All-Grain Batch #1: SUCCESS! (#beer #homebrew #homebrewing)
Yesterday was "learn to brew" day, and as planned we brewed our first all-grain batch during this event. Everything went exactly as planned and all gravity and yield targets were met or slightly exceeded and the beer is happily fermenting at home in our hobby room.
Before brewing this beer, I read, and read, and read, and read some more on the all-grain process, until it seemed very boring. I really wanted this first batch to go very smoothly, and all the reading definitely paid off.
The main thing we learned about brewing "in the wild" (at a club member's house, instead of at home) is that it's probably a good idea to keep a checklist of everything you might need. We only forgot one thing - a lighter to start our burner. Luckily other club members had them - but next time, we'll make a checklist so we have everything.
All-grain brewing is fun - even more fun that brewing with extract, even though it's more work. You definitely get more of a sense that you're creating your own beer.
Our next batch, a Berliner Weisse, is planned for 11/18!
The next equipment purchase for our homebrewery is likely a new kettle - one with a ball valve and perhaps a sight glass as well. The kettle we have is fine for capacity - it'll hold about 7 gallons - but it doesn't have a ball valve, so we have to use a siphon to transfer the wort into the fermentor. A valve would just make everything easier and more efficient. Kettles are expensive though, so we'll have to plan the purchase.