Just thought I would post an update about my adventures in home brewing.
In November, I brewed a 5-gallon batch of Northern Brewer’s Ace of Spades Black IPA. The bottles finished conditioning last weekend and they taste amazing. I thought I had messed up this batch, but it’s probably the best batch I’ve made so far.
In December I joined the local homebrew club called BUZZ Homebrew Cluband attended my first meeting. I tried out a number of other homebrew beers, some were really good. I missed this month’s meeting, but hope to make it back again.
Over the Christmas break I brewed two beers in two days. It was a nice experience. It was a lot of work, but I really liked it.
The first beer I brewed was a 5-gallon batch of Northern Brewer’s Imperial Stout. Most of the brew went perfectly until I had a boil over. I had just added the late extract addition and ran inside for something. I came out a few minutes later to find it had boiled over. Argh! I just kept plugging away and will hope for the best. Last weekend I moved this batch to the secondary fermentor without issue. I won’t know how this turns out for a few months.
My parents bought me a subscription to the Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Quarterly Brew Club. They are small-batch all grain mixes that are sent to me every three months. I got my first shipment just before Christmas.
The second beer I brewed was a 1-gallon batch of Rum Barrel Porter (from the Quarterly Brew Club). This was my first attempt at an all grain beer. I hope that I did things right. I tried to keep the temperature of the mash between 144-152°F, the temperature may have varied a little bit. The sparge was probably my biggest issue. The strainer I bought was too small and I needed to do some juggling with the grains and it took longer than I wanted. But the fermentation appears to have gone well and I moved the beer into bottles last weekend. They’ll be ready for tasting this weekend.
I think I’ll make my next batch of beer next weekend. It’ll be another small (all-grain) batch. I’m already looking forward to it.