Wednesday, November 20, 2013

And the homebrewing adventures begin!

I've been wanting to try a bit of home brewing for a while now. There is a great home brew store in Marion by the name of BIY Home Brew Supply LLC. Jess and I visited a month or so ago and were pretty impressed by the amount of stuff packed into that little store. When we walked in, the owner was super helpful and gave us just about all of the information we would need to start home brewing.  The store also carries all the stuff you would need for wine and cheese making if that's more your style.   
A couple weeks later (after a ton of online reading and video watching) I decide to take the plunge and drop the $200ish needed to get started up homebrewing.  I opted for the premium beer kit made by Brewers Best. I got the one with a glass carboy so I that I wouldn't have to worry about scratching it.  The lesser kit was only about $20 less than the best one he offered, so there was no reason to get one that wouldn't hold up. I asked Jess what she would like to brew for the first beer and she chose a robust porter. Loaded up on the supplies, we headed back to her place and dove in. Surrounded by boxes and kit pieces, we looked like little kids on Christmas morning. All of the stuff we needed was right there, so we set the date to wait until the next weekend to get to work.

The weekend before last, we started our first ever batch of homebrew. Here is the quick, high level process of brewing beer: Heat up some water, steep grains, boil water, add extracts and hops, boil it for a while, add more hops, boil it for a while, add more hops, boil it, then stick it in a bucket with yeast and wait. That process took about 3 hours. After about 24 hours our "little yeasties" as Jess likes to call them, started going to work and the one way valve started releasing C02.

I did have a bit of a worrisome moment. The heat in my apartment broke and I had 2 days of 55-60ish degree temps that stopped the fermentation process. Once the heat was fixed, I transferred the wort to a glass carboy and it picked right back up. We should be able to bottle shortly and see how it is. Can't wait!

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