A bottomless pint glass of gratitude goes out to my pal, Casie Gillette for quite possibly one of the coolest surprise I’ve ever found at my doorstep; beer! Sure, ready to drink beer is convenient, but it’s just that much better when you can cross it off your bucket list and learn how to make it yourself with a home brewing kit. Interested in learning to brew beer but feel intimidated? There’s no need! Take my word. Brewing at home is a surprisingly simple and enjoyable activity with plenty of room for creativity. Now pick up some grains, hops, and Get To The Hoppa!
A few months ago, I found a very large parcel at my door. I hadn’t ordered anything and I even wondered if it was my neighbors monthly wine shipment delivered to my door by accident. To my surprise, it was addressed in my name. Who could it be from? What could it be? I was stumped as I inspected the box but felt hoptimistic (ba-ram-pum!) about its contents. Pardon the puns. Actually no, enjoy them. Giggle even. This is meant to make you smile. Are you ready for more? Alright, well Here Comes The Hopstepa! Oh my, they’re flowing, just like the tasty beer that we will be brewing. Alright, let’s get back on track here. I absolutely love surprises (of the smile inducing variety of course) and after an excitement filled cardboard unraveling, I discovered a Mr. Beer home brewing kit along with a kind note from Casie explaining the reasoning to this thoughtful gift. Thank you for helping me cross off “learn to brew beer” off of my bucket list! Even though we live coasts apart, she and I share an admiration for a tasty glass of beer and this couldn’t have been a more fitting gift.
I’ve visited many breweries, consumed varieties of delicious beers, however, I’ve never made some myself but have always wanted to learn how. This was my chance! I dialed up my friend Zane, as he is no novice to home brewing. Although I did extremely well in chemistry classes back in the day, I would need his expertise as I wanted the final product to be decent enough for human consumption. Before getting started, I read up online about the brewing process and posted to the Listpiration Facebook page asking other seasoned home brewers for advice. If I can pass along one bit of very useful information to any of you who may want to learn to brew for yourself, I would highly emphasize the importance of sterilizing all of the equipment properly so that nothing contaminates your beer or the fermentation process.
The Mr. Beer kit came with everything required to brew my first batch of beer. It included a 2 gallon fermenter, bottles, labels, carbonation tablets, yeast, hopped malt extract, and cleaner. The instructions were quite lengthy, but after reading them over before starting the process, we realized this was going to be a fairly quick process. Beginning to end, it maybe took us 30-45 minutes at most. The part that takes the longest is patiently waiting two weeks for the beer to ferment. We placed the fermenter “keg” in a dark kitchen cabinet so the yeast could have a fermenting party for a week. After a week, we were able to bottle the beer, place the carbonation tablets in each bottle, and then give it one more week before it’s ready to drink.
I was really pleased with the end product! Not going to lie, I was a bit wary to take the first sip, but it was good! The Czech Pilsner from the kit was similar in appearance to a Hefeweizen but its taste resembled a Pacifico. Very refreshing! This was a really fun experience and as a novice home brewer, the Mr. Beer home brew kit was an excellent introduction to the process. If you’re an avid beer drinker and curious about brewing, I would recommend trying out a home brewing kit. Once you become comfortable with the process and want to get creative and experiment with different varieties and flavors, you’ll be ready to do it like the pros. I greatly enjoy IPA’s, reds, stouts, and porters. I think next time I will try to make one of those. If you’ve already had your hand at home brewing, what are some of your favorite ingredients and brews that you’ve created?
For those of you who haven’t yet but are interested, go on, don’t be shy, pick up some ingredients, and make it grain!