I’ve finally gotten into the homebrew groove, it seems. The motivation, though, was a potential catastrophe. Namely, my kegerator can’t hold 2 typical commercial 5 gallon kegs. It seems that the dimensions of kegs vary and most are just slightly shorter and fatter than the “standard”. It won’t fit by about 1/16″!
I briefly toyed with either moving the kegerator to the big chest freezer and using the small for food. But then I had a better idea.
Since the kegerator can easily fit a commercial with a corny keg (or 2 corny kegs) then I should actually, like, BREW BEER!
And, thus, that is what I’m doing. Got a butch of heavily coffeed American Nut Brown Ale finishing in a cornelius keg while a batch of traditional English Special Bitters is in primary.
The Nut Brown Ale came out with about a ~4.7% ABV, exactly as the recipe said it should. After a week of sitting in the corny keg, the Nut Brown Ale is now on tap in the kegerator. The first few pours were a bit bitter and cloudy, but now it is pouring much cleaner and is absolutely delicious. Notable bitter coffee flavor on top of a chocolaty brown ale beer.
The English Special Bitters went in with an SG of 1.040, about 0.007 less than the recipe called for, but I’m not worried about it. Update: Came out at about 1.012 SG; or, about, ~3.7% ABV. It’ll go into the secondary now to settle and then into a corny keg in a few days to a week. I don’t expect much further fermentation, but it’ll likely end up right at 4% ABV.
A friend turned me on to Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply. Their kits are fantastic, the prices are reasonable, and they have $8 shipping on all orders.
Thus, I picked up 3 kits (and already had a kit from Fermentation Solutions, whom I’ll definitely go to when I’m ready to start doing custom recipes & for the occasional kits because theirs are quite good, too); two malt extract (ESB & Traditional English Pub Ale) and one partial extract (Oatmeal Stout).
With the gas stove, I can get through a recipe in 3 to 3.5 hours with a partial boil recipe. It is a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Better yet, when my sinuses are clogged, as they often are in the winter, all that steam does wonders!