Saturday, December 10, 2011

Brewing Day Two

"I should like a great lake of ale, for the King of the Kings. I should like the family of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal." ~ St. Brigid.

Saint Brigid (feast day February 1) is one of the many patron saints of beer and brewers.  She is usually remembered for her important role during the early moments of Christianity in Ireland and her founding of the monastery of Kildare.  Of greater interest to me, however, is her deep respect and love of beer.  Indeed many of her miracles directly involve ale.  Once, for instance, she was able to supply eighteen churches with beer from Maundy Thursday to the end of the Easter Season with one barrel of her private stock. Another time, while visiting a leper colony, she found to her great dismay that the lepers were so wretched that they did not even have any beer.  With an abbess' great sense of economy, she used dirty bathwater as the medium for her miracle: "For when the lepers she nursed implored her for beer, and there was none to be had, she changed the water, which was used for the bath, into an excellent beer, by the sheer strength of her blessing and dealt it out to the thirsty in plenty." This is not the only time that she utilized bathwater for this very same purpose.  Brigid is said to have changed her own dirty bathwater into ale for visiting priests when she   found her supply exhausted.   

The Christmas ale has, for all intents and purposes, finished fermenting in the primary fermentor and now it is time to transfer the ale to a carboy for the secondary fermentation process.

1.)  Sanitize your carboy carefully, as well as your racking hose.

 2.)  Fill your racking hose with water so as to begin the racking (siphoning) process.

3.)  Rack into a separate container until the water has cleared the hose.

4.)  Rack the beer into the carboy.

5.)  Add two vanilla beans, two sticks of cinnamon and one tablespoon of shaved ginger.

6.)  Put lid and airlock 
in place.

7.)  Store in dark cool area for about five days.

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