Thirsty Thursday: What’s Brewing?

It’s Thirsty Thursday!

I haven’t posted in this category for a while because we were waiting for equipment. Our new kettle arrived last week, and we started our first batch last Sunday.

Here’s how it went!

Our new kettle, with ball valve, thermometer, and sight glass. This is what happens when an engineer and a chemist decide to try home-brewing.
Our new kettle, with ball valve, thermometer, and sight glass. This is what happens when an engineer and a chemist decide to try home-brewing.

We got a kit from Northern Brewer for American Wheat Beer (it came with the brew kit), and decided to start there. After all, it came with everything we needed, pre-measured and ready-to-go, along with detailed instructions.

Everything went smoothly. Well, as smoothly as it can, when you’ve never done it before.

Our neighbor lent us the burner he uses for deep-frying turkeys.

The perfect burner...
The perfect burner…

We set everything up in our boarded-up screen porch. It was a pretty blustery and miserable day out, with temperatures in the 20’s F at best.

Time to light it up!
Time to light it up!

But it was okay. We were glad to have the porch to work on. We had no idea that boiling wort (the unfermented beer) would smell so terrible. Everything that went into it smelled wonderful.

Boiling the wort.
Boiling the wort.

We took advantage of the winter chill, and let Mother Nature help us cool the wort before putting it into the carboy for fermentation.

Cold Brewed? Ice beer?
Cold Brewed? Ice beer?

Getting it into the carboy turned out to be the greatest challenge. Much hilarity ensued. Mostly when I shot wort across the kitchen and in the process got it in my hair (but boy my hair is glossy right now!).

Right after adding the yeast.
Right after adding the yeast.

We finally found the carboy a nice, warm, darkish place to sit for the next couple of weeks. Fermentation began almost immediately, but started going crazy after about 48 hours. It’s happily gurgling away in its corner as it type this up.

After 48 hours, the yeast is enjoying itself!
After 48 hours, the yeast is enjoying itself!

In two weeks (when fermentation stops), we should be ready for step two: moving the now-fermented beer from this carboy to another one for clarifying. That ought to be good times!

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

One thought on “Thirsty Thursday: What’s Brewing?

  1. Awesome! We used to make ginger beer and if you don’t let the air out slowly every day then it explodes everywhere! Learned that the hard way 😉
    Good luck for phase two in a couple of weeks and good luck with NaBloPoMo 🙂

    Like

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