We love homebrew, homebrewing, and homebrewers here at DCBeer. We also love getting together and shooting the shit and sharing bottles. So when Midwest Supplies approached us with the opportunity to try out some of their homebrew kits, we jumped at the chance. Midwest has over a hundred homebrew kits, so we had our work cut out for us to figure out which one we were going to try out. Kolsch eventually won out because, well, Kolsch is great.
So last Sunday, a bunch of your favorite local craft beer writers headed over to DCBeer contributor and homebrewer extraordinaire Bill Jusino's domicile laden down with brews from our cellar and the snark that we can't wash off of ourselves no matter how hard we try. Rather than give you a play-by-play, check out some of the photos from the day. Once fermentation is through, we'll have another post up to review the fruits of our labor!
Thanks again to Midwest Supplies for their generous provisioning of our homebrew efforts. We look forward to drinking your Kolsch, half of which we may double dry-hop and put on Brett. Yowie wowie!
First, the supplies. It's important to have supplies when you go to homebrew. Otherwise you wind up boiling five gallons of water, cooling it, putting it in a fermenter, waiting 4-6 weeks, priming, bottling, waiting 7-10 days, and then opening it and you've got some sugar water in a bottle and all of your co-workers are laughing at you but you can't stay home because you used all your personal days to go to Great Adventure and try to win one of those giant plush animals.
Anyway. The homebrew kit from Midwest came with everything you'd expect in the way of supplies: malt extract, hops, yeast, specialty grains, a grain bag, and instructions. The instructions here were clear and concise, which is good for you novice homebrewers out there. For us? We laugh at instructions and follow the only homebrew instruction one needs: put the lime in the coconut.
As anyone will tell you, homebrewing, when done properly, works up a powerful thirst. Sharing is caring, so in an effort to quench our collective homebrewing thirst, everyone brought some bottles. Only the finest vintages when brewing Kolsch, my friends.
Here's our intrepid homebrewer pouring yeast into his beaker to start them off getting healthy and happy!
Here's some yeast that Bill put on his stir plate. There are approximately 6.4 trillion yeast cells in this vial, and every one of them is a special snowflake. Believe it.
A reminder never to use a gas burner indoors, folks. Here's us standing around while Bill does all the hard work! Teamwork is important.
While standing around, local all-around good guy @amorrissey discovered this #beerpairing: New Glarus Raspberry Tart and Dunkin' Donuts.
While the water was heating up, I went ahead and stretched out the grain bag. This is an important step. Don't miss the opportunity to do so, and don't be shy about looking like a fool.
Specialty grains going in! Some caramel 10, some Munich malt.
Peek-a-boo, specialty grains!
Here's the malt extract going in!
So here's where we have a big gap in photos. Turns out we got distracted by pulled pork and, you know, beer. But let's take a little sidetrack.
Important to take a little break for local brews. Here's 3 Stars Brewing's Winter Madness winter warmer.
The break for local brews taken, time to get back to some other beers. Like Westvleteren 12 served in a solo cup. Every bit as good as advertised. Unless you're Jake Berg apparently, who didn't care for the flavor...
Jokes and jokes and jokes and jokes...
*** HI READERS, HERE'S THE INTERLUDE WHERE WE ADD HOPS, CHILL EVERYTHING DOWN, PUT THE YEAST IN, AND PUT THE WORT INTO THE CARBOYS. FAST FORWARD A DAY OR TWO!***
So, then, after a lot of brewing on Bill's part, and a lot of drinking on all the rest of our behalfs, here's the finished product: 10 gallons of delicious Kolsch. We'll let you know when it's all done! Look at how excited those yeast are! Gushing all over the place! Thanks again, Midwest Supplies!