"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Monday, April 4, 2011

Alchemical Magic

We had a bit of a treat this weekend, up on the mountain.  Our good friend, Matt, is a self-taught, and allow me to say, masterful brewer.  The fam and I were invited over to witness the magic, and it truly is a magical thing to watch.  This is alchemy, folks.  Taking a few ingredients, and while honoring their innate integrity, transforming them into something else entirely.  It may not be the gold that alchemists of old were speaking of, but I've tasted Matt's hefeweizen...and it is liquid gold, and precious indeed.

A long time ago, in a life far, far away, I worked in a brewery.  So I can respect that these guys are not only passionate about their craft, but a little uptight about having an audience around while they do their thing.  Matt however, was gracious enough to allow us to witness, up front, the age-old, and hours-long, process of turning grain into beer.  With only the gentle warning that loss of limbs may occur should anyone, adult or child, get in the way.  (Kidding, mostly!)

And since I not only value our friendship, but also my life, I'm not sharing a brewing recipe here.  Just a few snapshots of our day as brewer-sidekicks. Enjoy.

There's a whole lot of heating and mixing.  Waiting and measuring.  A little more mixing and heating...and a bit more waiting...

And in those waiting times, a few mimosas...

An impromptu yoga session with Jamie...

 Some general fun...

 As you do.

And...a bit more measuring, and dig this:  the old Vorlauf.  Which sounds rather like an evil wizard or mad scientist.  Which I guess sort of fits our Matt.  My understanding of that oh-so-perfect word is that he's circulating the brew through the grain, allowing those grains to form a sediment, which filters out the cloudiness and impurities.  (Hope I got that correct, despite a possible couple of mimosas at that point.)


What with all the alchemy, the witchy cauldron-stirring, the bubbling steamy brew, and mad wizardry going on...you pretty much know this stuff is going to be good.

What a day.

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