Back in the summer of 2011, making the most of my free time during the holidays, I decided to take a step forward and fulfill a dream that had been in my mind for a long time: to brew beer at home. As many others, my beginnings were with an extract kit. One month after the day of elaboration I opened the first bottle of that beer, a bitter. The impression that beer made on me marked a way with no turning back.
Later, I got my first book about homebrewing (John Palmer’s How to Brew), a second extract kit and, after a lot of reading, equipment to make my first all grain batch, following the Brew In a Bag method, which we still use today. It was an equipment with a capacity of about 5 liters (1.32 gallon) and the resulting beer was way worse that the ones I had done with the kits, but there was no doubt which batch made me prouder.
From there, my philosophy has always been to advance step by step. With the next batches, I focused on brewing different styles, trying to meet their parameters, to see the differences among them. This allowed me to learn about ingredients (how could I imagine the amount of malts, hops and yeasts available!) and at the same time to be aware of the wide range of beers that could be brewed. English styles, Belgian styles, German styles,… The following months were passing while I was adding batches under my belt. At the same time, my homebrewing books collection was growing and I continued reading everything I could find about homebrewing in the internet.
After about three years brewing this way, I started to think about getting new pieces for my equipment so I could brew larger batches, having into account that I was going to keep brewing in the kitchen of my flat. About this time, I was also able to convince my brother to join me in this hobby and since then he helps me every brewday.
With a lot of alternatives in my mind, at the end of 2015 I decided to buy a 37.5 liters (10 gallons) kettle, a 27 liters (7 gallons) stainless steel Brew Bucket fermenter and a 3500 watts induction burner, that allowed me to brew batches of about 20-22 liters (5.2-5.8 gallons). I also bought a wine cabinet that could mantain temperature between 4ºC (39ºF) and 25ºC (77ºF). The first batch with this new equipment was at the beginning of 2016, a Bohemian Pilsner that, in spite of all the inevitable setbacks of brewing with a new equiptment, passed the test.
Since that batch, we have kept brewing batches, from 5 liters (1.32 gallons) to 22 liters (5.8 gallons), without paying too much attention to style guidelines and adding our personal touch with all the things we have learned through the years. Additionally, in 2016, we started kegging our beer using corny kegs. Also in November of that year, I started a blog in Spanish to show our experiences with homebrewing. My intention with this was to help other homebrewers and, above all, to keep on learning everyday about this great hobby. Eight months from the start of the blog, and I decided to launch an English version of the blog, with the objective of reaching as many people as we can.
I hope you enjoy the blog.
Cheers and good beer!