My dad is a good Christmas gifter. He listens to what people want, and does the best he can to get exactly what they’re looking for. So, I told him that if he was going to get Adrian anything this year, to get him brewing equipment, and in my email included a link to the exact kit from Midwest Brewing Supplies that he wanted. I thought it would be a no-brainer for him, but bless his heart, he didn’t think the kit looked very “fun” and bought my experienced beer brewing boyfriend a Mr. Beer kit.
Despite my disappointment, Adrian greeted the present graciously (since he is a good gift getter), and for about an hour after getting the kit, sat and read the directions quietly. When I asked him if he was okay with it, he was like, yeah, this is great, and began listing all the things he could use the kit for in the future after he got the equipment he really desires. He also reminded me that the kit does in fact, MAKE BEER, and even though we can’t make the recipes he’s planning, we will still have some yummy and cheap (free) beer made in our own kitchen. I was also thinking that for me, the non-experienced brewer, this might be a good introduction to the art of beer creation.
So, not being the types to procrastinate when it comes to any alcohol, we set out to make our first batch of Mr. Beer the day after Christmas.
We got started in the usual way, making sure everything was sanitized using the Mr. Beer no-rinse sanitizer that was provided. As I sloshed around the liquid in the “barrel” I realized that the top was leaking a bit when I turned it over. Adrian looked it over and said it wouldn’t be a problem, so we put a towel down and waited about 10 minutes to let the sanitizer take effect.
While we waited, Adrian began preparing the boiling pot and the ingredients. The directions called to boil four cups of water with the “booster” (a bag of powdered corn syrup) and to then add the Malt Extract. We decided on the Golden Ale because, well, we wanted to drink some golden ale.
After the sanitation was complete, Adrian looked over the barrel to see what he could do to fix it, but while he was doing that, we discovered that the spigot was also leaking – as in, the towel was now completely soaked after 10 minutes. Still, he was convinced he could fix it, so he started poking and prodding and tightening and other manly things.
Unfortunately, after about a half an hour of truly honorable manliness, he’d exhausted all options and the barrel was still hemorrhaging the waters.
Now, you’re probably saying, okay, big deal, get another barrel or find another something or another to put the beer in. Wait ’til tomorrow. Well, yes, that’s what we would have done, except, well, we’d already began preparing the beer. So, we had to figure out what to do with our mixture.
There was the option of asking Matt, but we didn’t think about it until we’d already mastered the task in our own way. And what was that, you ask? The bottles. Yup. We decided to ferment our beer in the liter bottles that Mr. Beer provided for us. Armed with a turkey baster and a measuring cup, we spent an extra half an hour slowly filling up the bottles, trying to get a good mix of beer and yeast into each one, with the hope that it would be good enough.
The bottles now wait patiently in our dining room, for the moment when we can crack them open and enjoy a tasty ale.
Let’s see how this goes…