Last night we did the 1st step. I had all the equipment already. My wife bought me a wine making kit several years ago as a birthday present. I’m no good at making wine, and I really don’t like the kind of wines that you can make with those home kits. I’m actually a bit of a wine snob. The kind of guy who doesn’t think that fruit wine is real wine. And, I can taste the difference between a good wine and some 8 dollar bottle. I don’t have anything again the 8 dollar bottle, but there is a noticeable difference for sure.
I’ve never actually had any homemade beer though. It might end up being the same thing as homemade wine - just tastes cheap. I hope not. Part of the reason I’m driven to do this, is just because we have crappy beer here in Canada. Most of my friends will gasp when they hear me say that, but it’s true. Once a guys spends time down in western US, sampling different craft brews, it’s hard to even get excited about the Big Rock or a Sleeman beer that we get here. Most of my friends consider those to be great beers. If only they knew. Sure you can get the excellent $14 bottles of trappist beer, but that’s too much to spend for a beer on a regular basis. I have found Golden Pheasant to be a good beer. Highly recommended by my Slovak work mates (and passionate ping pong rivals) and they were right. It is a really good beer. I’m hoping that this home brew might turn out okay. I’m really not expecting too much though from a kit. I think if one wants incredible beer, you need to go through the whole process, mixing barley and hops and whatever else they mix into beer, which would almost require beer making as a profession. I’ll be doing some studying to see what other people are doing for home brewing. I haven’t studied his beer material yet, but if he knows beer making like he know bicycles, Alex Wetmore’s site should be quite helpful.
This is Golden Pheasant, it's a good beer.I never knew it at the time, but when I built our kitchen, it was almost custom made for making beer and wine at home. We installed this farm sink that we bought on eBay. Check out how nicely the 10 gallon primary fits in there for sanitizing. (sorry for the vertical layout of a horizontal picture. Blogger is proving it's limitations)
Filling up that 10 gallon tank is also a breeze with the fixtures we (my wife) chose. (notice those snazzy concrete countertops? I made those)
We spent less than an hour last night getting the first stage of the kit done. Now we let it sit for 3-5 days and then rack it into the carboy for the 2nd stage of fermentation. I’ll have this batch bottle the first few days of the new year. Then, I’ll be heading to Florida for several weeks (a vacation this time!) and my beer should be ready for sampling when I get home.
Here is the finished stage 1