October 4, 2008

Unboxing Day

Two boxes arrived: one large one with the "starter kit" of equipment for the novice homebrewer; the other with the pre-measured ingredients for brewing 5 gallons(!) of amber ale.

We set to unboxing the stuff with the collective force of two kids on all eight nights of Hanukkah. Starting with the big box (of course), the first kick was seeing that the two plastic fermentation buckets were labeled "Ale Pail," in a kind of quasi-biergarten font. And once we felt the heft and solidity of the glass carboy (a name I still need to trace the root of), the decision to spend the extra dosh for glass instead of plastic seemed right on the nose.

Nahum seemed especially fascinated by the mechanics of it all. He reached for the bottle-capper and flexed its handles until it was clear how it did its thing. And once we had all of the equipment laid out, he went step-by-step through the instructions, figuring out how each item in front of us participated in making the magic happen.

The box of ingredients was slightly more frustrating: because we weren't getting to the brewing immediately (curse those day jobs!), it seemed wrong to open the vaccum-sealed bags of hops and malts and such. But that meant that the sensual pleasures - inhaling the aromas of the hops, feeling the grit of the raw ingredients as they fell through our fingers - had to be put off. No small loss.

Now we're on to the next, and crucial step: the inagural brew. Some marital negotiations cleared out 3 hours this weekend, which means we're likely to have a drinkable (fingers crossed!) batch ready by Halloween. Seems kind of perfect timing, eh?

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