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