Sometimes it seems like I have an insatiable curiosity. I have a lot of interests and read about things that sometimes make people ask “Why do you know that?” So when I recently saw a home-brewing beer kit for sale, it was another thing that piqued my curiosity. I had to have it. I had to learn what it takes and how the process works… and if I could follow directions without screwing it up. (It seems to be going well so far, by the way.)
The kit really simplifies the process, which is really great for starting out. It’s called Mr. Beer, which sounds dumb, as straight-to-the-point as it is. I don’t know if it’s always the case, but the whole Premium Gold Edition shebang was a mere $24 at JC Penny. When I got it home, I compared prices on Amazon and Walmart, and the same kit was selling in the neighborhood of $45 to $53 or so on those sites. Good deal here.
Included items in this edition of the kit are a 2 gallon fermenting tank, eight plastic 1-liter bottles, two cans of malt extract, brewing yeast, sanitizing cleaner, and just about everything else you need to make your own batch. “Just about everything else” means you needs to supply your own measuring spoons, whisk, can opener and bowl to sanitize those tools in.
The directions are simple, and this is a quick breakdown of the process:
step 1 – SANITIZING: Sanitize the brewing tools with the included cleaner packet
Prepping the brewing tools to be sanitized
step 2 – BREWING: Boil water and the included booster in a pot… mix in the can of hopped malt extract… this mix is called “wort”…
The wort (next to some delicious fried rice)
…. pour the wort into the keg… add water… stir vigorously, mix in yeast, and cap the keg. Store out of sunlight for 7-14 days.
Adding yeast to the fermentation tank
step 3 – BOTTLING: Bottle it up, gently mix in a designated amount of sugar, and store for another 7-14 days
All bottled up and ready for storage
Today, July 15th, is the big day. The bottled beer has been stored away for two weeks now. It’s my understanding that the first batch is always a bust, as the equipment needs broken in and such, but that’s going to be our little secret… I’m not going to be telling that to the other people trying the beer today. Cheers!
July 17 – update – The beer wasn’t so great. I’m drinking it anyway. After all, it’s beer! The first batch has a lot of head when poured. It looks nice, but the flavor tastes flat. It also has some flavor that sort of reminds me of, well, plastic. Imagine that… it’s been in brand new plastic for a couple weeks. I rinsed everything thoroughly before brewing, but I guess that doesn’t matter.
Despite the outcome, it’s still not the worst beer I have ever had, by any means. The one time I had Mickey’s, it was like an instant hangover. Seriously, I was sipping it, and had a headache within a half-hour. You know how bad a cheap beer tastes when it’s warm? Well that’s how Mickey’s tasted when it was cold.
Back to fun stuff… While on the topic of beer, I might as well plug my favorites, so you – all eleven loyal readers – know what to get me on my next birthday. In no particular order, the top 3 are: Kentucky Bourbon Ale, Well’s Banana Bread beer, and Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.
That’s it for now! I’m looking forward to brewing the next batch of beer at home, which I’m 97% sure is going to taste like liquid gold compared to the first batch. Again, I love saying it when I really mean it: cheers!