At the end of this week Lauren and I will be distributing our very first batch of homebrew beer to friends and coworkers. This is something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and now that we’ve moved into a larger apartment we can finally start making our very own craft beer!

We started off with a kit from our local homebrew shop. It’s called the “Half-Assed Landlord Irish Dry Stout”, which sounded like it would be right up our alley - both of us appreciate dark beers. Along with the ingredients we also picked up a basic brewing kit that included a pair of 5 gallon buckets, some siphoning and bottling equipment, and a large kettle for boiling.

Of course, having never done this before, our first brew was somewhat eventful. There were some fraught moments around the size of the kettle, and we wound up buying another one (which wasn’t much larger, but it was quite a bit nicer!) and having some “fun” pouring hot wort through a cheese cloth to strain out the barley (we didn’t realize we were supposed to put the grain in the bag). We also totally failed to take initial gravity readings and so we have no idea how much alcohol our beer has in it.

Even with all that, overall things have come together well and the final product is a tasty dark beer that we both enjoy! We got 38 standard bottles and several larger lever-lock growlers out of the process. I’m looking forward to having one this weekend.