Thursday, March 12, 2009

How I got started Brewing.

Back when I was in college, I head about people who made beer at home, but I never really looked into it. Honestly, I wasn't that much of a beer fan back then. I was just starting to acquire a taste for it. Then a couple of years ago I came across this store that sold beer making equipment. Theresa was with me and the store owner let us try some of the beer he made with the kits and it was really good beer. I really liked the idea, but I didn't want to spend the money. Then last summer I started researching it on the Internet. I saw all these video of guys brewing beer. They were making double batches with 20 pounds of grain and had large kettles outside. I thought there's no way I can do that. I don't have the space for all that equipment. I heard them talking and it was like a foreign language: sparging, sparge water, mashing, wort etc. It sounded complicated, difficult, expensive. There's just no way I can do all that. Then I came across this video This guy from Canada shows how to do it the easy way. He used what I now know as a no-boil kit. Basically, he took a can of concentrate added water, sugar, and yeast. The best part is he did it right in his kitchen and basement. No giant kettles outside. No messy grains. No hops. Everything right in a can. This completely changed my thinking about brewing. Now that's something I can do.

So I save up some money and ordered a kit. I started with the Coopers kit. What I liked about the kit is that it has everything you need to make a simple batch of beer. A lot of kits don't give you the bottles or the ingredients. Coopers came with the bottles and the ingredients for my first batch of beer.

So I made my first batch of beer, and it felt like I did everything wrong. The pot boiled over on the stove making a huge mess. I found out later that you don't really have to boil the “no-boil” kits. Then I poured the wort into the fermenter and forgot to close the tap. Beer started leaking all over the counter. I didn't cool down the wort long enough, so I had to wait for hours for it to cool in the fermenter. At about 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, it was still too hot, but I didn't want to wait any longer, so I threw the yeast in and went to bed. The next day I got up and heard the sound: blup, blup, blup. It was fermenting! Theresa told me later, that she thought there was something wrong with our pluming.

Then after a week, we bottled the beer. Cooper's kits come with these carbonation drops. It's basically just pre-measured sugar in the size of cough drops. You put two in each bottle. Then you fill the bottles and put the caps on. I tore up my hand screwing caps on (they were plastic bottles). Then came the hard part, waiting till the beer was ready to drink. In the end the beer turned out alright. Sure it wasn't the greatest beer ever, but it was beer! Since then my wife and I have ventured out to more complicated styles of brewing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Great that you're "brewing" wine - after I've done a few beer experiments I want to try that also, so please do write lots of details.

    As you said, let's exchange links: