Today I'm going to share two of my favorite things with you: Science and Beer!
My little brother is the brewmaster at Steelhead Brewery here in Eugene, and is truly a master of his craft. He's not a graduate of one of those brewing programs you'll find here and there, oh no. Ted started to learn about brewing by dumping some water, sugar, bread yeast, and root beer extract into a plastic jug in his closet when he was 14, and seeing what happened (it wasn't pretty).
Over the years he worked at it and worked at it and eventually metamorphosed into the finest brewer I know. Through study combined with trial and error, he has developed both intuitive and empirical knowledge of the craft.
Ted came over to my house a while back to help me brew a simple extract based 5 gallon batch of Northwest IPA (my favorite!), and I documented the process. He took the time to answer some technical questions about what's really going on inside the beer.
Read on to learn not just how to make a great ale, but what's happening on a chemical and biological level, why things are done the way they're done, and have a bit of history thrown in, free of charge. To start, here's a video of the process, with details in the following steps:
One more thing: I'm publishing this instructable in tandem with a recipe for simple spent grain bread. When you're done brewing, use those spent grains to make an amazing, delicious, home baked bread!