You've seen the posts, the random food network shows. Home Brew is where it's at. The DIY that everyone wishes they could tackle. But it always seems like a little too much. This isn’t a pallet herb garden this is a whole fermentation process. Something to be left to the old timers and crazy hipsters. But is it really as hard as it seems? Mr. Beer promises to make you a home brewer and not be too time consuming. It almost seems too good to be true.
Here's everything that comes in the kit:
- 2 Gallon Fermenter with Tap
- 1 Classic American Light Refill with 1 packet of No-Rinse Cleanser & 1 Packet of Yeast
- 11 Reusable Plastic PET 740 ML bottles with caps, labels & carb drops
- Instructional DVD
And there’s a couple more things you’ll need:
- (3) Gallons Water
- (1) 1-Gallon Container (Jug)
- (1) 3-Quart Pot (or Larger)
- (1) Metal or Hard Plastic Spoon/Whisk
- (1) Can Opener • (1) Measuring Cup
- (1) Large Mixing Bowl
That's it! A few simple things and you can be a Home Brew brewster. Well you're going to want to grab a 6 pack of your favorite beer to drink while you make your own. (Believe me don’t leave this ingredient out!) So grab a bottle (or a can, I won't judge) and get to it.
Step one: Open your fresh beer and take a swig. Now you’re ready to begin. Open up that box like it’s Christmas morning and dump it out.
The first thing you have to do it put the spigot on and test it for leaks. You definitely don’t want to do all the work for thing to leak everywhere. This is a little boring and takes a couple minutes, so take this time and finish that first beer you opened before you move on.
Now you have to sanitize your kit. This is pretty important because you can totally ruin your beer’s taste. If you don’t do this step wild and crazy yeast can take over your beer and create some really off flavors. Fortunately the cleanser is pretty easy. Water + cleanser mix + a little swirling and mixing (you can dance around at this point, no judgement, I did). No rinsing necessary. Dump it and move on, just like college.
Now you brew!
This is where I kind of felt like a mad scientist. Or like Walter White. Brewing up that good stuff in my kitchen. This feeling may have been due to the pre-beer-brewing beers, but who knows! Pots everywhere, water boiling, for a second it was a little overwhelming but the instructions were pretty on point. And soon I was pouring it all into the fermenter and mixing it all up. Now this can be a little awkward because of the shape of the little fermenter but you gotta make it work. You mix that, basically until you just give up, shrug your shoulders and sprinkle the yeast on top like sprinkles on an ice cream sunday. Put the lid on and shove it in the closet. Well that’s where I put it because the temperature should be between 68 and 76 degrees. This little info is pretty important because if it's too hot you’ll get weird flavors because the yeast decides it wants to throw a rave in your fermenter and if it's too cold the yeast naps like it just had thanksgiving dinner. so choose a place that pretty much stays between those temperatures.
Now you may be able to leave it alone and not look at it for two weeks. But Me? I stalked it. So if you’re like me here’s what you’ll see:
It’ll take a couple days but then you’ll start to see stuff happening. It’ll become a little cloudy, Mr. Beer says “opaque and milky”. There will be some foam, bubbles and sediment at the bottom. Don’t get freaked out. All this means is it’s brewing up nice and healthy. After a few days of this it will stop doing cool stuff so you can relax and forget about it for the next week. And remember you want to give this whole process about two weeks.
Now you get to bottle it! Which honestly sounds cooler than it is, because after you pour it in and add the carbonation you have to wait again. So stick it back in the closet and forget about it for 14-21 days. And seriously forget about it because there isn’t much to watch happen at this stage. Now the longer you leave it the better it’s supposed to be. But I’m an impatient person so … 14 days was good enough.
Now I was actually surprised. Not the best beer I’ve ever had but it was better than those college days of Natty Lite, so I’ll take it. It was a little cloudy but hey, for a first time brew I’ll give it a solid B+. May have tasted like an A if I had any patience. But maybe I’ll try again and work on that part.
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