The First Thing

The first product besides grilled steak that I ever made for myself was beer. In the early 90s home made beer was a craze. I purchased a seven gallon plastic fermenting vessel and all of the other equipment for beer making and produced five gallons about once a month. I think I probably did that about seven times, maybe eight from then until now.

It never occurred to me then that what I was making was fundamentally different than what you can buy at the store. Now that I am 100% into not buying processed foods, it occurs to me that beer is one of the most secretive of those foods. They do not have to list the ingredients. So they don’t.

I am certain that if they did we would find all of the scientifically derived chemicals whose purpose is to keep processed foods fresh forever. There are liable to be artificial colors, flavors, and ‘bubble enhancers’. All of these ingredients are possible problems for me and you, but what choice do we have?

Today both the household brewer and local brewery have been supplanted, for the most part, by mega-breweries. What have we lost by this shift from home brews to mega-breweries? Certainly three things, but possibly more. We’ve lost 1) the flavor diversity that herbs give to traditional brews; 2) the nutritional and medicinal benefits that come from using herbs, grasses, and roots; and 3) the nutrition of consuming wild yeasts (suspended in the alcoholic liquid) and their B vitamin by-products, which are destroyed or removed through modern beer pasteurization and filtering.

Harmon, Wardeh (2012-10-01). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods (Idiot’s Guides) (p. 159). DK Publishing. Kindle Edition.

When I make my own beer it is fermented. It will contain the probiotics that produce beer. It will contain zero artificial ingredients and will contain all of the new things created by bacteria and yeast from the raw ingredients that I choose to use. As the brewmaster I will be creating a natural source of vitamins just like my kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut.

Years ago I would use malt syrup concentrates from the brew supply store. NO MORE. Now I am going to make my own wort out of sprouted grains. That way I will be sure that there are no extra ingredients, and my main ingredient will not come from a can. My goal is to produce 100% natural beer.

My first ferment:

Ginger Ale

A peppery, sweet concoction that aids digestion and leaves you feeling satisfied, yet wanting a little more.

4 cups Aromatica grain

2 cups Crystal 120L grain

2 cups Special Roast grain

5 gal. water

Juice of 2 lbs. fresh peeled gingerroot

Juice of 2 lemons

31⁄4 cups light malt syrup extract

1 pkg. American Ale yeast

Harmon, Wardeh (2012-10-01). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods (Idiot’s Guides) (p. 174). DK Publishing. Kindle Edition.


About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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