Finally got my act together and brewed some beer! It is a Dark Lager Kit from The Beverage People in Santa Rosa. Everything went pretty well and now it is just a waiting game. There is something so satisfying about making things like beer and bread and mayonnaise from scratch. Things that we usually just buy at the store. Things that we take for granted. We go to the store to buy bread or beer like it is a singular item. But when you make these things you realize that they are a collection of ingredients and time and meticulous actions and stress and mistakes. It means so much more and tastes so much better. The next time you go to the store and buy a loaf of bread you appreciate everything about it. "My, what lovely crust. The airy quality of the bread" or "Oh, this beer has a great fresh hop flavor!" and you read the bottle and it talks of the variety and region of the hops used in the beer. Appreciation is back. Brewing your own beer makes other people's beer more interesting. Alright, I'll stop! Here are some pics of the process.
Steeping the brewers barley
Boiling the malt extract and barley tea. I am also sanitizing the copper wort chiller.
The spent grains
My wort chiller chillin. Tap water to ice bath to wort and to the drain. Worked ok, was not as fast as I was hoping... need larger coils I guess. It took about 40 minutes to get it from boiling to 80 degrees...
Siphoning from the pot to the primary fermenter.
Overall the process is surprisingly easy and only took about 3 hours. It seemed so daunting and I have been putting it off because I was a bit intimidated... but of course there was no need! Should have started brewing sooner!