Saturday 17 December 2011

Humble beginnings

Brewing beer didn't seem like it would be a big deal, in the beginning. I'd been making wine for years, and I was sure that between the two of us, we could figure it out. Plus, beer kits cost only a fraction of the wine kits I was using. So, in August 2011, we picked up a $15 kit in a can (wort concentrate) and tried our hand at it. Supposedly it was a Czech Pilsner, but it tasted pretty flat. But it was carbonated and had alcohol in it, so it was something. I drank the lion's share of that, but my tastes are slightly less discerning then Earl's.

At the time, we deemed the first batch a failure. It resembled beer, but it wasn't something we really wanted to drink. Should we try another kit? No... that wasn't going to cut it. After watching a few videos on YouTube, we scheduled a day off and starting piecing together a water cooler mash tun. The next batch was going to be all-grain or nothing!

After sampling the first all grain batch, a rational outsider would easily conclude that we should have gone with 'nothing.' A huge hop blast covered up some of the off flavours, but the beer was totally flat. The second batch was even worse; it tasted awful AND was dead flat. The third batch ended up on the floor, after a hardware failure on our mash tun just prior to lautering. At this point, our first batch didn't seem like such a failure.

Despite the setbacks, we kept at it. With some friendly help, we vastly improved our mash tun and lautering setup. One problem remained though; why didn't our last two (non-floor) batches carbonate?  Neither Earl nor I wanted to run the risk of another flat batch, so we did the only thing we could do... we upgraded to a kegging system!  (Thanks boys, kegging stuff was one of the best birthday presents I've ever gotten!)  Also, who wants a warm keg of beer?  Europeans!  As we don't live in Europe, a kegerator was necessary.

Apparently my phone camera is equally bad.
Our fourth batch might taste terrible, but at least it would be cold and fizzy!


  1. Only two things in life better than a kegging system:

    1) The Milwaukee Bucks
    2) The Vancouver Canucks

  2. Naw, I'll take the kegging system! haha