Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father's Day Gift Ideas {For the Kitchen} - Northern Brewer Small Batch Starter Kit Review

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*Make sure to check the blog on Father's Day for a chance to win a Small Batch Starter Kit from Northern Brewer for Dad!

If there is one consistent and universal truth about men it is that they love beer. As craft beer continues to grow in popularity, the variety of styles and brands is expanding which is leading to a resurgence in an old but timeless tradition... Home Brewing! 

For this installment of my special Father's Day Gift Ideas (For The Kitchen) we will take a closer look at a fairly new product that aims to introduce people to the world of home brewing through a smaller, simplified process. We went through each step in the brewing process from steeping grains to.. well.. consuming the beer, all using this small batch starter kit from Northern Brewer!

This nifty little kit makes one gallon of beer (as opposed to a full size kit that makes 5 gallons or more) and does so through a fairly simple process. There are a number of recipe kits that you can choose from when purchasing the starter kit. We picked the White House Honey Porter and absolutely loved the process, from start to finish! 

Here is how it works:

The kit comes with a glass carboy designed to hold one gallon of beer, a siphon and tubing kit, a bottle capper and caps, priming sugar drops, sanitizer, airlock, bottle filler and a recipe kit. (Needed but not included: a boiling kettle, a stirring spoon and water)

The process begins by collecting and heating 1.25 gallons of water in a kettle. As the water heats, you place the supplied specialty grains in the supplied muslin sack, tie it at the end and steep in the water for 10 minutes. 

Next, you crank up the heat, bring to a boil and stir in the dry malt extract. This stuff gets a bit clumpy but by stirring fast you can blend it very well. Now you have Wort! (this is the brewers term for unfermented beer)

Then, you add the first hop addition and let it boil for 45 minutes. I absolutely love the smell of the boiling wort. So fun! 

After the 45 minute boil, you turn off the heat, add the second hop addition as well as the supplied honey. 

After the honey is all stirred in, its time to cool the wort as quickly as possible. We did this by giving the pot an ice bath in the kitchen sink. Essentially, you want to bring the temperature down to 60-70 degrees before proceeding to the next step. 

While the wort cools, its time for the most important aspect of brewing... sanitizing the gear! Everything that comes in contact with the beer from now on must be sanitized. They supply you with sanitizer that you mix with water and soak the siphon and tubing, yeast packet, scissors, airlock, carboy, etc. We filled a big pot with the sanitizing solution and soaked everything in it. 

Next, you siphon the wort from the kettle to the carboy. 

Once the wort is transferred, you pitch the yeast! 

Next up, you place the cap on the carboy, top it off with the airlock filled with a tablespoon of water or solution. 

Next... you wait.. for a couple of weeks while the yeast works its magic and makes beer! 

Following the waiting period, its time to bottle. The kit does not come with bottles so you'll need to save at least 11 (to be safe.)

The bottles must be sanitized along with the siphon, tubing, bottle filler and caps. 

Siphon the beer from the carboy to the bottle using the bottle filler. 

Add one of the supplied priming tablets to each bottle and cap! Its that easy!

Next... you wait again... 

After the beer has conditioned in the bottles for a week or two, it is time for the most important step... consumption. The beer must be consumed. 

Pour into a nice clean glass and enjoy!

Honestly, this is such a fun hobby and I can see how any man would have a great time brewing a wide variety of beers to share with friends and family. The beer tasted great! I could hardly believe that it was made in my kitchen. 

I'll leave you with this... give a man a beer and he will drink for one day but teach a man to brew and... well... you get it. 


Make sure to check the blog on: 

June 16, 2013 {Father's Day!} 

for a chance to win a

Small Batch Starter Kit from Northern Brewer

Small Batch Starter Beer Kit - 1 Gallon

To Purchase the Small Batch Kit

Check out Norther Brewer's website to learn more about their amazing products:

Follow Northern Brewer on Facebook:

Disclosure: I received a free product from Northern Brewer for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

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