The first batch of beer I made was from a Mr. Beer kit on April 3, 2012, just shy of one year ago. Fast forward to today: I’ll be brewing my 20th home-brewed beer this weekend. Much has changed in those 12 months, particularly my understanding of the brewing process. I have also gone from making purely extract beer, to adding steeping grains, and finally, to all grain Brew In A Bag (BiaB) brewing. I have concentrated on having a consistent, repeatable process that produces expected results. I am just hitting my stride in that regard.
There is one thing has not changed with my process in the past year, and that is the fermentation vessel I use. I have continued to use the Mr. Beer fermentation vessel. Also known as the “Little Brown Keg”, or LBK, this fermenter is perfect for my setup. Some things I really like about it:
- It fits inside a cooler with the lid closed.
- It has a built-in spigot.
- It has a void in the base that collects the yeast and trub that settle to the bottom.
- I can fit a 2.5 gallon batch of beer in it, which is roughly a case of beer. That’s the quantity that I find best for me in the frequency with which I brew.
The list could continue, but suffice it to say that for now, the LBK will continue to be my first choice for a fermenter.
As far as my 20th beer goes, I have decided to go with a high gravity brew to test how my process and setup hold up to the challenge. I am brewing a Strong Scotch Ale (aka Wee Heavy). The estimated OG for my recipe is 1.088, so it is a fatty.
Great Grandma MacConchie Strong Scotch Ale:
The 1728 is happily chewing away at some Bavarian Wheat DME in the starter.
See you on brew day.