Saturday, July 21, 2012

#1 Pale Ale

I've been a fan of microbreweries for quite some time.  I think I was probably introduced to "good beer" shortly after college, taking weekend ski trips to Colorado and New Mexico.  I loved skiing, and the snow.  And it seemed that every evening in every ski town I visited culminated in a brewpub.  The beer just tasted better.  Maybe it was the cold weather.  Maybe it was the fact that I was in my early twenties and had just burned 5000 calories on the slopes, from first tracks to last lift.  In any case, I fell head over heels in love with good beer.

My brother-in-law, Josh, got a home brew kit for Christmas about a year-and-a-half ago.  I hung out with him a couple of times as he brewed.  Mostly just watching, observing, washing dishes, and of course, drinking beer.

Well, today I brewed the first batch of my own!  Josh and I brewed together, at his house.  I bought a couple of basic pieces of equipment -- whatever Josh didn't have two of.  Most importantly (and expensively), I bought a discounted/dented/scratch/floor-model refrigerator from Best Buy, a reconditioned ball keg, and a CO2 tank and regulator.  I decided before my first brew that I wasn't going to mess with bottling!

I bought some of my gear from Amazon, and the rest from Austin Homebrew, which seems to be one of the best homebrew supply stores in the entire country.

I chose my recipe based on one my favorite beers to drink, Boulevard's Pale Ale.  Boulevard is probably one of my top 3 favorite breweries in the USA, and I actually had visited it a couple of years ago when I was passing through Kansas City, MO.

For a first brew, I'm quite pleased with how this beer turned out.  Very crisp and light.  It was a great summer time beer.

Some notes (mostly for myself):
  • We used filtered tap water, painstakingly drawn from the filter in Josh's refrigerator
  • I borrowed a plastic bucket fermenter form Josh
  • Original specific gravity: 1.039


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