By the time this actually posts, I’ll hopefully have three — maybe four beers — bottled and maybe a couple tested.
I was stoked when I successfully brewed, bottled and tasted my first homebrew, titled “Pee Light.” It’s not something you’ll see on shelves anytime soon, but I’m pretty happy about seeing it through and working on the process.
The reviews from friends weren’t bad. I enjoyed it, too. So hopefully that’s a good sign.
The best part about this is knowing I made beer.
I. Made. Beer.
Alas, the road is still long.
Since my initial Mr. Beer batch of the Pee Light, I have brewed and bottled the Irish Stout via Mr. Beer. Currently, I have an Irish Red in a one-gallon carboy, fermenting up and getting ready for bottling. By the time this publishes, I’ll have already bottled it and hopefully started at least two more beers.
Since I started, I’ve done quite a bit of reading on the brewing world. I’m learning more and more about homebrewing and I can’t wait to keep moving forward in this process.
While I still plan on using the Mr. Beer system, I’m also going to start working with grain brewing. To do that, I’ve stepped up to the one-gallon setup, which I got through Northern Brewer. There are good and bad points to this.
The good is that it’s a smaller batch. For me, that’s nice because I don’t drink a whole heap of beer. I like to savor and enjoy. A one-gallon batch hooks me up with about 8-10 bottles, all pending.
Another positive? If the beer stinks, I don’t have to figure a way to get rid of five gallons worth (if I had gone the full brew route).
There are some negatives, however.
For one, I like to make sure people get a chance to taste the brew. But 8-10 beers can go quickly. And if I truly enjoy it myself, well, it stinks if I only get one. So I’m coming up with a different way to do “tastings.” The other negative — if you brew a really good beer, you only have 8-10! That’s OK though, because you can always make more!
But one thing I’ve realized is how much I love this hobby.
Like I needed another hobby, right?
Geocaching, playing disc golf, playing softball, running two blogs and photography isn’t enough?
The best part about brewing is outside of the brewing day, the hobby is more of a patience game. I have gotten into full brewing yet, so I’m sure once I do that it becomes more time-consuming. Still, there’s a lot of waiting.
Plus, in the end, what a great payoff?
Eventually, I’m sure I’ll want to step up to the five-gallon setup. For now, I love the idea of one gallon. I have a few beers I want to make and I have a one-gallon recipe book that has me stoked to try some interesting recipes (and, to be honest, probably wouldn’t be a beer I’d want to have two cases worth!)
I also decided I want to make some brewing goals. These have no timelines, but are things I’d like to do.
- Brew both White House beers (I have the porter set to be made, will need to get the ale)
- Brew a full blueberry beer
- Create my own beer (using no kits, through research, trial and error etc.)
- Enter a beer in a competition (I realize to do this, I’m going to need to dive in much deeper and see how to develop my own!)
- Step up to five-gallon batches
I’m sure there will be more goals I’ll eventually add. For now, these are the major ones.
This process, thus far, has been fun and I’m learning more each batch. The Irish Red was fun because I had to do more in-depth things, such as steep grains and add the hops and such. Some of the other recipes I’ve seen are going to require me to do more, such as longer boils etc. And I like that as it gives me things to learn each time, thus making it so I can ease my way into the brewing world a little more each time.
The best part is how fun it is. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of beers I can brew and, one day, develop!
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