One thing that is nice to do on a cold day is to make beer, which Matt and I did this weekend. It involves standing over and stirring bubbly pots in a cheerful warm kitchen for several hours.
However, the next stage involves keeping the yeasties from freezing to death and/or over-heating for a week or more while they sit in a bucket and eat up all the sugars to make alcohol. While I won’t disclose what temperature we are keeping the house at, I will say it is 35 degrees more than the current temperature outside, and doesn’t that sound luxuriously toasty?
However, the yeasties are fussier than we are; they like it hot! This summer when it was over 100 degrees in the apartment, they were working so fast that we brewed and bottled a beer in 3 days, instead of the normal week, holy cow! You are not supposed to let them get this hot and heavy, but I’m not going to go and buy an AC just for the yeasties. Conversely, in the cold weather, much like humans, they get very lethargic and don’t want to do their job.
Which is why we’re wrapping the beer in an electric blanket. At first I was going to include a picture here, but while beer is very delicious, it is not photogenic. So instead, here is a cat wrapped in a blanket.
If you are crazy in the two ways we are – 1. wanting to make your own beer and 2. not wanting to heat your house – then here are some handy tips for keeping your yeasties warm and happy, while you sit around and drink beer to keep warm.