Monday, October 18, 2010

Waiting for Bubbles

We didn't know what we were getting into. It only needed to boil for 45 minutes. How long could it take? Longer than my first marathon, for starters.

Saturday evening, the Enthusiast and I started brewing our first batch of beer from the kit I got back in June. More than five hours later, we had five gallons of dark wort ready to become a robust porter. Now, we're waiting for the bubbles to appear in the airlock to indicate fermentation has begun.

I hope we didn't fuck it up.

I keep worrying that the yeast was old.

Later this week, I'll return to this subject with photos to share, but for now I offer these lessons from the weekend:

  1. When the recipe says to bring the water to 150-160 degrees F, don't bring it to a boil (212 F). It takes forever for it to cool back down. 
  2. Make sure you have extra distilled water.  
  3. Have something else to do to kill the time you spend waiting for your brew to reach various temperatures. 
This week I vow to run some. 


Anonymous said...

I suck. I should have given you my number. There are a few tricks to cool the wort quickly.

That said, here's to a good batch of brew.

FYI - I helped my friend bottle his porter yesteday. It's going to be yummy.

Sun Runner said...

My ex-husband and I used to homebrew.

He used to chill the wort by placing the pot in an icewater bath in the kitchen sink. For that one needs a lot of extra ice on hand, however, as the bath water heats quickly and needs to be refreshed frequently.

The only acceptable activity one can perform while waiting for the wort to boil is drink beer. It's only fitting.

We, too, hovered around the primary fermenter waiting for those precious bubbles to appear. It was so exciting when they finally did!

Each batch is a learning experience. You will be doing all-grain before you know it.

Jess said...

I agree with the above: You should be drinking beer whilst making beer. Only fitting.

Ironman By Thirty said...

You know the phrase "Pics or it didn't happen"??? In this case, "Samples or it didn't happen!"

I hope it turns out well. I'm not sure if you follow Jon already, but he just started brewing a Belgian Ale. (

Spike said...

That all sounds like a ton of work. I thought it would be as simple as adding water and returning a month later.

BrianFlash said...

This harkens me back to the time when I did homebrew. I made some good beer but decided it was a lot easier to just go to the store :)

Good luck!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Kudos for homebrewing. I need instant gratification, so I have trouble getting my head around trying to homebrew. Although in the quantities I consume, I believe it would be cheaper.