I’ve been threatening to make home brew for a while. Back in my photo days the photo staff at the Chronicle decided to start making home brew almost as a competitive sport. Walt made some really nice brew that we took on bike rides up in the North Carolina mountains. He once had the pressure valve crust over and explode beer all over the ceiling. Blake made some really nice brew. Eric bought everything you would ever need to brew then years later asked me to find it a good home. I wish I had taken him up on it.
So you serious home brewers don’t make fun of me (at least not yet). I know you turn up your noses at Mr. Beer but I got nothing really invested in this so it fits my cheap bastard roots well.
I didn’t have any room in my work area of the laundry room that I have to share with my bikes and with those stinking cats and their damn litter boxes. But tossing out lots of old stuff…..I’m not sure what it was but it’s gone so I’ll call it stuff. It might have been my stuff or it might have been Mrs. Dan’s stuff. Don’t know. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
With my new found free space I had a open countertop for setting up the brew kit and an open table top next to the sink for mixing.
Mr. Beer looks pretty cheesy with some guy with a poop eating grin on the box holding a mug of beer. It’s got a brown plastic brewing bottle with a giant cap on the top. This kit came with “West Coast Pale Ale” malt extract.
They’ve made it pretty damn simple to brew your own beer. They give you just about everything you need except a pot for the wort and a metal spoon to mix it all up.
You sterilize everything with the sterilizer they provide. Mix the wort on the stove. Cool it off and pour it in the tank, add the yeast and cap it.
I won’t bore you with details because I don’t want anyone to rush out and buy one on my recommendation. I haven’t tasted it yet.
I will add that I used bottled water instead of the incredibly chlorinated water the city of Augusta provides. Even Bubba the Fish sticks his little tongue out at the stuff. I would also recommend if you get a kit to visit the Mr. Brew Fan Club forum. They have some handy tips.
So 14 days from now I get to bottle the stuff (You can bottle in 7 but the forum recommends going for 14).
As I sit and ponder what I have started I continued my quest to rid my little fridge of the 55 different brews I had accumulated as of June. I pulled out the Victory Storm King Stout. The red and black label is very Halloweenish. At the World Beer Festival in Columbia each year I love to stop by the Victory booth. They make some great brews.
This brew is very dark, very malty, very roasty toasty and very good. You got some hops at the start but they give up after the rush of nice roasted malt flavors. The malts are chocolaty with a hint of coffee… maybe more like an expresso. But it doesn’t have the bitterness that some brews have when you get coffee flavors.
Fairly creamy mouthfeel for only a moment. Then it picks up some crispness. On second taste I’m picking up some baking spices. The aroma is a bit hoppy. But the hops don’t dominate this brew.
I really enjoyed this brew. I have yet to try a Victory brew that I didn’t like.
Now I wish I was making a Stout in my Mr. Beer.
Here’s what Victory says about their beer: “With a huge, Pacific Northwest hop aroma & character upfront, Storm King Stout® subsides into massive, roast malt complexity. Rich and substantial, it will warm your heart.”
Consider my heart warmed.
From: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Brewery: Victory Brewing