Kiss My Heine Dutch Light Ale is the first beer of the semester chosen by the unofficial USF Beer Brewing Club on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
“We definitely wanted a lighter beer to kick off the semester,” said club president Christine Sincoski.
The club’s twelve amateur brewers selected the beer because of its distinct description: an initial sweet bitterness that leaves no after-taste.
The evening began with a drive to the local brewing store on Busch Boulevard to buy the necessary ingredients: over two pounds of grain, malt extract, three types of hops, and a liquid yeast.
At Sincoski’s house, club member Kevin Pitman began the brewing process by bringing two-and-a-half gallons of purified water to a boil.
“First you steep the grains like you would with a pot of tea and then remove the spent grain,” said Pitman. “Then you bring that to a boil and add all of your ingredients one by one.”
The cooking of the wort, the term for unfermented beer, lasted only one hour. After that, the time-consuming cooling process began.
“The wort has to be within the temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees to add the yeast, otherwise the enzymes in the yeast will die,” said Michael Jacobs.
The final step of the cooling process is to add the wort to two-and-a-half gallons of cold water in a sanitized bucket. After a temperature check is performed, the activated liquid yeast is added.
Lastly, the bucket containing the wort was covered with an airtight lid with an airlock. The airlock allows gasses to escape the bucket during fermentation without allowing air to get in.
Fermentation will last anywhere from two days to one week. Once fermentation stops, the beer is filtered, a priming sugar is added, then it is bottled. The priming sugar allows for carbonation to develop.
The bottles must sit in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks to allow the beer to settle and carbonation to build. The ale will be ready for consumption after those two weeks, though connoisseurs agree four to five weeks of settling leads to a better tasting beer.
The next club meeting will take place once fermentation stops in approximately one week. Sincoski will monitor fermentation and alert fellow club members when the beer will be ready for filtration and bottling.