Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Homebrewer's Kit

As Christmas has passed us by I'm sure there are many people who have gotten homebrewing kits from loved ones, or even gift certificates to homebrewing shops.  If you are one of these lucky people you need to do two things before you read the rest of this post.  First go give your spouse, or significant other, a great big kiss for giving you such a thoughtful gift.  Second go look up the address, and phone number, for a local flower shop or similar source of bribes gifts of apology.  Because you will be making messes, and wasting enjoying alot of time homebrewing from this point forward.

To insure you have the easiest time possible, and get great beer from the start, here is what I consider the best starter setup for homebrewing with the least amount of money spent.  I'll also include my views of the various pieces of gear, and any variations that may be out there.  I'm going to focus on an ale setup since they are easier, and the type of beer I have experience making.  I'll toss in some notes for those brave enough to start with lagers.

I'm going to get detailed, but don't worry homebrewing is easy, and legal in most places.  This is just what I think every starting brewer should have, every homebrewer has their own opinion.

The Starter's List

1. How to Brew by John Palmer 
2. Cleaner
3. Sanitizer
4. Stainless Steel Brewpot 
5. Long Spoon
6. Fermenter
7. Airlock aka fermentation lock
8. Temp Control - critical for great beer
9. Hydrometer
10. Yeast nutrient
11. Auto Siphon
12. Bottling Bucket
13. Bottle Filler
14. Bottles
15. Kitchen scale
16. Strainer

Details and opinions after the break.

Friday, January 7, 2011


   Hello out there in blogosphere land.  My hopes and goals with this blog is to help draw attention to craft beers, and homebrewing.  Especially in Oklahoma, both promoting breweries located in Oklahoma, and hopefully getting my fellow Okies to drink better beer.

   So what you will be seeing here are my adventures with homebrewing, pairing beer with food, and cooking with beer.  Plus you get bonus tasting reviews of various commercial beers, I won't be using a rating system of how good a particular beer is in my opinion.  Instead I'll give you an idea of what I get out of the beer in terms of the senses, and how it compares to other beers of the same style, so that you can decide for yourself whether or not you'd like to try it.

   I started homebrewing about three or four years ago, as a practice step to making mead at home.  Life being what it is I wound up getting even more interested in beer, making many batches over the years.  While I've only made one batch of mead to date, and I still need to bottle that batch.  I've also started Cicerone training, so far I've only completed the beer server exam, but I'd like to go all the way to the master level.  So many of these posts will be me practicing for those future exams.

   There may also be deviations into wine, and other beverages.  Because life is too short not to enjoy every bite, and every sip.