Wednesday, February 29, 2012


All-grain brewing, why did it take me this long to make the switch? Back in the fall, I ordered two partial mash kits from Norther Brewer (Surly Bitter and Surly Bender) and took the next step in home-brewing between extract and all-grain. It turned out to be a relatively smooth transition as it offered me a little bit of something new (steeping some grain in a cooler) and something familiar (adding liquid extract to the wort pre-boil). Both beers turned out well and gave me confidence to take that next step. Of the two, I prefer the Bender. The Bitter was a little unbalanced for my liking. While I love hops, there wasn't enough malt sweetness to even it out and this came out as too hoppy for what I was expecting.

So for Christmas this past year, I asked for a few other pieces of equipment (a false bottom just to name one) and asked for an all-grain porter kit. Well, I must say that this porter turned out beyond my wildest expectations. It tastes soooooooo good. As my lovely wife said, "Oh that's smooth!!!!" I concur. It is so smooth, it is difficult to have just one pour. I am trying to conserve it as much as I can until I can get the next one in the pot. So, next up is an American Amber Ale. Another easy drinking, simple style to attempt an all-grain brew. One thing I noticed right away with this porter is that it didn't have any of that "twang" that I've been so accustomed to with extract brews. That is enough for me to never look back! Now, I need to make some time to brew up my next batch.
Once I've mastered this type of home-brewing, I'll turn my sights on brewing lager. But that can wait.