Steve and I have finally finished our second successful all grain home brew. Once again we used his Brooklyn Brew Shop brewing system that he was given as a gift. We used the Chestnut Brown Ale mix that comes with everything you need but the optional chestnuts. We were unable to find chestnuts so brewed the beer as per the package.
The brew went down without a hitch and his little one was even able to help in her first ever brew.
The beer sat for two weeks to ferment and then we transferred our Growler Werks Ukeg‘s to force carbonate. We set the Ukeg’s to 15PSI for three days agitating multiple times a day. Today was the day to try the carbonated beer.
The beer poured a deep brown colour with a brown head (different lighting on both photos). The aroma consisted of caramel, nuts, sweetness and a hint of fruit. The flavour was of toffee, caramel, nuts, earth and some medium bitterness. While this beer does not stand up to commercially made craft beer I could taste no off flavours and it was quite enjoyable. If Steve and I could do our first two batches without off flavours and a pretty darn good flavour I would have to say that I would highly recommend the Brooklyn Brew Shop system. It is also nice to be able to force carbonate your beer if you have the ability as bottle conditioning can be a crap shoot. Our first batch 50% of the bottles were way over carbonated. With the Ukeg it was perfectly carbonated.
Mike and I have now completed and tasted a brew using the Brooklyn Brew Shop Homebrewing Kit.
The Kit includes a 1 gallon fermentation carboy, an airlock and cap, a length of tube and a tube crimper as well as the necessary ingredients for a 1 gallon batch of beer. The instructions are a pdf on their website but not included in the actual box and they list some items that are necessary but not included. These items are fairly common items in most households: 6 quart Stock Pot (a second pot is handy), Fine Mesh Strainer, Funnel, 2 Weeks After Your Brew Day: 10 Empty Non-Twistoff Bottles (Swingtops such as Grolsch work great if you do not have the capper). It also asks for 3 tablespoons of honey for the carbonation stage. In the RyePA instructions it only asks for a strainer, in others it specifies a 10″ strainer. It would be nice if all of the instructions were updated to mention a minimum diameter for the strainer, Mike and I used a smaller one not realizing how much mash would be produced and it got pretty awkward.
That aside this is a solid kit. Every specialty item necessary is included and the instructions are easy to follow. Mike and I were clear on exactly what needed to happen at every step and with the instructions being brief it is easy to be prepared for the next step well ahead.
With everything pre-measured and packaged it is very easy to get through the brewing process and feel reasonably confident that everything is going to come out well. It’s a really great way to get into the process of brewing without also having to worry about building a recipe on your first go as well. Mike and I plan to try a few more of the packaged recipes before working on our own recipes.
Just a quick post to say the brew day is done. Mike and I got through the process using only the equipment and instructions from the kit. It seemed to go pretty well, we learned a lot and in a month we’ll know if this worked or not.
I will be starting a new series of posts starting late January or early February called Steven’s Homebrewing Adventure.
My wife got me a Brooklyn Brew Shop kit (available at Chapters for those of us in Canada) for Christmas and 4 pre-packaged malt/hop/yeast combos from the same company (White IPA, Chestnut Brown Ale, Rye PA and Oatmeal Stout). The new posts will follow my experiences as a first time homebrewer including a review of the kit and packages from a newbies perspective and, once the initial packages are complete, my move into brewing recipes and eventually creating my own recipes.
Right now I am reading Randy Mosher’s book Mastering Homebrew: The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer (Chapters, Barnes & Noble) to get a better idea of what goes into brewing at home and things to think about as I move from pre-packaged recipes to following existing ones to making my own.
The posts will be tagged the same as this one along with the beer style being brewed.