Beer Brewing a Black IPA

As many of you know I have an affinity for good beer and getting good beer has not always been available in the countries we’ve lived in. However here in Korea we are fortunate enough to get import beers from around the world, while these are good for variety they are not the same as micro brews. The closest we can get is a Rogue beer which costs about $6 a bottle and that isn’t the big bottles. While I finally buckled and bought a couple I don’t think pricey beer is a sound investment.
These 5 years of struggling with beer selection led me this summer to my breaking point. After basking in the glory that is Wisconsin micro brews I cracked and bought a brewing kit and packed it up and brought it to Korea. Caitlin wasn’t too thrilled about this as I was packing a 10lbs of brew making supplies into our luggage but she was understanding. After getting everything here without any breaks or spills I was ready to go, unfortunately I had to wait until the weather cooled down to brew. So about 4 weeks it was finally cool enough and I finally had to time start the brewing process. I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow a pot to brew the beer in and I thought I was all set. I was sterilizing everything I was going to use and it looked like I was going to be alright. Unfortunately as I lifted the pot and set it on the stove I heard a trickling sound, at first I thought it was just water on the outside of the pot but it continued. Then I thought maybe it was a cat going to the bathroom, but nope it was a hole in the pot. A tiny pin hole in the bottom of the pot. At this point I didn’t know whether to turn back or try some makeshift fix. As I had used up all my patience turning back wasn’t an option, however I couldn’t figure out how to plug the hole with something that wouldn’t burn nor contaminate the beer. I ended up scrambling to the local ‘mall’ and looked for a pot. I had no idea how big it had to be, but ended up finding one that would be just barely big enough.
 From this point on I followed the directions and only had minor problems, which I chalked up to the learning process. I was able to ferment the beer and bottle it with only a little bit of a sticky mess and only have to yell at the cats a few times about staying away from the beer. I think there are a few things I need to improve on for my next batch but overall it went pretty smoothly. Caitlin helped me with bottling the beer which took me back to helping my uncle Phil bottle his beer, little did I know I would use those skills in Asia in my future. Caitlin has now tried one and has to concede that it was well worth the clothes and other kitchen accessories that she had to sacrifice in order for my beer making supplies to make it into the suitcase. She has even begun to ask what other types of beer I’m planning on making.

Steeping the grains.

Hops and other supplies.

Random supplies, I started really organized but as I scrambled to get a pot all order went out the door.

Caitlin laughing at my anal retentiveness to directions.

The final product. A black IPA.

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