This Summer I’ve started Homebrewing. I brewed my first batch on Father’s Day. It all started when I read the book The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey. I like whiskey, but I can’t legally make whiskey. I also like beer and that’s legal to make, so I thought I would try homebrew.
I’ve read through Home Brewing: A Complete Guide On How To Brew Beer and browsed The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition (it’s on my bookshelf as a reference). I also spoke with a few homebrew friends about it and decided to give it a shot.
I bought the Essential Brewing Starter Kit from Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply and a large kettle from Amazon and got ready to brew.
My first batch was an Irish Red Ale (extract kit). I brewed the wort inside on our electric stove and it took forever. Getting the 2.5 gallons of water to boil took at least an hour. I made a handful of mistakes while making this first batch of beer, but the beer still turned out alright. Most of the bottles have some really good beer in it, but there are a few that are either over-carbonated or taste a little wrong, I just toss those. The good ones I drink and enjoy.
After I made the first batch, I decided that I needed some extra equipment. So I bought The Dark Star® Burner and a stainless steel wort chiller. I tested both of these out a few weeks ago and it made a huge difference. The water (5 gallons) was boiling in less than 30 minutes and I didn’t even have the burner turned up all the way. I was able to cool the water to 90 degrees fahrenheit in roughly 15 minutes.
A few weeks ago, I brewed my second batch of beer. This one was a (seasonal) Pumpkin Ale. I happen to like fall beers (Pumpkin ale and Märzen/Oktoberfest). An Oktoberfest can take 3 months to make and I got into this game a little too late for it this year. So, I made a Pumpkin Ale. This batch went much smoother than the first one. I only made two minor mistakes. A little garden hose water got into the wort once I killed the boil. I have also discovered that when boiling, the pot shouldn’t be 100% covered (to boil off sulfur compounds). We bottled the pumpkin ale last weekend, where it will bottle condition for a few weeks before enjoying.
I’m excited about brewing more beer. So what’s next? I want to do a few more extract kits, then I want to try my hand at All-Grain brewing. I’d also like to try a few more varieties of beer, including Irish Dry Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, Saison/Farmhouse Ale and many more.