Crafting beer at home

MARQUETTE — A number of U.P. residents enjoy craft beers.
But some beer lovers take it to the next level, and brew their own.
“Some of us brew just for the enjoyment of the process. It’s very scientific, it’s like cooking, it’s chemistry. And of course the bottom line you’re making really good beer,” said David Gill, President of the Marquette Home Brewers Club.
Gill has been home brewing different varieties of beer for about 12 years.
Last year, he decided he wanted to share his hobby with other home brewers in the area, so he started the Marquette Home Brewers Club in November 2013.
The club now has over 30 members, and meets every second Wednesday of the month at the Ore Dock for activities and competitions amongst themselves.
They also meet again at the end of the month for a social hour, which is reserved for good beer and good conversation.
The actual brewing of beer is quite the process, too.
“I’m an all-grain brewer. That means I take grains, I grind them, I soak them in hot water which is called the mash for a specific amount of time. Then the extract that comes off of that mash is called wert. It goes into the boiling kettle,” said Gill.
After boiling the wert for 60 to 90 minutes, a plant used in brewing called hops is added.
Then the wert is chilled to a constant temperature.
Finally, the yeast is added and the concoction is left to brew.
The whole process takes about four to six hours.
And there are so many varieties to brew!
“Right now my favorite is the IPA, and we’ve just been making different ones, trying out all the different varieties of hops to find out what the different flavors and aromas are and the bitterness,” said Jill Gethers, Treasurer of the Marquette Home Brewers Club.
Gethers and her husband Chris have been brewing for about 15 years.
Gethers has even received her Cicerone certification recently, which means she is certified to serve beer.
“There’s three different levels to the cicerone program. The first level is a certified beer server, and I passed that exam at the end of May. And that exam consists of knowledge of the different types of beers and serving them,” said Gethers.
The Marquette Home Brewers Club members say there are always looking for new members, and welcome beginners to those with many years of experience.
The goal of the club is to have fun sharing knowledge and tips centered around the hobby and craft of home brewing.
For more information about the club or home brewing itself, visit their Facebook page or their website. 

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