Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As Promised, We brewed beer with a Mr. Beer Kit! As Is... Out of the box!

The can of extract! This is YOUR first beer!
 As I have stated, and as I will continue to defend, a brewer is a brewer! It’s somewhat akin to being a pilot! I don’t care if you fly a light sport Carbon Cub, a 172, or a Citation X! If you break the surly bonds of gravity, under your own terms, you ARE... In my book... A pilot!

Same with brewing! I don’t care if you brew on a 30 barrel brewhouse for one of Colorado’s wicked awesome craft breweries, a 10 gallon “Brutus” setup in your garage, or a Mr. Beer in your apartment!

If you’re turning ingredients into beer, you are a BREWER!

If you are a good brewer or not.... That’s for you and your buddies to decide!

I’ve been brewing since I was 21 and 2 days old. That was a full 15 years ago...but time flies when you’re fermenters are full!

Sanitize EVERYTHING that touches cool wort!
None of the first batches were bad, but none were really great! I was just happy because I was making my own beer! And I think that is the exact point that I am back to with the Mr. Beer system! I don’t have high expectations, but I know we will have beer in the end!

We began by sanitizing EVERYTHING that would touch the wort! Wort is the unfermented beer, and it’s a BITCH’N place for bacteria and junk to grow, but we want to make sure that the only thing growing in our beer is the yeast colony that WE put in there! So as you can see, Sanitation is of PARAMOUNT importance!

A trick that I learned from a member of the Homebrewtalk.com forum, YuriRage, was to mix Star San in a chemical sprayer. All you need to do is wet all the surfaces and wait a few minutes. There is no rinsing, no fussing and no waste! I’ve NEVER (Knock on my wooden head) had an infection using this method!

The Mr. Beer kit is essentially a can of Malt extract with hops included, a few bottles to package it in and a barrel shaped plastic jug to ferment it in. This kit is an "American Light" beer... That means a poor imitation of an American Light Lager, in my estimation!

I warmed up the syrup in some hot water so it would be a more workable substance to deal with, then dumped it into a soup kettle with 4 cups of HOT water and brought the entire pot to a boil.

Yeast in the barrel!
Because STUFF BREAKS, You add cold water to the Mr. Beer before you dump the boiling mess into it.... But that’s covered in the directions!

After topping up with cold water and making absolutely sure that the liquid is BELOW 72 degrees.... THIS IS A KEY PART.... So LISTEN! The WORT MUST BE UNDER 72Degrees! (Don’t forget to sanitize your thermometer!) I poured in the yeast! This is called “Pitching The Yeast” and is where you take on the biggest role as a brewer! This is the moment where you begin to convert sweet wort, by adding our best biological brewing bug buddies, into that wonderful liquid lubricating agent we call BEER”!

Not part of the Mr. Beer instructions, but a crucial part of my workflow, I took a gravity reading after the wort had cooled and before I pitched the yeast! The wort had a gravity of 1.030. When we bottle, I will show you how that is important in determining our alcohol level in our brew!

Now we wait! This mixture will bubble and churn for about 7-10 days, then it will clear and we will bottle it!

The beer will sit in tightly capped bottles for about a week while the yeast take on a bit of additional sugars that we will add and make our beer “Fizzy” by carbonating it, then we will taste it!

Hope you’re excited... Hope you have a GREAT WEEK!


1 comment:

whopTbird said...

I've brewed with Mr. Beer (horrible mess in the end) and I've brewed "traditional" 5 gallon batches AND I know the scale at which you brew but I'm still excited to see how this turns out. :D

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