I apologize for waiting a while to post something non-aggressive. For the next couple of post I’ll be taking a break & a few of my best friends will be giving us some awesome information about God, beer & relationships. This week’s blog is written by my best guy friend/boyfriend/husband/life partner, Josh. He will be blogging about the beer he brews & keeping us updated with his current batch. I am so excited to read what he’s written & excited to try his new batch.
PSA: Josh is 24, second oldest, loves video games, beer, LOTR, GOT & most of all He loves me & our two cats. ^_^
Brewing beer is an entertaining and relaxing craft. What I love about home-brewing is that you get back what you put into it. If you take a very casual approach to your brew, you’ll end up with a satisfying beer that won’t win any awards, but it’ll impress the hell out of your friends, and home-brew makes a great gift. If you put lots of effort and money into it, you’ll end up with something that could rival even the best craft breweries. I’ve been Home-brewing for around 6 months now. I have 3 batches under my belt, and I’m planning out my 4th batch now. I have about 3 other batches that I plan on doing; I’m just waiting for the equipment and time to free up. If I had the equipment and resources, I’d brew something every two weeks, whether it is a 1 gallon or 5 gallon batch.
Let’s start with my equipment. I have:
2 6.5 gallon Carboys
1 one gallon Carboy
1 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket
1 6.5 gallon bottling bucket
Large Nylon Bag for Brew in a Bag
Large copper wort chiller
8 gallon boiling kettle
4 two liter miniature kegs & 2 taps
My previous batches are a one gallon Hefeweizen and a 5 gallon IPA, both extract. I have an extract Hefeweizen sitting in the secondary fermenter that I am very excited about. Before we get too much further into this – let me be clear – I know nothing. I am a beginner, I started with no knowledge. I didn’t even really start paying attention to what I was doing until I got into my second batch.
Now, let’s talk about my Hefeweizen. I did a 60 minute boil with 7 pounds of liquid extract and 2 pounds of steeping grains. Only one hop addition. Check the links section for a link to my brew-toad page, which will display my recipe and most recent brew log. This was an extract kit that I bought at my local home-brew supply store. By the way, you should definitely visit and support your local home-brew store, or LHBS for short. This beer is my first in many ways and I can’t wait to find out what it tastes like when it is done. Prior to this beer, I had never used syrup extract, and I had never used liquid yeast. Another big change for me this time around, was that I added my own flavors and changed up the recipe. Once the boil was complete, I added 4 ounces of orange peels that my wife and I had cut up. I soaked the orange rinds in vodka to sanitize them, and also added them to the hot wort to help sterilize them. The orange peels sat in my primary fermenting bucket for two weeks, during which time my brand new plastic carboy and 3 pounds of apricot puree arrived in the mail from Northern Brewer. Once the two week primary phase was completed, I added my puree into the plastic carboy and transferred my beer into the secondary fermenter, or carboy. It’s been a full week since I transferred, or racked, the beer into secondary. It will sit in the fermenter for about two more weeks due to all of the sugar being added in the secondary. Once the secondary fermentation stage is complete, I plan to keg 4 gallons of beer into my mini kegs and bottle the rest, where it will sit for three weeks while the flavors condition and the beer carbonates. Three weeks is the minimum though, my beer will probably sit closer to 4 or 5 weeks because I plan to take it to a music festival this year.
My goals for my home-brewing hobby are simple: Produce good beer, have fun learning, and always improve. I’m planning to move into all grain brewing for my next batch, which I’m very excited about. Switching to all grain from extract is like switching to baking a cake from scratch instead of following the instructions on the box, so it’s a big deal to me. All grain brewing is one of my big goals, right next to temperature control during fermentation, and kegging & dispensing.
Check back for more updates on home-brew & beer in the near future. I have a bottling day coming up in two weeks, possibly a brew day coming up in 3 weeks (hopefully sooner if I can do my own batch), and a tasting in about 4 -5 weeks, so there is more to come!
For note on the beer mention in today’s blog, check out https://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/hefeweizen-209