• Home Brewing – The first batch

    Mathew and I brewed the first batch of beer together, and it was a lot of fun. Here are the pictures.

    Having never brewed beer before, I took the easy method of buying a kit.


    This was most of what was in the kit, after I washed and sanitized everything.


    I now have a water filter at the house, but the first few times I brewed I bought filtered water.


    We were using a Brewers Best recipe, the red ale.


    Looks red to me.


    After the 20 minute steep, we pulled out the grains.


    After coming up to boil we added the liquid malt extract (LME)...


    And the bittering hops...


    Check out that action shot!!


    Well, it was our first time and we left the lid on the pot. Too much heat resulted in a small boil over.


    With 5 minutes to go we added the aroma hops.


    My father had stopped by and gave my brother and me a hand adding the hops in.


    He also helped by taking this picture of Mathew and me cooling the wort with the wort chiller.


    We were able to go from boiling to 75 degrees in about 10 minutes.


    We recycled the water from a cooler filled with ice water.


    This did not work well and the newer setup is using a 10" stainless steel strainer and just dumping the pot into the bucket.


    Well, that is it for brewing, now it's time for other things.


    After a week, we needed to move from primary to secondary fermentation.


    Looks like we lost about a half gallon to evaporation.


    I no longer use the siphon and instead just put one bucket above the other and let gravity do the work.


    We, of course, had to taste the beer at this point in the process.


    It was flat and wasn't cold, but we both said, "It doesn't suck!"


    Much easier this way.


    I did a lot of reading, and everyone said bottling is a pain in the butt, so I bought a kegging setup.


    After two weeks we moved the beer to the keg.


    I needed to mount the taps on the fridge, which was really easy.


    And with the whole thing done, we were ready to drink beer!!!


    As of this writing, I'm now on batch six, and LOVING making my own beer.


    I no longer use the kits and have started experimenting with various styles.


    But I like having two beers on tap!!!!


  • Tales of Beer – Tröegs

    I don’t remember  where I got the coaster.  It caught my eye right away, and I’ve never looked at one of their bottle caps the same since then.  I would have loved to had seen the other entrants (I’ll have to look for that later*).  But I had forgotten I had the coaster until I reached for a beer.

    My wife and I have a wine party every year, but it’s really just an excuse to have a Christmas party.  Our tree is up, and the house is decorated in Yuletide spirit.  While it’s our wine party, I always make sure to stock up other alcohols as well, beer included.  This year I headed over to The Perfect Pour and went nuts.  Part of that purchase was the Tröegs Mad Elf Ale.  I picked up a six pack, but no one at the party seemed to want it.

    Tonight I opened my beer fridge to see what was looking good, and the Tröegs was beckoning me.  Lined in neat rows front to back, each unique beer had its own place in the left to right view, and the Tröegs stood out the furthest.  A week ago the guests of my wine party inadvertently chose the beer I am drinking as I retell this tale.  So to those who forwent the Tröegs, thank you.

    -Scott H

    Beer drinker, beer lover.

    * This site lists the link to the finalist, which seems to have been removed: