There’s a magical cosmic connection between bikes and beer. After a day on the trail, nothing beats throwing back a cold bottle with friends, legs totally cooked as you rehash all the sweet details of the ride. It wasn’t until I took up road riding that I finally shed all those excess carbs (thank goodness for baggies). Lucky for me, I married a bike geek with a penchant for microbrews. On our wedding registry we decided to pass on the fine China, opting instead for a brew kettle and all of its accessories.
Today we decided to welcome in the warm weather by brewing up an orange and ginger Belgian wheat beer.
← We begin by measuring out the grain. In this case it’s Acidulated Malt and Belgian biscuit malt.
↓ All of the grain goes into a pot of hot water. Grains are happiest when kept below 165 degrees (one of the reasons why you should abstain from drinking while brewing). Steep at 150-160 degrees for half an hour.
Sparge or rinse the grains, letting all their delicious flavors drain into the pot.
Hello, malt. Welcome to the party. Now it’s time to boil again. This time for an hour.
Now we break out the hops. These are Hallertauer. Hang out for another hour and watch that the beer doesn’t boil over.
At flameout, we add bitter orange peel. As it begins to cool, we add an ounce of candied ginger.
It’s time to cool things down. We drop a chiller in the pot. One end hooks up to the faucet, the other dumps the water as the copper coils pull the heat from the liquid.
Then we pour… The key is to keep sediment settled at the bottom out of the fermenter.
Finally we pour a packet of brewers yeast (Belgian wheat yeast) into the fermenter. Now the waiting game begins. About six weeks in this case.