I love my first batch... where do I go next?
Alright guys, I made my first batch of beer and finally sampled it yesterday. I'll go through all the steps and show the equipment that I used. I would like to SLOWLY learn more and more how to refine the process and become a better brewer. I would like to refine whatever it is I just produced, because people seem to LOVE it...
I started with a generic "Mr. Beer" kit with the 2 gallon fermentor.
I sterilized everything.
As advised, I added one can of Hopped Malt Extract. I also added the recommended amount of "booster" (which, when I read the ingredients, is pretty much just straight fructose). To give the beer extra flavor and alcohol content, I added a 1 cup of grade A maple syrup, and poured some cinnamon in it (not measured, just kind of guestimated). Lastly, of course, I added the yeast, stirred with sterile equipment, and let it set.
The book said to let ferment between 67-75 degrees (basically, room temperature for my house) for 2 weeks. They said longer is better, but 2 weeks minimum. I let it ferment for 3 and a half weeks.
They said to sample the taste to see if there is any sweetness. There was not.
I then bottled the beer in each of the bottles provided, and added enough sugar to each bottle to carbonate. They said let it set for at least 7 days, although for more complex flavors and ingredients, you could let it set for much longer. I decided on 14 days.
I opened up my first beer hot... It was WAAAAY too fizzy. I researched on google and learned that I might have some sort of "gusher" bug. I quickly refridgerated it to 34 degrees and let it set.
The next day, I opened it and allowed everyone to sample... and I have to say, DAMN this stuff tastes good! Everyone commented on how smooth it was, how tasty, how they wanted to buy some from me then and there.
I can't stop drinking it.
I want to know where I should go from here. What is my next small step to perfecting this process? I realize I am using a stock kit, and I am a little bit of a slow learner sometimes, but I would like to slowly but surely build the maple-cinnamon combination that results in this flavor into a more refined masterpiece.
Have any books?
How to brew, and The Joy of Homebrewing are great books.
Also Brewing Classic Styles if you want to start branching out and trying new things.
And If you plan on making your move to AG start piecing that together slowly so it doesnt coast as much later on.
Oh yea.... I find the search function on this forum a LOT better than google for homebrewing information.
i say brew more. the more you brew, the more you learn. also, like doomsday said, there's a lot of great books out there on home brewing. i really like Brewing Classic Styles. The Complete Joy... and How to Brew are also great for the beginner.
I realize that this is just a stupid small kit that I made this beer in, and I'm nothing compared to all of you...
But damn, if I could just keep making beer that tastes like this, if not better, I'd be happy.
The finished product is ****ing excellent!
How to Brew is definitely a great place to start.
Also, visit this place a lot. You can learn an immense amount just by reading these forums. When you are a beginner, not everything will make sense. But as you become more experienced, you'll have lots of "AHA" moments when a post someone made suddenly makes sense, and you can incorporate it into your process.
And just read all you can about anything related to brewing. Read about hops, yeast, malt, read the BJCP beer styles guide.
Use the BeerWiki link at the top of this page to look up terms and concepts you aren't familiar with. That is a gold mine mother lode of information.
Welcome to your new addiction!
this one is MUCH easier to read and has great recipes and info in it for all levels.
IDK why its not mentioned more often.
The Everything Homebrewing Book: All you need to brew the best beer at home!
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