I’m digging this homebrewing stuff.
In between applying and searching for jobs, it’s made for a great way for me to dive into something and learn. Who knew it was so in-depth, this homebrewing stuff?
Now, I’m currently using Mr. Beer. For my first two batches, I haven’t done anything more than the basics.
Right now, I have my first (American Classic Light) in the bottles. They’ve been in there a week and I’m going to give them another week or so before putting them in the fridge. I’m going with the two-week period many seem to say you should do for the bottling stage. I’ve kept them in a cooler, which has allowed me to keep a constant temperature.
On the same day I bottled, I also started my second brew — St. Patrick’s Irish Stout.
The future is also going to hold a West Coast Pale Ale and a blueberry beer.
But, let’s go over what I have learned before moving to the next things.
One thing I’ve discovered is I’m really interested in the process. I’ve always paid attention on brewery tours I’ve taken, but all that talk — wort, mash, this that and the other — always meshed together. Now I have to actually understand this stuff.
With Mr. Beer, it’s a pretty basic thing (though, by reading several forums, there are ways to make it way more in-depth), which is good for now. From beginning to end, it takes me about 45 minutes to do a brew.
That includes sanitation, making the wort and getting it all ready.
But if I’m going to wait 5-6 weeks to drink this beer, I need to have more time invested in making it. That is coming, for sure.
There’s one thing I’ve realized with the first batch, which I bottled in the Mr. Beer plastic bottled — two gallons is a lot of beer. I have eight 1-liter bottles all set, which appears to be about a case of beer.
As somebody who drinks maybe two or three beers a week, that’s a lot. And I want to brew beer to keep it running so I can continually try something new. With case after case, that’s going to be tough. Sure, I can bring them to people’s houses, but what if I get a crap batch? That’s a lot of bad beer to stomach!
So, I’m investing in a smaller item through Northern Brewer, a homebrewer supply company. They have it set up for one-gallon batches, which will apparently yield be 10-12 beers.
Not only that, I’m going to have to do more in-depth brewing, which is something I’d really like to do. You have to worry about hops and all that and when to put things in.
With my second batch of Mr. Beer (the stout), I used a hydrometer, which should tell me the estimated alcohol content when all is said and done. So I’m taking steps with each beer.
The West Coast Pale Ale has a booster to add to it. The blueberry will make me work with fruit. And when I advance to the one-gallon batches, I’m going to have to do a lot more.
But that’s OK because, in the end, hopefully I’ll have a nice brew or two that is worth sitting back and enjoying.
The ultimate goal here is to get a pipeline going so I’ll have different beers in different stages at all times. That way, there will be something different to taste every once in a while, which is nice. And the smaller batches will hopefully help me in keeping a steady flow of bottles so I can make sure I have enough to bottle the brews!
And, I hope the beer tastes good. I would like this to be something I do for a long time and maybe understand things more so I can come up with my own beers. I have some goals I have in brewing my own beer, which I’ll share in another post at a later date.
For now, I’ll keep waiting!
(Side note — if you are interested in seeing the process or more photos as I go along — more than what I do here — I made a Facebook page for “HooHaa Brewing Company.” Obviously it’s more for fun. If you want, feel free and like it!)
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!
Jeff W says
Save me a stout, PJ…..I’ll give it a in-depth review.
Where will this in-depth review go??
Awesome! I myself am a novice homebrewer! Mostly ales and IPA’s.
Very sweet! What system do you use? Full five-gallon setup, something smaller?
I do a 5 gal. setup with better bottle carboys. I make a lot of ales, more particularly IPA’s. I started with Mr. Beer. Just wanted to get more involved than just extract recipe’s. In the Delhi area there is a Homebrewer’s club actually. https://www.facebook.com/groups/180137125423187/?ref=ts&fref=ts
I’m fermenting my second batch of Mr. Beer now. I’m going to get a 1-gallon setup to do some more in-depth stuff. Five gallons is too much for me right now. Two cases of beer would be a ton and, honestly, I don’t have the room to do it all.
But I found a pretty nice 1-gallon setup on Northern Brewer that will allow me to move forward to doing other things, yet keep the output low. I’m hoping in time to actually move up. This has been a whole heap of fun.