West Coast Pale Ale: our first Mr. Beer adventure

Our latest kitchen adventure: brewing beer with a MR. BEER kit. We have been interested in brewing our own beer for some time now, but haven’t gotten around to it (I really wasn’t all that interested in purchasing all the equipment that goes with brewing). The solution: my sister- and brother-in-law gave the writer and I a MR. BEER home brewing kit for Christmas. It’s 3 gallons smaller than the traditional carboy (big glass fermenting container) and has a built-in air-lock vent item. It also came with a can of Hopped Malt Extract, sanitizer, booster, yeast and enough brown plastic bottles to complete the process. And we’re off!

Step 1: clear work space and sanitize everything, including the can opener, stirring spoon, and measuring cups.

Step 2: Place can of Hopped Malt Extract into dish with warm tap water (to allow the thick, molasses like syrup to flow more easily out of the can). Fill stainless steel pot with clean, cool water using sanitized measuring cup. Add booster, honey and extra flavoring here and bring to boil. Remove from heat, add Hopped Malt Extract to the liquid and stir to dissolve. Place the correct amount of water into the barrel, pour the boiled liquid into the MR. BEER barrel slowly and carefully, stir vigorously and thoroughly.

Next, add yeast and relax for 5 minutes. Stir yeast in thoroughly. Place lid on the barrel. Carefully place the barrel into an area in your house where it will not be disturbed and where the temperature stays constant. We chose the hall closet, as there is no light, and it stays a constant temperature because the sun never hits it.

Finally, let the barrel rest (and by that I mean ferment, so not really rest, as there’s a ton of activity going on in there!) for 7-14 days. Do Not open the lid! Ever. We will pour a little bit out of the spout in a few days to see how it tastes: when it’s not sweet, but like flat beer, we bottle it! And then wait some more…

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