I never thought I would ever be brewing beer. How strange to be responsible for the creation of beer instead of just simply being its final resting place. Thanks to my friend, Diego, I’ve mashed, I’ve sparged, and I’ve bottled. We’re currently in the midst of our second batch. The first batch he did by himself with just my assistance in the bottling of the finished product and of course with my hearty assistance in drinking it.
This second time through, I decided I wanted to be involved in the whole process. So about a week ago we went ahead and dived headfirst into advanced brewmaking, guided by Diego’s reading on the subject and prior experience with the malt extract. I’m sure we probably made some mistakes in the process, but hopefully we should end up with a decent batch of beer at the end of it all and a lot of learning experience.
Next time through, it might be worth investing in creating some equipment that is better suited to the tasks we put it to. In particular, something to assist in the cooling of the hot beer wort before it is put into the open fermenter and the yeast is pitched. It would also probably be helpful to build a lauter-tun of sorts to make the initial sparging a smoother process fraught with less peril and opportunities for me to drop the strainer into our beer wort.
Diego gave me a book titled, The Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian, which I have been avidly reading in order to make me a little more helpful in the whole brewing process. For anyone interested in making their own beer, I’d highly recommend it. Working on this whole process makes me want to invest in my own kit at some point in the future. That way, our beer lifecycles can overlap a bit, we’ll have more opportunity to experiment with some different styles, and won’t have the same wait time for the next batch to come to fruition.
For more specific information on our beer brewing efforts and the other musings of Diego Lewis, they can be seen at his website: www.diegolewis.com.