Homebrewing!

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AmberCutie

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We decided since we enjoy beer so much that we should try to brew our own! After reading some blogs and forums and watching some beginner videos, I went on Amazon and bought a whole slew of things needed to start:
Brew kit with bucket, carboy, airlock, siphon, hydrometer, bottle capper, cleaner, etc. (hydrometer was cracked, siphon wasn't auto starting, doh. I just ordered an auto one so we'll have it for bottling day.)

better Hydrometer than what came in the kit

6.5 gallon Stainless brew kettle pot thingo

StarSan sanitizer

Thermometer

Bottles and Bottle capper (the one included in the set had bad reviews)

Carboy handles

Wort chiller

Giant spoon lulz it's huge

Whirlfloc tablets (which ended up not being in the instructions in the brew box)

And of course an all inclusive box of brew ingredients.

We spread out the process over the whole weekend. A run to the store to get some last minute containers and a pitcher, then the initial cleaning done with fragrance-free dishsoap, then a boil with the kettle, spoon and wort chiller on Saturday:

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Then on Sunday we started the "Brew Day" process around 11am.

Sanitize EVERYTHING:

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Get the pot going with 4 gallons of water, up to 170 degrees to soak the malt grains:

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Then up to a full rolling boil to add the liquid and dry malt extracts (all the malt smelled like soggy cornflakes to me):

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Then incrementally we added the hops and spice pack over the next 55 minutes of boiling

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In the last 10 minutes of the boil we dropped in the wort chiller (with no cold water running through it yet) to get it boiled and sanitized. Then shut off the heat and pumped in the cold water through the copper coils to bring the wort down to room temperature (about 70 F). It was weird having garden hoses running through the inside of the house. :D

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The next part of the process was not photo-documented as it was sort of a pain in the ass. We couldn't get our siphon running since I failed life and forgot to order an auto-starting one. So we had to use a tiny pitcher, a strainer and a funnel to get the wort into the carboy.

Once in the goliath of a glass bottle, we added a gallon of water then poured some into a graduated cylinder to take the gravity reading. OG was right on point at 1.042!

Added a packet of yeast, popped on the plug and airlock, and sent it to its home for the next 2 weeks: under our dining table! :D The temperature should be good in there between 68-70 degrees F and no direct sunlight.

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The whole process took until about 3pm. Now we wait. The airlock is bubbling just like it's supposed to.

Oh, and this is the brew we bought, perfect for summertime:

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I'll update here when bottling day comes!

Feel free to share your notes and experiences in this blog thread if you like! I'm really hoping this turns out good and would like to make this a continuing hobby.
 

AmberCutie

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Yesterday was bottling day! Shockingly, everything went extremely smooth and there are no broken bottles. Other than some pruny fingers from being wet with sanitizer, and a small puddle of beer spillage on the floor during siphoning, all was perfect. Woot!

Lookin good after sitting under the dining table for 2 weeks

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Sanitizing everything

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Take a sample and measure final gravity to calculate ABV (and taste!)

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Make sugar water stuff

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Put the sugar water stuff and siphon the beer into this

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Get it into bottles! First six pack

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total 38 bottles

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pruny digits

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Now again we wait for 2 weeks with the bottles returned to their spot under the dining table. The area is kept at around 67 degrees which I've been told is perfect for this light beer. We'll place them in the fridge for a few hours after the 2 weeks is up and give them a taste! They should be carbonated and delicious by then.
 

JerryBoBerry

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Is this supposed to be orange?
 

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Hell yes. I'm about to brew another batch will post when I do it. Last batch I did a cream ale and and coffee cream ale and it turned out way too sweet for my liking. I still have 3 bottles down stairs fermenting. I've ran out of people to give then to.
 
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AmberCutie

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AmberCutie

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Maybe pale gold? Straw probably more accurate (and come to think of it the box said Straw not Sand). I don't see orange.
beer-colors.jpg FullSizeRender.jpg
 
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AmberCutie

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Is this supposed to be orange?
So I suppose yes, if this is "orange" to you, it is supposed to be this color according to that chart above. (keeping in mind it is not as clear as the chart, this ones a bit hazy.)
 

Gen

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Amber are you gonna give it a fun name?! It looks delicious :cat: and all the many parts remind me of a science project but for grownups (and it will taste better than my baking soda vinegar volcano hahah)
 

AmberCutie

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Last Saturday, we brewed a new batch of wort which will be Imperial Blonde Ale in about 2 weeks! So far this looks a little darker, was much more fragrant during the boil process, and will have a higher ABV once all is said and done. This time it'll go into a keg instead of bottles, woo! That means we don't have to wait an additional 2 weeks for carbonation after the ferment is done. This is good.

While we brewed we officially enjoyed a bottle of our first brew. It's delicious!

 
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