Food, Lifestyle

How we Brewed our Own Beer – Homebrewing

After our trip to Amsterdam and actually visiting some breweries my husband and I were intrigued about someday brewing our own beer however always pushed it back. During the quarantine we finally decided to give it a try and become beer brewers from beer drinkers.

Since we are not experts at it we googled and looked for options and finally decided to order the Craft A Brew Kit from Amazon which had great reviews. We personally like Hefeweizen so got that kit but they definitely offer more options such as Pale Ale, Irish Scout, Brown Ale, IPA, Oktoberfest Ale, Ciders and many more options to pick from depending on your liking.

The kit includes a 1 gallon carboy, thermometer, sanitizer, yeast, hops, dry malt extract, speciality grains, grain steeping bag, airlock, rubber stopper, funnel, transfer tubing, racking cane, a tube clamp and a guide to craft brewing. A good thing about this kit is that all the equipments are reusable if you plan to brew beer again and all you need to get is the ingredients i.e Dry Malt Extract, yeast, speciality grains, hops, yeast, sanitizer and a grain steeping bag.

Additionally you need a large brew pot (link to the brew pot we used), around 10 Lbs of Ice, 10 to 12 Swing top bottles (or 4 big swing top bottles) and a fine mesh strainer (optional but recommended).

The guide to craft brewing included with the kit lists down all the steps in a clear and precise manner making it so easy to brew the beer even for beginners. It was our first time too but the instructions and very explicit and also they have many You Tube videos in case you need more clarity or don’t understand a particular step. Also, if you run into some questions which cannot be answered by viewing the videos you can always reach out to the brewmaster and they respond back with answers.

The Process consists of 6 steps :

Step 1: Brewing – This is the first step and one of the steps where you will spend most of your time. We took around 4 hours to complete this step but had a great time brewing our own beer. The guide has detailed instructions about this step and below are some of the pictures for this step.

Step 3 : Sanitization – This is one of the most important step to brewing and will determine if you get great tasting beer or terrible tasting beer. So be sure to follow this step exactly as stated in the guide.

Step 3 : Fermentation – Once we completed brewing our beer, we filled it in the sanitized carboy and plugged it with a rubber stopper and made a blow off assembly inserting one end of the tube in the rubber stopper and the other end into a half full glass of water. It is essential to store in a dark cool place for the fermentation process to commence. After a few days once the fermentation calms you can use the airlock. This whole process takes around 2 weeks.

Step 4 : Carbonation and Bottling – After 2 weeks of the fermentation process we were looking forward to the bottling process. We used the swing top bottles for this process and yet again sanitization is key to this process. In this process we reactivated the remaining yeast using sugar as fuel to carbonate the beer once bottled. Once that step is done we siphoned the beer from the carboy to a pot using the racking cane, clamp and a tube and then yet again to the bottles from the large pot as per the instructions mentioned in the guide. This process took us about 1.5 hours to complete. I am not going to lie we did get a little curious as to how the beer was tasting and tried a sip before the process of carbonation.We kept the bottled beer back in a warm dark place for another 2 weeks to allow the beer to carbonate and condition.

Step 5: Enjoy – After 2 weeks we got our home-brewed beer ready to drink. We were really happy to see the carbonation process work and the beer tasted absolutely amazing. We went all out and even designed our own Beer Labels and came up with a name for our Beer too. Clearly, we were over excited that the beer turned out so good and all the hard work paid off. We are left with our last Beer bottle now and already planning to brew our next batch by adding a twist to it.

This can be a great date night idea or even a fun activity for a family or friends to do together to spend time bonding with each other while also enjoying the rewards at the end of the brewing process. After all what’s better than a cold beer on a hot summer night ?

I would love to hear about your beer brewing experiences. Feel free to share them with me. Happy Brewing!

Fashion, Lifestyle

The Tie – Dye Trend – A Fun DIY

The Tie – Dye trend is strong this season and I am totally here for it. I am not going to lie when I saw this 70’s trend making its comeback I had my doubts but I am loving how easy it is to style it and add a pop of color to the wardrobe.

What was once only a school arts and crafts project is now making a serious comeback. The new trend has been embraced both on and off the runways in a more elevated and fashion forward way. It is one of those trends that quickly moved from the runways to the streets.

The new elevated Tie- Dye trend feels bohemian but tailored and nostalgic but contemporary. What I love most about this trend is how easily accessible it is and so many different ways to style it. The Tie – Dye trend today is not restricted to t-shirts alone but is seen on jackets, coats, jumpsuits, dresses, swimsuits, skirts, scarves, bags, shoes, bedsheets, pillow covers, cushions, and so much more. The options are endless.

This trend has literally something for everyone. If you find the loud colors not your style I highly recommend going for muted colors to tailor this trend to suit your requirements.

And the best thing is you can even DIY if you are looking for a fun project. It is easy, fun and can we done by anyone kids as well as adults. My husband and I created our own Tie- Dye T-shirts (His and Hers) and a baseball cap as a part of a date night idea where we got messy and had some fun. I am going to try doing a few other things as well. These are fresh out of the dryer so haven’t ironed them yet.

We used this Tie – Dye Kit which includes 12 squeeze bottles contains dyes, 16 protective gloves, 40 rubber bands, a reusable surface cover and a project guide. Since this kit already has bottled pre filled with powdered dyes all you need to do is add water to the bottles and shake to mix it up making it super easy. This kit can dye upto 36 projects. There are many small kits available too for someone who is looking for only a project or two. The best thing about this kit is it includes all the essentials you need to get creative and create unique pieces and it works on cotton, rayon as well as silk. Additionally, you will need a white t-shirt (got ours from Michaels) or any other fabric you are dying, plastic bags (to keep the tie-dyed fabric in place without disturbing it for the fabric to pick up the dye colors).

Happy experimenting and having a fun time! Feel free to share your Tie- Dye DIY projects or fun tie dye ideas with me.

Lifestyle

11 Stay At Home Date Night Ideas

Date Nights have been so much easier until now to simply go out for a dinner, movie, concert or anything fun. But with staying at home we needed to get more creative to spend some quality time with each other especially to unwind from everything going around.

But who says you cannot make At-Home Date Nights fun and exciting? My husband and I tried these At Home Date Nights during the lockdown and had such a fun time. Here is a list of some fun ideas we did together until the pandemic settles.

  1. Tie – Dye Date Night – The tie-dye trend is so strong right now and we thought why not try and do it ourselves. We ordered the Tie-Dye Kit which included all the tie dye colors, gloves, rubber bands and plastic bags and a tie to secure your tie -dyed things. What we enjoyed the most about it was there is no correct or wrong way of doing it. We just let our creative juices flow and created some fun his and her styles tshirts, a baseball cap and even a travel pouch. It was such a fun night of creating something together and spending some quality time. Here is a picture of what we created.

2. Cocktail Making Contest – If both of you enjoy drinking this is definitely a fun idea for a date night. We had so much fun creating our own cocktails from ingredients we already had at home. We were surprised at how creative we got and the result of which was some really amazing concoctions using spirits, fruits, and spices. Even if you don’t come up with the best cocktails you will definitely have a great time.

3. Candlelit Dinner – Convert the experience of cooking at home a fun one by planning a fun Candlelit dinner. You can make it extremely fancy by having a three course meal – Appetizer, Main and Dessert or keep it simple by cooking just the main dish. But who cares as long as you are having fun. Put on some romantic music while cooking and then enjoy your meal at the dining table by lighting a few candles and having a romantic candle lit dinner with your favorite drinks. I love to dress up and use this time to dress up a little to get the whole experience but it is completely up to you.

4. Movie Marathon – A fun things to do is doing a movie marathon. My husband and I are Harry Potter fans so we did a fun Harry Potter movie marathon while binging on some popcorn and tortillas with salsa and guacamole. But literally you can pick anything you have been waiting to watch or love watching together and go with it. To make it feel like we are watching a movie in the theatre we turn off all the lights.

5. Game Nights – If you enjoy game nights then it is definitely a fun date night idea. We enjoy playing board and card games like Sequence, Code names duet, Ludo, Phase 10, Monopoly, etc. Recently I also learnt playing Chess on one of our date nights and was so much fun. Another fun game is the Newlywed game or Not So Newlywed game.

6. Bucket List Theme Date Night – Have a list of countries you want to visit or had been planning to visit if we were not in this pandemic? Why not convert it into a fun experience and make the most of it.

For Example – If you were planning to visit Mexico – How about make some tacos, nachos, quesadillas, etc.

If you were planning to visit India – How about making some Indian curries, biryani or some chaat?

If you were planning to visit Italy – Cook some Italian dishes like spaghetti, pizza, gnocchi, etc.

If you were planning to visit Japan – How about trying to make some sushi or ramen?

If you were planning to visit China – How about making some noodles, stir fry, fried rice or dumplings.

The options are unlimited depending on the country you pick up.

7. Karaoke Date Night – If you have a karaoke microphone great but even if you don’t just put on you tube and select song with lyrics you like and sing your hearts out. Better yet no one is watching you so you don’t need to care how you sing and just have fun.

8. Sip and Paint Date Night – Have some canvas, paints or brushes handy ? How about painting while sipping your favorite drink and also create some fun wall art for your home at the same time? Even if you don’t have a canvas and just have some drawing paper and colors or pencils you can sketch together and frame them and create your own wall art for your home. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated it can be something simple too. We created some fun frames.

9. Watch your wedding video – Now may be a perfect time to sit back, relax and binge on some snacks while watching your wedding video and photos and reliving those moments together. You can also surprise your partner by swapping your wedding DVD with another movie DVD so he/she will not know till you are actually watching it together. At the end if you want you can also make a small cake/cupcake and enjoy it like you did on your wedding.

10. Picnic in your Backyard – If you are looking for a fun date idea during the day you can also have a picnic in your backyard. You can take a blanket to sit on and some snacks, chips and sandwiches with some sangria/mimosas/wine or any beverage of your choice and play some music on your phone and play some board games as well.

11. Make a playlist of your favorite songs – A fun date night idea is creating a playlist of all your favorite songs. You can pen down all your favorite songs and create a mix tape so the next time you fit the road you are all set and have your favorite songs ready to play and groove. We had got a mix tape long ago to create our playlist and finally created one during the social distancing time.

Do you have any fun date night ideas that you enjoy? Feel free to share your thoughts and what you do on your date nights. I would love to hear about them.