I love beer. I go on brewery tours, collect pint glasses, attend tastings, and am constantly looking to try new beers. Beer is really the only truly adventurous thing about me. I’ll try anything once. I love beer.
Obviously, the next logical step is make it. And for this, I went to one person: My friend and roommate, Jason. I’d thrown this idea around casually for a few months, but it wasn’t until I purchased a beer making kit through fab.com that the this whole home brew pipe dream of mine really came to fruition.
There are a million different steps relating to science and sanitation involving brewing beer and, since I am terrible at both of those things, Jason was mostly in charge of this process. Now, I won’t relay all the steps necessary to make your own beer for a few reasons. First, I’ll probably tell you the wrong information. Second, this kit that I bought (which came with all materials, hops, malt, etc) was so perfect and awesome, that I want you to give this guy your money.
On a Sunday afternoon in January we began the process of concocting our very first beer – An American Pale Ale – that I jokingly renamed “Elbow Drop Pale Ale” after the “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
I casually thumbed through the book a few times to get a basic idea of what we needed to do, but Jason, without reading, was already dumping all of our supplies in bleach and sanitizer. I was trying hard not to touch anything.
Here are the hops and malt that came with the Elbow Drop American Pale Ale kit.
I can sum up beer making in a few phrases.
Sanitize everything. You’ll have pretty beer like this!
Temperature is important. (Jason is monitoring the temperature after adding the bag with the hops)
Add things when you’re supposed to. Don’t let me touch anything unless it’s in a bag and can’t ruin the beer. (I’m adding the malt!)
Also, get ice ahead of time so you don’t end up using bags of frozen veggies.
Let your beer sit for two weeks (The time may vary depending on what type of beer you make. Again, don’t listen to me.) Hopefully, in two weeks, it’ll be pretty like this:
I didn’t take any pictures of the bottling process because my assistance was needed, but you basically syphon it from the carboy into sanitized bottles. My other friend and roommate, Vanessa, has made beer tons of times before and let us use some of her more pro supplies and her bottle capper.
Post bottling, let it sit for another two weeks, refrigerate, and then you can drink it, like this:
(LOOK AT ALL MY BREWERY GLASSES!!)
Delicious first attempt. Sadly, it only made about 10.5 bottles – I’d love to be able to share this with as many people as possible, but there is only so much Elbow Drop to be had.
Jason has really embraced his inner brewer (He already has a beard, so it makes sense) and, using Vanessa’s awesome 5 gallon carboy, has made a Porter that we will be able to enjoy in a few months. He brews, I pick recipes and sit on the couch. I think it’s best for everyone involved if I am at least an arms length away from the process or just reading the instructions in the book. I’ve ordered the hops/malt from Craft-A-Brew to make a Hefeweizen and something called the “O.G.” which has some orange notes. I’m the best at picking recipes!
#2 Brew/Bottle My Own Beer – Completed 2/19/12