Northern Brewer Festivus Miracle Kit
For the most part I just make my 1 gallon beer recipes off the top of my head. It’s a fun process and that won’t change as long as I enjoy this hobby. I have noticed that many home brew suppliers are now selling kits to make 1 gallon beer batches. This is a great idea and a nice way for people to get started before investing in a bunch of expensive beer making gear. I have decided to buy a kit from each vendor and take them for a test drive. I already had some experience with Brooklyn Brewshop’s all grain kits. The beer was fine but it turned me off to the tedious all grain brewing method.
So here we go… The first kit is from Northern Brewer in Minnesota. I often buy supplies from them. They give great service and have lots of stuff that I can’t find at my local homebrew shops. I selected the “Festivus Miracle” kit since the holidays are coming up and that should put me in the mood.
The kit comes packaged in a small box and has all the ingredients that you need to make a gallon of beer. As you can see they included everything except the fermenting vessel (more on this later.)
The ingredients include:
2 lbs of Breiss golden light dry malt extract
Some malted grains (I forgot to measure before using them)
A BIAB bag
2 3.5 gram packages of Columbus hops
1/4 oz Sweet dried orange peel (But you only need to measure out 3.5grams for the recipe)
1/2 oz Mulling Spice (Measure out 1.5 grams for the recipe)
1 Package of Safale 04 (They recommend using half a package)
This recipe also requires 1.25 gallons of water.
I think it’s nice of them to include a few extra flavorings. I can use them in some of my own concoctions. The kit comes with instructions that are well written and you should have no problem following them.
Now back to the fermenting vessel… While I was on their website I noticed that they had the 1 gallon version of the “Big Bubbler” fermenter. As the arguable “Queen of 1 gallon beer making,” (did I actually say that?) I felt obligated to buy one to test. It’s a thing of beauty… basically a huge mason jar with a cap that allows you to place a stopper and airlock on it. The glass is much thicker than a regular one gallon jug and it has much more room for the liquid. I am not exactly sure how much this will hold but it is definitely more than a gallon but doesn’t seem like as much as the small plastic food containers that I use. It also comes with a blow off hose. That will come in handy if the initial yeast action gets crazy.
I am boiling the wort as I write this and it smells really good. I have a good feeling about this kit. I am also learning some new techniques. The biggest difference from my usual procedure is that the recipe uses 2 whole pounds of dry malt extract. That seems like a lot but maybe I’ve been doing it wrong all along.
Only time will tell. Happy Festivus!