Beer brewing

or: how not to do it

Today, me and my girlfriend brewed some beer. Since we have never done that before she gave me a IPA beer brewing kit as a gift for my birthday. Along to the basic ingredients the kit contains the tools like a 5L fermenter, a thermometer, a plug with an airlock and a siphon to facilitate the bottling process.

The basic brewing process is fairly simple:

  1. Sanitize You don’t want any germs in your beer, so clean your tools first.
  2. Mash Mix the malt with water at certain temperature to dissolve the malt starch in the water.
  3. Sparge Use a strainer to separate the malt from the water.
  4. Boil This kit makes use of spraymalt which is added now. Boil the wort and add hops.
  5. Cool Cool down as quickly as possible.
  6. Fermentation Add the yeast to the wort and fill it into the fermenter and place it in a dark, cool place for two weeks.
  7. Bottling Use the siphon to easily fill the bottles, put some sugar in it for carbonation and seal it with a cap. After two more weeks, the beer is ready to drink.

This is our wort during the boil phase. In the background you can see a copper spiral I made to cool down the wort faster. You connect it to the faucet and place the spiral in the wort. The cold water inside cools the wort down from boiling to room temperature in about 10 minutes.

How not to do it

Well, for some reason the yeast didn’t start working properly (there was almost no bubbling in the airlock). Two days later I re-read the instructions and noticed we read over the part that said to add the spraymalt to the wort. So I’ve sanitized the pot again and mixed the spraymalt into the wort without another boil (so the yeast won’t be killed) and filled it back into the fermenter. Et voilà: the next morning the airlock bubbled like crazy.

Because of that I designed a label that fits the beer perfectly: