Posts Tagged homebrew

All About Brewing

I had mentioned this place in my post Day 3- Fermentation, so I thought it deserved a more . As mentioned in the earlier post, All About Brewing is a small fairly out-of-the-way brewing supply store in El Cajon, less than a 10 minute drive from our brewery… I mean, house. This is a far more convenient option than ordering from an online supplier like Midwest Supplies, since we can go and buy practically anything we need right there and not have to wait (or pay shipping charges.) They are just starting up out there, so to some their inventory may seem somewhat limited, but to a novice like myself, they have everything I could possibly want there. They have whole tubs full of any kind of grain you could want to add to your ingredient list. They have all kinds of bottling and kegging equipment, refrigerators full of yeasts of all kinds, fermenters, chiller rings and cleaning/sanitizer supplies. They even sell home-brew kits and, soon, copper stills for making distilled creations.

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More importantly than the physical supplies they offer, they are also very generous with their advice on beer making. Jim, the proprietor of the establishment, is a brewer himself and a real nice guy to boot. He is more than happy to give you advice if your brew isn’t going particularly well, or he will just chat with you about beer, home brewing, or anything at all, really. He is a genuinely nice guy and seems to really care about people’s experience with drinking and brewing beer. Look this place up if you are in the area and want a great experience in your journey of beer making.

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Day 3 Brew 1- Fermentation

So, as we continue our journey toward concocting that magical elixir we know as beer, I realized that I must clarify one thing. The period between Day “1” and Day “2” was actually more like 8 weeks, but for simplicity, I’m going for just days of actual activity in this whole process. So, in that spirit, I bring you Day 3 (no quotation marks this time)- Fermentation.

In this step we siphoned the partially fermented beer into the secondary fermenter, the carboy. This, we learned, is actually the preferred vessel for all fermentation, since we couldn’t see what was going on inside the bucket provided by Midwest Brewing Supplies. We learned this by going to All About Brewing, a very nondescript purveyor of everything beer (and soon whiskey) in El Cajon, CA, and talking to Jim. I highly recommend the expert guidance he provides, as he is a professional, a hobbyist, and most importantly, loves talking about beer and brewing. While there, I picked up a kit for my next brewing attempt: a nut brown ale. I may also pick up a yeast culture kit they have there to start growing my own yeast, but more on that later.

As for the current chapter in our journey toward mastering home brewing, today we siphoned the contents of the primary fermenter into the secondary fermenter to let it sit for another week to ferment further.

2nd fermentation We made sure, recalling advice from Jim at All About Brewing, to fill the air lock (the plastic tubing bit sticking out the top of the carboy) with a diluted solution of water and sanitizer, instead of just straight sanitizer, lest the liquid decide to drop into our brew and make it taste…sanitized. We can’t have that.

So, now we wait, which is probably the biggest pain of this whole process. The other big concern is sanitizing everything: equipment, dishes, hands, etc. We can’t have unwanted bacteria interrupting our wanted bacteria (the yeast) doing what it does best: making beer.

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