Today marked my second foray into homebrewing, this time with my new Christmas/Birthday present, the 1-gallon brew kit from Northern Brewer. The idea with this kit is that we’ll have plenty of room for it in our apartment and (if our first brews aren’t that good) we won’t be stuck with 10s of bottles of mediocre beer – unfortunately, that’s what my first brew turned out to be… but it was great at getting me to take the first step into the adventure of homebrew!
Out of the options available as a starter brew with the kit, I chose the White House Honey Porter – an obvious choice given my affection for porter plus I really liked the elevated profile to craft brewing given by the release of the recipe (the timing clearly had nothing to do with the 2012 campaign trail targeting the drinking-class of the US!).
First step – put everything on the table:
Second step – crack open a couple of beers to go along with the journey. Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast 7.5% ABV oatmeal stout brewed with coffee and Brouwerij de Molen Kopi Loewak 11.2% ABV ale brewed with civet-cat-processed coffee beans are two amazing breakfast beers from Denmark and the Netherlands respectively that I definitely recommend – drink them if you can find them!
Third step – get brewing! The Canadian was a great help as we steeped the grains, brought it to a boil, added the malt extract and Chinook hops, boiled for 45 mins then added honey and aroma hops (German Hallertau). The tricky part was playing with the yeast, which we decided to rehydrate first as we cooled the wort. Eventually, all the ingredients were present in the carboy, the airlock was on and the would-be-beer was hidden away in the cupboard. Fingers-crossed for the fermenting and in a couple of weeks we’ll be bottling. For now it’s back to my bottle of Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde (9% ABV triple golden ale), a slice of cake and the Golden Globes on the telly-box!