Football season has arrived. My fantasy team is 0-1 and it’s pretty much a guarantee that every Monday, Thursday and Sunday up until the Super Bowl we’ll be watching NFL games. This also means that we’ll most likely be hosting a few friends for some of the bigger games. When there’s football on, there are beers in hand.
What better way to kick off the season than attempt to brew my own beer? Thanks to my mother-in-law’s gift of a Mr. Beer brew-at-home kit, this was today’s new challenge. If it goes well, I’ll probably try my hand at an Amber or Red style ale next.
The first thing I learned is the existence of a No-Rinse Cleanser. So cool! It basically does all the sanitizing for you. The directions instructed me to first sanitize the barrel and then all the utensils, including the can opener, measuring cup and mixing spoon. To avoid shocking the can of Brewing Extract, I submerged the can in hot water for 15 minutes.
While that was sitting, I boiled 4 cups of water in a pot and set it aside. The Brewing Extract, which is a mixture of malted barley, hops and water, was then added to the pot of water and mixed to create wort (pronounced wert).
I filled the barrel with four quarts of cold water, then added the wort and topped it with more cold water to the six quart mark.
After whisking the mixture, I added the yeast and screwed on the lid. That’s it for the first phase of this project. It will now sit in a cold, dark place (a la the pantry) for the next 2-3 weeks until I can bottle it.
From start to finish, this phase of the project took about an hour. It was less complicated and time-consuming than I anticipated, so for anyone who is daunted by this, don’t be. If I can do it, you can do it! Although, I recommend reading the directions a few times before starting and having someone who can assist with pouring the wort into the barrel of water (I spilled a bit and needed an extra hand to have done a cleaner job).
Can’t wait to see how it turns out!