Boyfriend is very boyish—two of his favorite things in life are football and beer. Now I’m not a football fan. Since I started dating him, I’ve become much more football tolerant, but I don’t like to encourage it. Beer on the other hand, I am a fan of, so if I have to choose between the two, I choose beer. So back in August when we were approaching day 365 of our relationship, I thought I would get him something nice. That something was a home brewing kit.
One of my good friends from college brews and he recommended Northern Brewer as a good place to get a kit. After spending way too much time on their website, I decided on the Better Basic Starter Kit. It was in my price range (more or less)—I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on it if he was only ever going to use it once.
Well, it was a big hit back in August when I gave it to him, but we didn’t get around to starting it right away. First we had to get Boyfriend moved into my apartment then we had school and work and all kinds of nonsense. Then he wanted to do it but the timing was off, but finally the week before Thanksgiving we got around to brewing our first batch of American Wheat. I’m not going to go into all of the details of the process, but if you have questions, feel free to email me.
This is the stuff. There’s kind of a lot of it, but it all fits in one tub, with the exception of the carboy (that clear plastic thing) and a brush. We also started out with a lot of water. I decided just to filter all of the water with my Brita picture, but next time we are going to the grocery store and buying it. I’m not a big fan of buying water, but filtering and storing 5 gallons of water was a bit of a pain.
Here Boyfriend is sanitizing his tools. Everything that touches the beer has to be sanitized because bacteria is one of beer’s number one enemies. And yes, he is sanitizing it in our bathtub—we live in a tiny two bedroom apartment, it was kind of his only option.
Then we boiled our malt syrup and hops to make wort. At this point, the entire apartment smelled like a brewery. Which I guess it sort of was. Luckily the smell didn’t stick around, because while I like beer, I don’t really want to smell it 24/7.
Then it got cooled down and transferred to the carboy where we added more water and the yeast. Then came the tricky part. Remembered when I mentioned that we live in a tiny two bedroom apartment? Well the beer likes to hang out in a cool, dark place. I, on the other hand, do not. Nevertheless, I graciously allowed it to live in our (but I’m the one who uses it) office with the vent closed and window open. I might not have been to thrilled about the idea, but the beer loved it.
Here it is on day 1, fermenting away. We had to let it sit for two weeks to ferment. Check back soon for volume 2 of the Boy Craft—Bottling.