It’s been a while since I blogged about the beginnings of my love for craft beer.  So when we last left off I had just gotten my first homebrew kit.

 

This was my introduction to how beer was made.  Even with the first batch I learned A LOT about the mechanics of brewing.  Here is a quick list of lessons that I learned:

  1. Brewing the beer is easy, it’s the pre-cleaning, post-cleaning, and bottling is hard.
  2. You will learn to clean EVERYTHING.
  3. Repeat step 2 in case you missed it.
  4. No really, read step 2 again, it’s important.
  5. Having and empty plastic jug on hand for water is a nice to have
  6. Don’t even bother with the plastic bottles that comes with the kits.  Move right into glass
  7. If you start with Mr. Beer and love it, you will quickly want to invest in a more mature kit
  8. You will want to watch your beer every day, note, I didn’t say need to.  You will just want to to make sure it is okay.
  9. In the end, you’re entire job is to make yeast cells happy.
In the end I was very happy with my first beer.  It was a style I had never had at this point (a Vienna style ale), well carbonated, and wasn’t too bad.  But I know I could do better.  I quickly moved to the next step kit from Midwest Homebrew Supplies.
I did a lot of beers with honey during this phase.  I even got creative with a batch of beer, using my Mr. Beer kit to experiment.  Here is the recipe that I used:
2 Cans of Stickey Wicket Stout (from Mr. Beer)
2 Packets of Brewers Yeast
1 pouch of booster
14 oz of coconut in the fermentor
3oz. of chai tea per 22oz bottle during bottling.
Yeah.  I know it sounds a little strange, but it was one of the best beers I ever brewed.  Not enough beers utilize coconut….
So now the fire was lit.  I was beginning to understand the basics of brewing, beer styles, and proper beer handling.  It was time to see how the big boys play, it was time to start meeting the great brewers of Minnesota!