I felt some excitement and little relief once I was finally able to brew a batch of of motor home brew in Stanley last winter. I had proved to myself that you can brew beer practically anywhere provided you have the necessary ingredients, but something was missing. The rush you get from creating a sharable beverage was gone and I had needed a home brew fix.
Luckily, fate intervened during our stay in South Lake Tahoe when a friend of friend heard about our trip and asked if I would be interested in doing a home brew while I was in town. Daniel had been an avid home brewer not too long ago but had taken some time off from the hobby and was looking for an excuse to brew again. I gladly signed up as his enabler and scratched my own home brewing itch as well.
We settled on a West Coast Red kit he had picked up from a home brew shop and set a date. The brew day was to be right before we set out on our NorCal road trip for All About Beer magazine. We would be gone for a couple weeks which should give the beer enough time to ferment and would be ready to bottle when we returned.
When we rolled up to his house in Stanley it turned out to be a beautiful day which was good since we were brewing outdoors in the driveway. As opposed to my previous road brewing this was going to be a full 5-gallon batch which meant a bigger brew set-up and more beer to share in the end. The brew went pretty smoothly. The only modifications we made was to add an extra pound of caramel malt that Daniel had left over from a previous brew. The original grvaity was pretty close to expected value so we threw it in a bucket with some yeast and let nature do the rest.
When we returned from our beer travel tour around Northern California the beer was ready to be bottled. The gravity had dropped and we were looking at a reasonable ABV of 4.5% good for sessionable drinking sessions with friends. So we cleaned out some bottles and filled them with the delicious amber nectar. The bottling went quick as I barely had time to drink my bottling beer, but before you knew we had filled and capped a couple bombers and about 4 six packs worth of 12 ouncers.
Overall the brew went smoother than I expected which is the benefit of having an experienced brew buddy. When the beer was finally ready to drink after a couple weeks to let them carbonate it poured a quite eye pleasing reddish amber color which helped contribute to its name: Road Reddy. It ended up being a excellently easy drinking beer with a great malt backbone and subtle hop character that didn’t over power the taste buds.
I would say this batch was much more successful than our 1 gallon of Donut Drink and Drive (Coffee Donut Stout) that was made in the RV. It’s enough to make me want to try another road brew in the RV…