Last week I met up with my friend from college Justin.  He invited me to go and brew beer over at Shenandoah Brewery.  Basically it is a brew your own beer brewery.  They had 8-10 steam kettles and a ton of recipes.  We decided to Hellesfest.  Basically it is a 9% alcohol Ocktoberfest Lager.  Pretty potent stuff.  We did the brewing, but still have to wait 9-12 weeks for it to ferment.  The brewing process was really simple and only took about 2 1/2 hours.

The finished beer in the fermenting barrel.
The finished beer in the fermenting barrel.

The first step was to bring the steam kettle up to a boil.

The steam kettles
The steam kettles

Then we added the malt extract and the brewers corn syrup.  Everything was pre-measured out so it was fool proof.  We didn’t make the wort and were provided with the malt extract.  Quite honestly, it was super simple.

Pouring in the malt extract
Pouring in the malt extract

Next we measured out the hops and added them once we had a nice rolling boil.

We used two types of hops.  A main hops and a finishing hops.
We used two types of hops. A main hops and a finishing hops.

The main hops was added first and was boiled for 75 minutes.  Then after 75 minutes we added the finishing hops and boiled it for another 15 minutes.  Finally we let it cool for a bit.  Once it had a chance to cool, we sent it through the cooling tubes to the fermentation barrels.  By the time the beer made it to the fermentation barrels it was room temperature.

Filling up the fermentation barrels
Filling up the fermentation barrels

Next we added 3 viles of German Lager Yeast.  The good stuff.

Justin adding the yeast.
Justin adding the yeast.

Once the yeast was added we rolled the barrels to mix the yeast up.  To do this we stood about 25 feet apart and kicked the barrel back and forth.

A picture of me rolling the barrel.
A picture of me rolling the barrel.

Finally it is done.  We have to wait 9-12 weeks for the beer to ferment.  Once the beer has properly fermented we will go back and bottle the beers.  Should give us about 96-120 bottles of beer.  Pretty good.

I will definitely keep you guys posted on the outcome of the beer.  It should be done fermenting right before Christmas.  Overall it was a great time.  They have a bar so that you can have a few beers why you make them.  The beer is a little on the expensive side.  Averaging around $20 a pitcher.  We found out the hard way that you can not bring food into the Brewery.   When we entered the owner was eating Five Guys and helping us out and we really wanted some Five Guys.  Needless to say when you don’t work there you are not allowed to bring in food.  They offer food in the form of microwaved chili and pulled pork.  Didn’t notice that, my bad.  To be honest, once I saw Five Guys that is all that I wanted.  Anyway I suggest that you eat before going, the food looked less than spectacular and their only cooking apparatus was a microwave.

If you are near DC and want to check out Shenandoah Brewery you can find the link here.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

3 Comments

  1. I once visited a brewery, back in the day near the end of my Culinary School. I must say though, I never had a chance to brew my own beer. I am wondering how it will taste in the end?

    • Jason, I have had the brew your own beer from Shenandoah Brewery and it is excellent. They do a great job with it. If you ever get the chance you have to try a brew your own beer place. It is a fool proof way to brew your own beer. Back in college we used to brew our own beer and 1 out 5 had to be thrown out as they grew bacteria. Maybe it was the fact that we brewed it in the fraternity house kitchen, not the cleanest place on earth. Plus, the brew your own places have tested recipes.

Write A Comment

Pin It