I went for the Bruxelles Blonde for my first batch
A natural choice, given my long passion for Belgian ales
As a total newbie to all-grain beer brewing, I wanted a safe and easy first experience and, thus, chose an all-inclusive mix
I took this first brew as a unique opportunity to discover every possible weaknesses in the Brooklyn Beer Making Kit instructions thanks to my total ignorance
The pdf was globally excellent (you can get every specific beer instructions from the right side of this page) and obviously real-life proofed, but still with confusing enough steps to send an email to the makers to clarify a few things before feeling ready to jump in
You will find these solved interrogations in the How to brew 1 gallon beer questions and How to brew small beer batches instructions
Most of all, you absolutely need two large pots for the brew, which was not clear at all in the instructions. I have summarized the procedure here How to mash and sparge
Ideally, at least one of them should be relatively tall to reduce evaporation and allow the strainer to sit on top of it without dipping in the wort. This 8qt pot US|CAN|UK is perfect for this
I was also surprised how easy it was to keep the mash around 149°F (65°C) for an hour, temperature remains very constant even if you stir the mash every 10 minutes or so
I also discovered how useful is a large spoon US|CAN|UK both to stir the mash and cool the wort faster
Everything went smoothly, except that fermentation took about 24 hours to start, was not very intense and only lasted for about a day
As you can see, quite a lot of deposit at the bottom, I will try to siphon with less trub disturbance next time. More info How to transfer beer with minimal trub disturbance
Regarding the final result, my beer was quite over-carbonated, about half of the beer sprouted of the first bottle like Champagne!
Probably because primary fermentation was not over when I bottled after two weeks, even though that’s what was indicated in the instructions
I will bottle after three weeks next time to see if it makes any difference
I’ve also put all remaining bottles into the fridge to stop any additional carbonation
Other than that, my beer had a surprisingly good head retention and a decent body
It did not have much taste, though, but it was pleasant
The alcohol volume was probably quite high, because I got literally wasted with just a half pint!
This first experience immediately made me feel like taking things to the next level and gathering the ingredients myself for my next batch, following a recipe I found online
I’ll keep you guys posted
2 thoughts on “My first all-grain beer!”
There are some very sophisticated ways of bewring cider.But f*ck those. You want ‘turbo-cider’ so-called because it brews quickly, not because it gets you drunk quickly.Go to a home-brew shop and buy a 5 gallon fermenting vessel (a36 or so?), ideally with a tap in the bottom, and some cider yeast. You will need to sterilize it (ask the homebrew shop, who will sell you some sterilizer too).Put 20L (or whatever) of value Tescos apple juice in the vessel, add the yeast, put the lid on and leave it for 2 weeks. Then drink it.If you want a strong cider boil up a bag of sugar with some water and add that to the apple juice before fermenting. Make sure it’s all cool before adding the yeast.
I’ve just bought the same kit but it’s brewdog punk IPA. I did end up buying a large pot, spoon, strainer and funnel so was Abit more pricey but I enjoyed the experience and just in the fermentation phase before bottle so may keep a look out if it’s ready for bottling! Thanks for the advice!