My first brew experience was a learning experience. It started off as an adventure and just kept going that way. After reading the instruction booklet and multiple “how-to-brew” guides online I was finally ready to get everything set up. It was just around that time that I realized the pot I wanted to use was too small… So I started my Sunday with a trip to Target and as we went through everything I was glad I did. I was also glad that Meg came down to go through it with me, neither one of us knew what we were doing but it was fun.

What did we do well? Sanitized. Everyone stressed it so we focused on it but that patience could have been used elsewhere.

Still going well: The grains went in the pot and everything felt like it was going to be on track.

What could have been better? We got the water to the right temperature to steep the grains ( 150-165) but we rushed it and the water did get too hot for a period of time which leeches tannins. We also rushed getting the boil going to add the dry malt extract. We got close to a boil over but thankfully kept it in the pot. Learning from those two near disasters we got the gentle, rolling boil going just right for all the hops and spices.

Perfect time to drink beer while brewing? Our wort cool down took place in the sink and went well but was awkward. Forced to balance the pot in the cold water we were forced to drink beer to pass the time, finishing off the New Belgium Collaboration pack.

Ending on a high note: We measured our OG (Original Gravity) and without much trouble (surprise, surprise) were able to transfer the wort into the primary fermenter ( 2 gallon pail). The yeast was added, the lid firmly secured and the airlock was twisted into place. We shared different levels of confidence on what just happened, Meg of course taking the more optimistic approach.

Biggest lesson learned? Patience.

Next steps? After 4-6 days we rack the beer into the secondary fermenter.

Final thought: I can see why people get into this and I have underestimated the process. I can’t wait to see how it tastes…. which brings us back to patience.