This isn’t really my first time homebrewing. But it sure felt like the first time. It had been probably 8 years or more since my last foray, and I’ll say now that it didn’t go particularly well. Overzealous and underequipped (I recall transferring the brew from the carboy into a waste basket I pulled from a dumpster and sanitized), I gave a go at malting my own barley, and made a huge mess everywhere. No details on that, sorry. The beer itself came out pretty nasty, not one to share with friends, and I don’t believe that I even finished them all myself. ugh.
Anyhow, flashing to the present, I received every major component of a homebrew kit from my buddy Sean and his wife Andreea (sp?). This setup was so basic, it really took effort to screw up. There isn’t even any wort to boil…just water!
So, all was going well, equipment sanitized (in the shower, of course!), I added the boiling water to the malt extract/hops goo inside the carboy, then the cold water, then the yeast, and then the cork. The cork I had on the lock was just a wee bit too small, and trying to form a seal, it ‘whoomped’ on past the threshold and didn’t look back. So, that’s my sercret ingredient for this batch.
Tonite I left work early to hit up the local homebrew shoppe (Let’s Brew!) who must think that all homebrewers are unemployed with those crazy hours…my brew was ready for bottling. I picked up some bottles, caps, and a capper (purchased!), and cruised home to watch 24. Great show. Bad mean women.
Time to get crackin’, everything went way too smooth in the bottling process. My new 10 dollar capper was a dream, the siphon siphoned, and the waters boiled. Now I have 47 bottles of Olde English Bitter (Muntons Gold, specific gravity ~1.012-1.013), a coupla empties (beer-making fuel), and a nasty carboy that I’m going to get in trouble for leaving soaking in the bathtub.
The next few weeks can’t go fast enough.