My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm not trying to be cocky, but I truly am an awesome wife. The proof lies in one simple word:

For Christmas I bought my husband a beer brewing kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop.
**Note to wives: BEST GIFT IDEA EVER!**
I got him the Everyday IPA kit. That is our favorite kind of beer! Hops, hops and more hops...

We decided to brew the beer right after New Years so it would be ready by Super Bowl Sunday. It takes 4 weeks total. I will say this... while fun- and a little like making a giant pot of oatmeal- brewing is kind of stressful. I never realized how many minor details there were to ensure brewing successful beer. For instance, yeast is a tricky little bugger. You have to sanitize EVERYTHING, because apparently it doesn't take much to make the yeast react in a bad way and ruin the whole thing. Also, there is a lot of timing and temperature taking involved. Things have to be done to the minute and to the exact degree to ensure proper brewing. I also never knew there were such fun words used in beer brewing, ie. The Mash, and The Sparge.

Here are a few more tips based on our experience that will hopefully make yours successful too:

1. Have 2 BIG pots. They say 1 and maybe a 2nd, but definitely have 2.
2. Get a big mesh strainer to fit the entire pot. Ours was too small. We made it work, but we will definitely get a larger one for next time.
3. Read the directions many times and watch the video before you start and FOLLOW them 100%. Once you get going there is no turning back (We did do this, and Jay even did some other online research to be sure he knew what to do. I just want to make it clear how important it was).
4. Before you begin, say "I love you" to each other, which will negate any brewing stress related snaps that may come out of your mouth later. ;)

Once the beer is brewed, it has to ferment for 2 weeks in a cool dark place. While we waited, Jay and I came up with a name for our beer and he designed a fancy label. So talented this man!

Then came time to bottle. We got some big fancy bottles with pop tops, but you can also use regular beer bottles and buy a capper. Bottling is super tricky. I give Jay major props, because he handled this like a pro. You have to siphon the beer into the bottles and it happens FAST! I'd say we did pretty well.

The bottles then have to sit for another 2 weeks, which was torture. We just wanted to try it! Luckily, Super Bowl Sunday was here before we knew it and we each enjoyed a nice frosty glass (or two) of our J&J Brewing Co. IPA: Boogie Brew*.

It was TASTEY! It was a great husband & wife project and we will definitely do it again.
For New Yorkers who are interested: Brooklyn Brew Shop is giving a class on How to Make Beer in Your Tiny Kitchen at the Whole Foods on Houston st. on Tuesday February 22nd @ 7pm.

*FYI Boogie is what we have nicknamed our cat Charlie, since he likes to shoot giant boogers out of his nose when he sneezes.

And now in other news:

- I was recently featured on Healthy Living Blogs as their Friday Feature! It's a fun little Q & A with yours truly, so head on over if you want to learn a little bit more about me and my blog.

- I also just got a job teaching more group classes at Gotham Gym in the West Village! I am super excited about this place and if you are in NYC you should definitely check it out. Classes will start on February 16th and I will be teaching be on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings. Times are TBA, but I will be in touch with more details soon!

Hope your weekend was as great as mine was!


Blake and Aubrei said...

Wow, that does sound like a lot of work! You guys did great! The label and final product make it look so official. Jenn, you deserve an award. Love you!

Ted said...

Rock on! That was a great story - and the end product looks SOOOO good! And congrats on the classes at Gotham.