I figured I would start out my first post maybe giving you an idea how I got started in home brewing, and what equipment I use, so maybe you could get an idea of where I am coming from as I write my posts.
I got started in home brewing about a year and a half ago, compliments of a Mr. Beer kit and a love of beer. Before long I had 2 Mr. Beer fermenters, and spent some serious money on several kits. As these kits were ready to drink, they weren't bad. But I had a sneaking suspicion that I could do much better. So I took my debit card to a local home brew shop downtown called the Beer Nut. A year later, let me show you guys what I am working with now.
Now the centerpiece of Boats 'N Hoes Home Brewery is a 30 qt stainless steel brew pot. As you can see I also have a needle thermometer and that is my boil spoon being employed to steep my specialty grains. More about that in a later post.
Long gone are the days of the Mr Beer fermenters, (although I do still keep them around for Cider and Mead experiments). I now have 3 Ale Pails that work great. I try to keep at least two of them fermenting at any given time, because my neighbors have caught on to my hobby and it is hard to maintain a pipeline for personal use.
As those of you who live in SLC know, temperature swings are drastic between the summer and winter months, especially in the canning room where my fermenters used to sit. I broke down and purchased a 15 sq ft chest freezer that will hold 3 buckets comfortably. I made a DIY dual stage temperature controller that utilizes the freezer to keep things cool and the reptile stone in the picture to warm things up. I know what you are thinking... A reptile stone, really? It was cheap, it doesn't get hot enough to start a fire, and you don't need a whole lot of heat to raise 15 sq ft a couple degrees it you keep the lid closed most of the time. Trust me, it works!
On average, brewing 5 gallon batches nets me 24 bombers (22 oz) that used to contain Epic, and anywhere from 6 to 10 12oz bottles.
Now lets talk a little bit about what Boat 'N Hoes Home Brewery is and what it isn't. I am not selling anything. I do this for my personal gratification and enjoyment. I share my brews with anyone who is willing to sit down with me and talk beer. My posts from here on out are going to be geared towards my experiences and antidotes that may help you out with your hobby or at least make you chuckle once in a while. I will share what has and hasn't worked for me, my DIY experiences, and maybe even some recipes that I really think are exceptional. Hope you enjoy reading them.