30 July, 2010

Mr. Beer Kit - My first attempt at "brewing"

A few weeks ago I got a bug up my ass and decided I wanted to get a Mr. Beer Kit. I wanted to brew me some beer, but realized I didn't have the space to house the proper equipment, nor the time to dedicate to brewing each batch. However, I did make a trip to the local brew supply house and asked some questions about the kit.

As it happens, they had a Mr. Beer Deluxe Kit. And then I piled on some extra items like a bottle brush, some real bottle caps, a bottle caper, some hops, and a few other odds and ends:

Then I set about brewing. The process is quite easy, and took me about an hour. But I added an extra 30 minutes into the mix because I steeped some hops to make my Pale Ale more hoppy:

I've got the fermenting keg hanging out in the spare bedroom, sitting in a cooler. The keg is elevated about 3 inches, and standing water sits about 2 inches in the bottom of the cooler. A thin towel is draped over the keg, with its ends wicking up water. Thanks to my little temp gauge, I've seen the temps hold steady at 70-degrees, despite the fact we keep the house at 78-80:

It has been two weeks, so I thought it was time to pour off a small amount to test it. It has just a hint of sweetness, and quite a bit of hop aromas and flavors. Of course it is flat, so Susan cringed as if she was drinking liquid devil, but I thought it was surprisingly tasty:

BTW, this was the standard Pale Ale recipe that came in the kit. I added about a 1/2 ounce of Cascade Hops to my boiling water, letting the hops steep for about 30 minutes before adding the extract and and following the standard kit instructions.

I'm going to let this hang out in the fermenting keg another week before I bottle it. I'm going to mix up my bottling process a little. The kit came with reusable plastic bottles, but I also wanted to try my hand at using real glass bottles. I've been saving up some 12 and 22oz bottles. I plan on using all three types of bottles with this first batch.

As it happens , I just got a package in the mail today. A second Mr. Beer Fermenting keg, with some more accessory items. I picked up a wheat recipe kit at the home brew supply shop when we bought the first kit, so I figured why not get a second brew going. I'm going to fruit this beer, as I love a fruity wheat beer on a hot day. I'm thinking blueberry or blackberry.


1 comment:

sean said...

Yay, another brewer is born! :)