Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Home brewing step 2 -Day 3

All I can is @#@^%! The kit I am using calls for primary fermentation as well as secondary fermentation. This requires siphoning the wort from the bucket to the carboy. Easy to say, pain in the ass to do! After sterilizing all the equipment, I am left with this basic problem: how do you siphon something without sucking on the hose? (stop that snickering). After all the warnings about sanitation and germs, I was desperately trying to think of a way to do it without creating a vacuum in the hose. Well, nothing doing. I suspect my attempts to submerge the hose in the wort may have ruined the batch. Grrrrr. If the beer survives it will be a miracle. I will let you know in a month.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Home Brew!

Ok, I realize I have not posted in a ridiculously long time. In fact, it was about 180 types of beer ago! Ye Gods. Anyhoo, I have decided to expand my beer universe by trying to home brew beer.

Step 1: I ordered three books from Amazon:

How To Brew by John Palmer
The Complete Joy of Home Brewing (3rd ed.) by Charlie Papazian
Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels

I have read a good chunk of the first two. I must say at times they read more like chemistry textbooks. Well, if I get beer of it - so be it!

Next I picked up a home brew set from the Vinyard. Well, I actually joined the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers next, but I haven't got my membership card yet.

I wanted to follow a recipe from one of the books to start, rather than work from a kit. However, on the advice of the men from the Vinyard, I opted to try my first batch using a kit. I purchased the Red Ale Kit made by Brew House.

Day 1 (April 25): Spent about an hour cleaning all the equipment. They say sanitation is the most important thing, due to the susceptibility of home brew to bacteria, etc. The only living thing you want in there is the yeast!

Next, I had to wait an hour for the water to warm up to room temperature. This at least gave me a chance to enjoy a brew ("Total Eclipse of the Hops" by Howe Sounds Brewing). I followed the directions set out in the kit; however, I am concerned that the water/wort mix was a lot foamier than I expected when I added the yeast. I hope I did not ruin it. Also, I admit I peaked in a few times to see how it was doing. This is a no-no, but again, I hope no real ill comes of it.

Now I let it sit until Wednesday, when I will rack it into the carboy. See you then!