I just tried the Dark ale and it’s good. I’m still trying to decide what ale I like best. I think it will depend on weather and how I feel. I think I like the Pale ale the least, a bit to mild tasting, but I think it will be good for adding additional flavors that don’t have to fight a heavy ale. Also the pale ale would be good for folks that like a lighter taste. Had my first little catastrophe as my wheat beer fermenter blew my airlock right off the bucket. Cleaned it up and reset it and in a weird way I’m greatful. This beer making was going to well and I was getting a bit nervous. Also had a couple of bottles that didn’t have the caps on tight enough. Hopefully everything can be saved and I have a couple of mistakes to fix and learn from for the future.
Took the neighbor to the beer shop and she said she had thought beer brewing was a lot more complicated. But if you are using extracts and not whole grains it’s easy and doesn’t take up much space. So I’m hoping she will look to brewing in the near future. They gave me a bunch of “Tall Boy” bottles and bought the fixings for an Amber ale which should be ready to bottle in a couple of days.
I love to teach and it’s gratifing to have someone eager to learn. Plus I get a lot from them as well.
Some more lessons learned:
- Having 2 fermenting buckets to rotate gives you a lot of flexability. I’ve averaged about a week for fermentation on the easy beer recipes.
- Have plenty of bottles on hand. Better to have to many than not enough.
- Fliptop cap bottles are great and much easier than using a bottle capper. For me it’s worth the up front cost and will pay for themselves eventually by not having to buy bottle caps.
- Keep some 12-16 oz bottles on hand for sharing, gifts and taste testing. You won’t be out much money if they don’t get returned.
- I like the larger bottles for bottling. It seems to make bottling faster and easier.
- Have a couple of plastic bottles (I use Mr.Beer) for the carbonation stage. If the bottle can’t be squeezed you are good to go on carbonation, and you can work on conditioning and or drinking your beer. I put the bottles big tupperware crate for the carbonation stage. If the bottles explode I want it contained and easy to clean up.