket and used a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity and pitch the yeast!
The pizza is ready to be eaten, but unfortunately the beer is going to take a little longer. It has to sit in a ‘dark dry place’ for about a week, which in this instance is Courtney’s closet. Closet spaces is one of our domestic points of contention… except not really. I took the walk in closet in our bedroom and Courtney got the coat closet in the living room. Fair if you ask me. I even compromised further… since Courtney stores the beer in his closet, I store the case of wine we’ve decided always needs to be on hand in mine. Really quite generous of me to give up my shoe space.
Extra busy evening in the kitchen, since I was also making these blueberry-lemon cheese cake bars.