So for a long time I’ve had this idea that I want to make my own beer. It’s cheaper (50 cents a beer), it’s a fun hobby, and it’s 100 other things. I had never had the gumption to do it, and something always got in the way.
Not any more! I ordered a brewing kit from Home Brew West on Wednesday afternoon and it arrived by courier this morning. The above link will take you to the kit that I bought and it really does contain everything you need. Brewing sugar, malt extract, bucket, airlock, the whole nine yards. 40 Screw top bottles and an easy bottling mechanism come with the kit so you really are covered from start to finish.
All you need to provide is water and time. I’m starting out with a standard Lager this time, but I’m really looking forward to brewing some stouts and ales.
Doesn’t it look grand? The fermentation should start in earnest any time between now and tomorrow and the final brew will be ready for bottling in 6-10 days. See you then.
Oh! Home Brew West takes laser cards. How cool is that?!
Squeee! It’s a great hobby. We just started this about a year ago, we’ve only done brew kits so far, and will hopefully venture out into brewing our own recipes soon.
If you end up digging it, my husband highly recommends the wort chiller (Sorry, couldn’t find it on Home Brew West’s site, perhaps it’s called something different?) as a basic brewing staple.
I’d just add too, we’ve found that the brewing times usually take about twice as long as the kit recommends. You aren’t going to want to transfer that beer into your secondary fermenter until the air-lock stops bubbling, and after that wait, when you finally bottle, you probably are going to want it to carbonate in the bottles for a few weeks as well. The main thing I’ve learned while brewing – disinfect everything, and Don’t. Rush. It.
But don’t wait too long either, we brewed a Grand Cru that we let sit too long in the second fermenter (out of laziness) and holy crap, was that beer strong. If you were lucky, you grabbed a bottle that tasted like a good Belgium Ale. If you were unlucky, you grabbed a bottle that tasted like a Bud Lite you poured vodka into.
And I’m rambling, so happy brewing!
In regards to the wort chiller (which I couldn’t find on Home Brew West either) I don’t think that I’ll be getting into that just yet. The information I had was that you could get the brew started without an initial wort boil and what I’m seeing confirms that. It might not be as good, but it’ll be good for a first try.
Don’t have any designs on secondary fermentation at the moment. I love the idea of having some beautiful demijohns but I’m going straight to carbonating in bottle this time.
It’s a wonderful hobby. Using the cans of malt extract is pretty idiot proof. And sitting in the kitchen watching youtube videos with a fermenter burbling in the background is pretty sweet.
Do you use a hydrometer?
Give it lots and lots of time. Two important things are: keep it all real clean and give it time. Once everything is all mixed together there ain’t much you can do. The more you leave it the better it will be. Trust me; I’ve done it wrong more than I’ve done it right.