Thursday, June 5, 2008

Homebrewing shopping list ready

Homebrewing EquipmentI'm at the point now where I'm getting back into homebrewing. My love of all things beer has given me the bug to make it myself again. I've had my equipment list ready for a few weeks now and the weather outside has warmed up nicely and the back patio beckons me to brew up something for the first time in 10 years. For starters, I'm going to use my existing gas grill with a side burner for heating up my wort. It's probably not optimal for heating large amounts of liquid but for the smaller batches that I'm going to be doing it should get the job done.

I plan on doing a lot of experimental small batches. I'm not necessarily going to do a full 5 gallon or 10 gallon batches to start, but rather a reduced 1 to 3 gallon batches. This will allow me to play around with different variations on the same recipe. Once I find a mix that I like then I'll work it up into a much bigger batch. The only concern here is that I'll end up spending more on a per bottle basis on smaller batches than I would it I did a full batch.

My goal is to get ready for an early July initial brewing session. I figure I may want to mail order some of the items and get the rest of the items locally from a nearby homebrew store. My home town of Greeley doesn't have a homebrew store anymore, so the nearest one will be about 25 miles away in Fort Collins over at the Hops and Berries store.

I've seen other homebrewers like James Spencer and Steve Wilkes of Basic Brewing do small 1 gallon test batches on their videos before. I love that idea. That way, if the brew turns out bad then it's not a big deal to just dump it in the sink. Also, it allows me the flexibility to do several small batches at the same time. I'll need to grab a handful of small 1-2 gallon fermenters to do this. Perhaps some 1 gallon glass jugs will do the trick.

I'm going to start out with extract brewing with some added grains in a steeping bag. Once I get warmed up on that, I'll switch to all-grain and do some more complex recipes. I have my sites set on an Amber, a Porter, an ESB, a Kolsch and an IPA as my first recipes to try. (By the way if you know of any good extract recipes for these styles let me know)

I remember what a pain it was to bottle a full batch of beer. With smaller batches, that task will be much easier and I'll have a lot less washing and sterilizing to do up front. Eventually, I'd like to be able to keg my own beer and buy or build a small kegerator.

But, before this can happen I need to do some shopping! Glad that economic stimulus check just came in the mail. I can afford to indulge myself a bit. Unfortunately, it's getting expensive to buy ingredients as the cost of hops and malts have skyrocketed in price. Once I get all my "shit" together I'll set a brewing date. I also plan to pay a visit to the Liquid Poets homebrewing club in Fort Collins. I've been impressed at what they've done from reading their web site.

Well, I've got some buying to do. I'll let you know when I'm ready to brew.

Related articles:
- Choosing a brew kettle.
- Putting together the home brewery (Part 1).
- Colorado Homebrewing Supply Stores.
- Getting back into homebrewing.
- My humble homebrew beginnings.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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