With the mother-in-law’s birthday coming up, I decided to brew a batch of pale ale for the party. I was pretty excited about this because it was the first batch I made with my newly ordered equipment. Most of the equipment was all ready to go, with the exception of being sanitized that is. The fermenting buckets were the only thing that had to be moderated. I had to drill 1″ holes in them. Two holes in each bucket. One on the top for the airlock, and one on the bottom of the side for the spigot. The best way I could find on the internet, short of actually having a 1″ hole drill, was to use a small drill bit and drill hundreds of little holes in a circle. After drilling two holes I decided that it was way too laborious and wouldn’t actually give me a perfect circle like I needed. So I improvised. As it turns out, a hammer has a 1″ diameter head on it. Add an electric stove top and a plastic bucket and you have yourself a beautiful hole and a good looking fermenter. Unfortunately, this was discovered just after cracking the top of the first fermenter lid. Good thing I have two buckets. This mistake was corrected later by connecting a spare spigot to the cracked hole and melting a new hole for the airlock.
Following the assembly of the fermenters, I began the sterilizing and brewing process. The first step in this was the roasting of some malt grain. That was simple. The not so simple part came when I had to crack them. Not pulverize them or blend them, but crush them. I borrowed a food processor which did a fairly decent job. It wasn’t the best, but it was the best I could do. Next time, if I use this same all-grain process, I’ll order all my malts and barleys pre-crushed.
The rest of the process was fairly simple, involving lots of boiling, cooling and pitching of yeast. After all was said and done, I placed the bucket in my usual fermenting spot and hoped for the best.