Brewing With A New Brewer

So today, Nikkee, Kyle, and I got together with Rachel. Kyle met her at a local homebrew club meeting and she was just about to do her first batch, so we figured we would catch up with her and help her out.

Rachel stiring her wort

It ended up being a good thing that we came. Not that she could not have done this first batch herself, but she was sold a ridiculous starter kit that would have caused her more pain than pleasure. She did not end up brewing with all of her own equipment but she is now on her way to nailing down her process.

The issue with me helping at the brew is I know nothing… NOTHING about brewing extract or partial mash. Call me crazy but besides the Mr. Beer kit that got me started all 26 of the batches I have done after that were All Grain. I figured if I was going to brew, I would not do it half assed… did I mention I live in a <500 sq ft 1 br apt?

Helping out on this brew was kind of a learning experience for me as well. I’ve assisted on a couple of these before but it is totally not my thing. ALL GRAIN ALL THE WAY!

Adding LME

The brew day was pretty much event free, which is a really good thing considering stories of others first times and even my first time but it was so amazing seeing Rachel right after her first hop addition. First EVER! Remember, this is her first brew. Shes never even brewed with another. We caught it on video!

Listen to me in the background acting like I know what I am talking about… I had a few already. YAY BREWDAY!

(I kind of sound like an idiot while all of this is going on… I honestly did not know what I was talking about. I used electric before moving into the new apt and then used gas but I was boiling 7+ gallon volumes… not if that really matters… I have a propane burner now)

The only issue of the night was that the wort chiller Kyle brought over was not able to be used in the kitchen. Since we did not boil a full 5 gallons we just figured it would be best to top up with cold water to drop the temp… That did not work out so well. By the time we left the wort was still at 140 degrees or so. I wonder how long it too the wort to get to pitching temp.

Sorry Kyle, But I had to throw this one up too. You guys should have seen the rest… We found out his spoon is about 2 gallons off HAH!

After we left, we drove out to City Tavern in Culver City to meet up with a buddy, Kip. I found out some amazing new from him today and I really hope that it helps to get LA Aleworks off the ground. Two of their beers won Gold Medals at the California State Fair and they just got the notice!

I had just a few tasters while we were there, (and I heard they tapped something I really wanted right after we left), and I ate their grilled cheese sandwich… I don’t know why I like them so much but I have always ordered the grilled cheese at the last few bars we went to.

I guess sometime earlier Kip brought the head chef some hops from his plant that he had been growing and is in its second year now. She pickled them and created a shrimp appetizer with them. Kind of wish I got a picture of it but it was pretty awesome. Tasting pickled hops was quite an experience.

I drank a Hefe from Taps, a Reserve Wheat from Telegraph, Blueberry from Marin, Renegade Blonde Kolsch from Iron Fist, and an Oyster Stout from Craftsman.

None of these brews really stood out to me. The Blueberry had a strong blue taste… not like blue berries, but a strong taste. The reserve wheat was interesting as well as the Kolsch. The Hefe was pretty good but yeah.

I was really looking forward/not wanting to drink the Oyster Stout. I wish I had more information about this beer. It was a very interesting one. It was not bad, but it did not seem like the typical stout to me. It was far more mellow. There was a bit of dark malt toastyness but it was overall very light. I really wish I knew more, or could find more information about this beer. I’ve heard of people drinking it before but and I didn’t want it but I figured why not try it…

Brewing With A New Brewer

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