After months of hemming and hawing, a friend and I finally took the plunge and got all of the equipment needed for homebrewing.
Many of you have been homebrewing for years. I resisted for a long time, figuring I'd leave it to the professionals. If you can buy perfectly good beer, I figured, why spend more than $100 for brewing equipment that might yield a lesser product?
But at some point, it's fun and satisfying to do something for yourself. So we went down to the new Durango Brew Supply, where the fellas helped us choose a five-gallon brewing bucket, a glass carboy, a siphon hose, a hydrometer, a capper and all the other gadgets needed to brew at home.
For our maiden voyage, we chose to brew up a simple Brewer's Best red ale kit. It comes with all the needed ingredients: malt, malt extract, hops and yeast, and even a little bit of equipment, like a cloth that functions as a giant tea bag, that turned out to be helpful.
19th Hole Red Ale is now finishing secondary fermentation in the carboy. The original gravity was a little low for some reason, so it looks to be heading for an ABV of about 4.2 percent.
We're considering going all-grain for our next batch. I'm looking around for a good oatmeal stout recipe, so if anyone has one for a five-gallon batch, or can point me to one, I'd appreciate it.