I have been wanting to try my hand at making beer for some time now. My friend Darian has a "Mr Beer" and has made some decent brew before. I however couldn't bring myself to spend 20-30 dollars on a small batch kit. If you are going to go, go all out. Unfortunately full batch kits are a little out of my price range right now.
I decided to scrounge a kit. I started buying beer in bottles that could be re caped. I got as many 5gallon buckets from bakeries as I could carry.I stumbled across some food grade tubing. Then, the mother lode. My friend Kyle mentioned that his grandma had some mason jars I could have, ( see previous post about mason jar addiction) and I was all over that. As I gathered the boxes of jars I noticed in the corner 2 glass carboys. Her husband had made wine as a hobby and she had never gotten rid of it after he passed away. She gave me all of it, including a caper and a bunch of bottle caps(we will get back to that) ,and the cool tipper seen on the left hand carboy.
As a birthday present I already had a ingredient kit and so did my friend Tim. he came up and we made some beer. ( the pictures didn't come out, sorry).
Flash froward a two weeks. The beer is ready and we get everything together to bottle.
The bottling went pretty straightforward, and the next thing we knew we had 10 gallons of home brewed beer.
When Tim and I get together its kind of like summer camp. Two 30 year old men regress into teenagers who are highly amused by fart jokes and quoting "Anchorman" incessantly.
The verdict? Tim's beer turned out alright. it was a American ale so it is pretty light and definitely drinkable.
Mine? Not so much. After making the beer I revisited my beer bible and realized we had made a couple of mistakes, the least of which was me using the 30 year old bottle caps with cork linings for my beer. The cork has disintegrated leaving a nasty taste in my COMPLETELY flat beer.
Oh well. Live and learn. I already have a list of equipment I will be purchasing before my next batch to make it easier and hopefully better.