Thanks to generous Christmas presents from our parents, we’ve started brewing our own beer. Lots of people say that you can’t screw up brewing beer, but that’s not true. Turns out, there are lots of ways you can ruin a batch of beer. For example, you can take too long to cool the beer and allow it to grow bacteria during that time. Or, you can not use an auto-siphon and then who knows how unsanitized your product gets – no matter how careful you’re being – as you use your mouth to start the siphon. Or, you can forget that your beer needs to be a certain temperature and turn the heat in your house way down in order to save money. Or, you can buy a kit that has expired grains. Or, you can use chlorinated water. Or, you can get too much air in the liquid when you are transferring it. Seriously, there’s a lot that can go wrong. And I’ve met people who have made sub-par homebrews. And our first try (an off-brand ESB) was a disaster.
On top of all that, the directions for brewing beer are not straightforward. We got a one page instruction guide from our nearest brewing supply store, The Brew Shop, in Oklahoma City. On this one page sheet, it says to do a primary fermentation for 1 week and then do a secondary fermentation for another week. The directions we got with our Brewer’s Best IPA beer kit said to do a primary fermentation for 5-7 days and a secondary fermentation for 10-14 days. The brew shop says to bottle condition the beer for 2 weeks. However, reddit.com brewers get a better result when they condition for 3 (and for others, 4) weeks. Scott and I don’t do well with conflicting information.
So, we checked the expiration date on our kit. We bought an auto-siphon (and watched a YouTube video about how to use it). We cooled our beer with ice. The beer spent 6 days in primary and two weeks in secondary. We bottle conditioned for 3 weeks. Here’s what we got:
A very potable ale! The closest thing I can compare it to is Bell’s Two Hearted. I’m surprised and relieved that our brew tastes so good. Come visit and you can try some!