Recently, I have decided to start brewing my own beers, rather than just criticising other people's brews. It's not as easy as you might think.
Effort number one was from a kit. Woodforde's Nelson's Revenge. Two tins of malty gloop went into a fermenting vessel, watered down to make the required amount. I added the yeast, waited a week, then transferred it into a cask for a secondary ferment. After a week in the cask, it settled down nice and clear and I nervously poured out a pint.
Holy crapping monkey balls, it was shite. Just a sweet malty mess, worse even than Tetleys Original. I tried to bring it back from the brink and bought a packet of hops from Brew2Bottle in Northwich and made a hop tea. I added the bitter hop juice and left it a further week. After this time it was a little less awful but still not good.
I resolved at this point that I would persevere but upped my game and bought all the equipment needed to do a full mash brew. A mash tun, a boiler, a cooling coil, a new fermenter, a capper and a bunch of malt and hops. £300. No excuses.
Brew 2 was my first attempt at a full mash. I found a recipe for an American Pale Ale and went for it. 3.8kg of lager malt and 450g of Light Crystal malt and loads of Amarillo and Cascade hops later, I had my brew in the Fermenting Vessel. I added the WYeast yeast and waited....
Two days later, some bubbles started to appear. Another day in and the thing was a broiling mayhem, swirling and whirling as the yeast did its stuff. I transferred to 23 bottles and a 10L cask after 11 days and had high hopes.
Unfortunately, after 5 days of secondary, this tastes worse than the kit beer. I had a few days of soul-searching, trying to figure out why.