I haven’t done any home-brewing in about a decade. I’ve forgotten how much I enjoyed it. It’s a good thing that I started again.
Currently, I’ve two different batches fermenting in my office.
One is a complete brew — an Irish Stout, my favorite — that I assembled in my garage from a kit my loverly wife gave me last Christmas. As it’s been fermenting in my office for the last few days, the aroma has been absolutely mouth-watering.
The other is a very inexpensive consumer-level kit that I picked up last night. It’s not so much a “brew” as it is more of a simple home fermentation. The primary brewing is done at the factory, then the buyer just needs to mix the sugar and extract, add the yeast, then wait. In this case, it’s a Pale Ale. Now, as a rule, I don’t like ales, but we’ll see how this one goes.
The primary differences between the two is that the former requires much more time to get into the fermenter. From sanitation to pitching the yeast takes about four or five hours. It’s a much more technical in the process and makes a bigger batch (five gallons!)
The latter is a quick process — about 30 minutes or so from sanitation to pitch. It makes about two gallons of beer.
In both cases, after the yeast is pitched, it takes one to two weeks for primary fermentation to complete before anything can be bottled. Then after bottling, another two weeks before a finished product will be ready.
One thing’s for sure: I’m going to need a bunch more bottles. I only have about 24 bottles now. The larger kit will make about 54 bottles and the smaller one about 24. So I’ll have to hit the home brew store and see if I can pick up a few cases.