You can buy beer or you can brew it yourself. My sister Nicki gave me a Brooklyn Brew Shop brewing kit and I’ve been using it to make my own beer. The kit comes with all of the equipment you need except for pots and strainers. They also supply the grain, hops and yeast.
I made IPA a few times and it was as good as any I ever got on tap at a bar. I recently ordered the grain and hops to make Oatmeal Stout. The general procedure is similar to the IPA but with a few minor variations that are pointed out on the instructions.
The first step is the Mash – This is where you cook the grain in water for 60 minutes, stirring and keeping it within a proscribed temperature range.
After that is the Sparge – You strain the cooked grain and then pour more hot water through it until you have about 6 quarts of wort (that’s what will eventually become stout.)
Now for the Boil – You bring the wort to a low boil for 90 minutes, adding hops at set intervals. Oatmeal Stout hops
The last step for day one is Fermentation – Cool the wort and pour it through a strainer into a fermenter (that’s the the gallon jug that came with the kit) and add the yeast.
I then inserted a blow-off tube to let the CO2 to escape. All of the preceding steps take place in one day over about five hours. After a few days, I removed the tube and inserted an air-lock in the mouth of the jug to let additional CO2 escape and let it sit in the dark for 2 weeks.
Finally, the Bottling – I siphoned the stout from the fermenter into a pot, leaving the sediment behind. Then I mixed in some maple syrup to feed the yeast and I filled the bottles. Another 2 week wait and it’s ready for drinking.
Click here for updated GALLERY II