I purchased my home brew starter kit from Northern Brewer back in July of 2013. It is a basic kit that comes with everything you need to start brewing beer at home. It also came with one of three recipe kits which included extract, hops, specialty grains, and yeast. This closed the deal for me because I had no idea how to formulate a recipe on my own.
I chose the Irish Red Ale because I did not have a dedicated fermentor at the time and after looking over the recipe the yeast had the highest fermenting requirements. Living in Arizona, I keep my home at about 80 degrees in the summer. My plan was to evap cool (wrap my fermentation bucket in a wet towel and place a fan blowing on it) my brew while it was fermenting to keep the yeast at a happy temperature but now that I look back at it, it didn’t work out too well. I was having to constantly keep the towel wet and it was way too much work.
The brew came out drinkable but there was a flavor there that I could not describe at the time and I figured thats was home brew tastes like. The color looked about right so I was content. Anyone that tried it said it was good but I knew something was up.
My next kit was the NB witbier. I did everything the same as the first kit and it came out looking exactly like the Irish Red and it was a completely different beer! The only thing different was the citrus smell you got from the coriander seeds.
This was a big letdown so I took a bit of a break from home brewing. I needed to figure out what was needed to make a really good home brew.
I’ll continue with part 2 in a few days. Happy New Year!