Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
...is the "brew keg", properly known as the fermentor. It is the place where the mixed ingredients and water go, and where the yeast is added to work its magic. Fermentation is a slow process that is essentially temperature-dependent. The cooler your area, the longer it will take.
According to the instructions in the "Mr. Beer" kit, a 2 gallon batch of beer can be fermented in as little as 7 days. I have found patience in the beer making hobby to be only second in importance to proper sanitization - the longer you wait, the better the finished product will be. Brewers in the know recommend waiting a minimum of 14days, and I agree whole-heartedly!
So, if you think about it, at this rate, you are only making about 2 gallons of beer in a month - 2 weeks to fully ferment, at least a week to carbonate, and a bare-minimum week to condition. 5-6 weeks is even a more realistic estimate, allowing time for extra conditioning and more flavor.
If you only like to play around, the 2 gallon fermentor is enough to have fun with. f you are like me, and you want to experiment with different flavors (eventually some of the more advanced recipes that require 2-4 weeks conditioning), you will run out of your first beer long before your second batch is ready. Have no fear, though! Mr. Beer offers additional kegs for $10. I have two, and am contemplating a third. Three kegs=three varieties of beer=more fun and no empty bottles.
If you go this route, expect to be more popular than ever with your friends! I have brewed four different beers already, and have more ready to be made. Not a day goes by now where I am not asked, "When's the next beer gonna be ready?" When I answer, "Soon!", I always get, "Well, make sure I get some!" 'Nuff said! It's not just a hobby, it's an obsession!