Seriously? “We are Monk” and we haven’t brewed our own beer yet?
Make an own beer was the first thing that came to my mind when I got into this company. Honestly that was my purpose everyday since then }:-)
As MONKs we like crafting, we like to discover how stuff are done, we like to taste and enjoy everything that comes out of our hands. This is true for software, it’s so much true for foods and drinks.
So we scheduled our first Monk beer brewing! The recipe came out quite easily since it was the first one I had to keep it simple. An American Pale Ale single malt and single hop, that was the target. Brewing day was a kind of workshop, everyone paid attention to all the steps and got hands “dirty”.
As a open source enthusiasts we don’t keep the secret of our recipe:) Feel free to follow it and make you own beer! This is how to do it in 10 steps:
Malt is simply barley that has been steeped, germinated and dried. The first step is to crush it – not too hard, just enough to extract starch. The best pale ale malt to choose is Maris Otter.
Put the crushed malt into warm water (~ 64°C) for at least one hour. This is one of the most important phase, called “mash” – it’s where starch is converted into sugar.
After one hour, raise the temperature to 78°C to stop starch extraction. Next start to filter the wort, leaving the spent grains in the pot.
Pour other 78°C water on top of the spent grains, to increase the wort volume and to clean the grain better. Get all the sugar out. This is phase is called “sparge”.
What you have now is a fermentable liquid. To make beer out of it we need hop and yeast. First boil this wort for one hour. When boiling starts add a bit of hop into proper bag to give some bitterness that will balance the sweet of the sugars dissolved. Later during the boiling add a bit more of hop to enanche the aroma (we used Citra hop).
After boiling you have to chill the wort as quickly as possible. For best result use a cooling device made of copper and reach 20°C, the ideal temperature to activate the yeast.
Put the wort into the fermenter, remove the hopbags and inoculate the yeast.
Now fermentations start and goes on for a week. After that decant quickly into a second fermenter for another week. And then finally bottling.
While bottling add a bit of sugar – it gives refermentation which a craft beer requires.
The process is finished! Leave warm bottles for 5 days and then put straight to the cellar. Now be patient and wait as long as you can (2 weeks minimum) to untap the first one :-)
Ready? Let us know if you like it or have a suggestions to make it better!
This time we started with the simplest style but next time we will challenge ourself brewing an authentic trappist or abbey beer. Hopefully the belgian monks will be proud of us :)