Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beer: The First Homebrew

On Monday night I triple-checked my instructions, cracked open a Two Hearted Ale and plunged into making my first homebrew. It wasn't really that hard, just very time-consuming. I thought it was going to take about two and a half hours and it ended up taking almost four by the time I put the baby to sleep. And my hands were dried and cracking by the end because of my obsessive hand washing. All in the name of homebrew!

In terms of timing, the most surprising step may have been how long it took to return the pot to boiling after adding the malt. I didn't time it exactly, but it seemed like it took almost as long as getting the water to the first boil. Or maybe it just seemed that long because I was being obsessive about not letting the pot boil-over. That almost happened anyway when I added the first bag of hops -- it probably got within 1/8"! I also lost a little time because I didn't have enough ice to completely cool the wort and had to let it slowly cool the final 30 degrees or so. Things to remember for next time.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of the journey. (And to anybody with experience that sees something grossly wrong, I'm definitely open to constructive criticism.)

The Equipment

The Ingredients

Sanitized Accessories

Steeping the crushed crystal malt

Bringing the malt extract to a boil

Hops smell good!

Boiling the hops (chinook)

Time for more beer, celebrating with a Double Bastard

Cooling the wort

Straining the wort

TRUB!

Hour 0

Hour 21

1 comment:

matt said...

Nice setup. You don't need to strain the wort if you do a secondary fermentation. You can re-rack the beer and clean the sediment out that way. I have never tried a strainer so I I don't know which is easier. Also I am thinking of getting a wort chiller. You might want to try that instead of using all the ice but in the mean time if you cool the water in the fermenter it will help lower the temperature of the whole thing when you mix it.