Started my first batch of beer today. What a hassle! I've decided making beer in small batches in a pain in the ass. So here's how it went.
Last month I purchased a pico beer kit from the Portland Homebrew Exchange. I bought the Red Ale kit (http://homebrewexchange.net/product/pico-ingredient-kits). Looks promising.
First off, the instructions are not the most clear. Was not sure of I should mix the multiple pots together... But I figured it out after searching a few more recipes.
Then I had a small issue with the yeast. The yeast packet was stuck to the hops package with some double back tape. When I was moving pots around, I put a pot down on the tape and the yeast packet was stuck to the bottom of the pot. I put the pot with water on the stove and burned the yeast package. The yeast was scorched and useless. Luckily I had 3/4 package of ale yeast in the freezer that I use to make rootbeer.
It takes a lot of time and energy to brew beer! 45 min heating the grains, then 45 min of boiling the mash... And it makes the house smell like boiled grains, I did not mind the smell, the wife did.
So I put the beer together into the 1 gallon carboy after cooling it down. I then pitched the yeast and put in the cheapo hydrometer to measure it. Well, the hydrometer was covered up by foam, so I could not read it. SI I tried to remove it, the top was below the top of the carboy. So I used a pair of tweezers to gently remove the hydrometer. No good. The thin glass at the top of the hydrometer cracked and some fell to the counter, some fell into the carboy (FULL OF BEER). ARGH!!! I resisted the urge to throw the off the deck. I figured the glass will settle down into the lees, I'll filter it out when I bottle...
I setup the blow off tube and the beer is bubbling away...
grumble. I have a new respect for people who brew beer.