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Posted in Beer and brewing by tahughesnc on January 30, 2010

For many years now, I have been a big fan of craft beer.

By “craft beer,” I am referring to the beers produced by breweries such as Dogfish Head, Founders, Terrapin, and many others of similar ilk, including several fine craft breweries right here in North Carolina: Full SteamBig Boss, Lone Rider, Triangle Brewing Co., Foothills, etc.

Beginning to brew photo

Heating the water for my first batch of home-brewed beer.

I have also been wanting to try my hand at home brewing my own beer for quite a while, and finally took the plunge a few weeks ago. I bought a Brewer’s Best deluxe equipment kit from Fifth Season in Carrboro and an ingredient kit for an imperial pale ale. I went back to Fifth Season a few days later to buy a 20-quart brewing kettle. Then, on a rainy Sunday that weekend, I started brewing my first batch.

As a first timer, I found the process to be a bit intimidating, especially since I was going through the process without anyone to guide me. But I managed to make my way through it and took a few pictures to document the experience.

At this point my beer is still fermenting. I kept it for 5 days in a primary plastic fermenter, and then transferred it to a glass carboy. It’s been in the carboy for 1 week and I plan to keep it in there for another week before I proceed to bottling.

Transferring to carboy photo

My home brew in glass carboy.

A couple of nights ago I took a hydrometer reading.  The first time I took a reading, before starting fermentation, I got 1.060. The second reading was 1.020, which was a sign that everything was headed in the right direction. I also took a sip of the beer, mostly out of curiosity. Although the beer was still a long way from finished at that point, the taste was not too bad.

I’ll post an update here after I have bottled the beer and have had a chance to taste the final product.