About two and a half weeks ago Dave and I embarked on the journey of brewing our first batch of home brewed beer (mostly Dave – I just went shopping with him, let him use my 4 gallon cooking pot and provided moral support throughout the process).
The process went quite smoothly. It began by stopping by our local home brew store Hops and Berries. There we acquired all the equipment we needed to get started including 1 large bucket, 2 carboys, a mix of barley, malt, corn sugar, yeast, and a variety of odds and ends. Dave was immediately inspired to begin the brew process when we got home and I helped mostly by measuring out the water and then getting out of the way. By that evening we had one carboy (the initial fermenter) filled with about 5 gallons of “wort” (basically the batch of stuff that ferments into beer). We let the wort ferment for about 1 week before transferring it into the 2nd fermenter (another carboy).
After the transfer the yeast is meant to begin settling down and the “bubble rate” (rate the carbon dioxide leaves the carboy) should reduce to about 1 bubble per minute or so. This process was taking longer than Dave liked so he decided to “revive” the yeast by adding a second infusion of corn sugar to the wort. Doing this was meant to speed up the fermentation and get to the desired bubble rate faster. The trick worked and by the next day we were able to bottle the wort (after mixing one final batch of priming sugar into the mix).
Two days after bottling (basically today) we decided to open up a bottle to sample and viola – it’s beer!
This has been fun process to watch and will be even more fun to help drink. We’re already planning on what tweaks to do to the recipe for the next batch. Stay tuned!