Members and guests were joined by local home brewers, Jake Dickman and Cody De Graaff, for the first-ever beer brewing project at the Idea Fab Labs in Chico on Sunday, November 8, 2015.
We all spilled into the front yard around 10:00 a.m., each of us having separately detoured through Midtown Local for our respective cups of joe. Jake and Cody had the kettle—made from an old Sierra Nevada Pale Ale keg—cleaned, sanitized and ready to go on the burner in short order. The next thing you know, we’re boiling water! It turns out that Jake has numerous books on brewing, including a weighty tome dedicated to nothing but water. For our purposes, we used good ol’ Chico water right out of the tap.
Jake announces that we are brewing an American Strong Ale, today’s batch being dubbed, Fabrewcation Strong Ale. Jake and Cody walked us through the various steps of creating our signature brew, each stage affording us a good hour or so to sample a new beer or talk about the more sophisticated aspects of craft brewing.
“Jake was a good teacher,” says Zack Lamanski, a participant. “I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed the weather and the company. I liked the informal part of it. We didn’t take notes; it wasn’t regimented; we could pitch in if we wanted to or not. It was a Fab Lab event. I wanted to show my support for the Lab and learn how to make beer. It’s a whole day of relaxing, not just a cooking process.”
Jake and Cody took the group from cleaning and sanitizing the equipment, completely through the brewing process, there being some chuckles when the terms “vorlauf” and “sparge” were discussed. The Fabrewcation Strong Ale must now ferment for 15 days, at which time the initial group will meet up again to try the finished product.