After seeing Wendy and Mike make their own wine on their blog – HolyScrapHotSprings (Makes me want to homestead it in Truth or Consequences, NM), and then seeing Lifehacker’s post ‘Halve your beer tab by brewing your own’, via wisebread.com, I wanted to give it a try. Not because I think I’m going to go broke soon because of a beer tab, but more just because I’m on that ‘I should only consume it if I can re-create it myself’ kick – don’t ask me why.

So, after a little research I found a local brewing supply store not too far north of my place: Home Brewing Supplies. I wish I’d taken pictures, but the place was pretty cool – kits for winemaking (on my list), beermaking, cheesmeaking, and all the associated equipment (which isn’t that expensive, actually).

I broke down and bought the two-stage fermenting kit that comes with a glass carboy, as I will need it when making wine eventually.

Homebrew Kit Box
Glass Carboy

For now, I’m just using the fermenting bucket – I’ll add an additional fermenting bucket to the setup eventually, and this will most likely be the bottling bucket (note the spigot).

Fermenting Bucket

There’s a bunch of other things that came with it as well (caper, hydrometer, siphon rig, sanitizer, etc)

Other stuff

So after a little reading I jumped in:

Boiling Brew (no eye of newt)

Combining the malt extract, corn sugar, etc, you get ‘wort’, which is added to cold water to get 5 gallons of the stuff…

Wort in fermenter

Once it comes down to room temperature again, the yeast can be added

blooming yeast

And the whole thing sealed up with a nifty one-way gas release mechanism

nifty air release mechanism

Theoretically, next weekend the beer will be ready to bottle. After that it’s another two to three weeks before they’re to be consumed.

All in all, the initial outlay for gear is notable, but not crazy expensive 90 bucks for the kit I got. The ingredient kit I used was only $30, which for two cases is very cheap (half price…)

More to come.


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