Brewfus Brews Brews.

Clever title? I'd say "say that 10 times fast," but I was totally able to. And I'm not even that smart.

So, back around Chrismahanukwanzakah, I received a gift certificate to the greatest place on earth. Amazon. Can I call it a "place" if I can only peruse the aisles in binary format? Bah, semantics. Around the time I got this gift certificate, I had also been shopping around and doing research on homebrewing. I came across a kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop one day while shopping in the hippest of hipster towns, and my new home town, Hampden, MD. Seriously, it was ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the biggest "hipster towns in America." Is it a coincidence that I live there? Irony? I don't care.

Anyway, after doing a ton of research, I decided the Brooklyn Brew Kits would be perfect for me. With no all grain brewing experience under my belt, and only 6 batches of extract (read: Mr. Beer) I felt this would be the perfect set up for a complete n00b like me. So I took my gift certificate, placed my order and started doing my "now that you have your kit, how do you brew beer?" research. Luckily, the interwebs is a vast source of knowledge, outside of cats, porn, and free music and movies. So in the following days, I became a beer soaked sponge. And I'm happy to report, I'm still learning.

A lot of stuff in a little box. You got your grain, hops, yeast, fermenter, air lock, thermometer, siphon, hose, sanitizer, and happiness. This all came in one box, for $45. That, to me, is pretty awesome. One thing it didn't come with? Instructions. No big deal though, just hit up the Brooklyn Brew Shop website, and you can get whatever instructions for whatever brew you're making. Regardless, you can more or less start brewing right out of the box. But...I needed more stuffs.

Now, in my neurosis, I hit up Amazon and Maryland Home Brew for some items that I felt I needed (and for the most part, I did) to brew at a level of comfort that I desired. Things like stock pots, a hydrometer, a hydrometer tube, and a 10.5" strainer. All said and done, I dropped...maybe...$70 on the "extras." So, all said and done, a one time expense of $115 to get started, for me at least. You may already have a strainer, stock pots, and the like.

That doesn't include the cost of this book. This awesome, awesome book:

Seriously, if you want to brew, get his book.

So, lets get to the good shit! I'm not going to wax intellect through every step, explaining every detail to a grueling degree.

The Mash!

I had a bit of a difficult time staying within the temperature range, and I was so paranoid every time I surpassed it. I was as diligent as I possibly could be, but each time the temperature dropped and I turned the burner on, I definitely exceeded by about 10. And I completely forgot to mash out at 170.

After the mash, I set up for my "sparge" and got "lauter run" ready. I thought I made a  faux pas, and I squeezed the grain. I did some reading about squeezing and pressing. Some people said "blah blah tannins" and some people didn't  "Too late," I thought.

The Boil!

By far my favorite part of it all so far. Its easy, get it to a nice rolling boil, and add your hops at the specified intervals. I don't think there's any way you can really screw this up too bad.

Get That Shit Fermenting!

Another pretty easy task. Set up an ice bath, and get your pot in there after the boil. Cool it down to 70 and get it in the fermenter. Pitch your yeast, shake that sonofabitch, get your airlock on, and let science take over. Seriously, science. I took a couple of VERY brief videos from my second batch to give people an idea of whats happening:

Yeast is happily eating sugar...

...farting CO2...

...and peeing alcohol! Sorry-no videos of anything peeing.

After the initial CO2 discharge (about 48 hours), I went ahead and put it in my super dark closet, up on my third floor to finish sciencing.

Or two weeks. But it feels like forever. Seriously. Right, brewers?


I don't have any pictures of me bottling. Want to know why? Because fuck bottling, that's why. After mixing the honey for conditioning, it was time to get to it. Using gravity to siphon beer and the whole rigmarole of it all left me with a sour taste in my mouth. So I got an auto-siphon for my next batch (and it's amazing). In the end, I had about 9 bottles of beer, ready to condition. And in two weeks, they were ready for me to drink...

...To be continued, in my follow up review post of my first all grain homebrew.

Overall Reaction

Honestly, this wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Between the clear directions, Brooklyn Brew Shop's amazing customer interaction online,and my own hours of research, this process went relatively smooth, albeit time consuming. Brew day ate up a good 3 to 4 hours of my Saturday, after counting in cleaning and prep work. But between drinking beer WHILE brewing and dancing around the kitchen, It was actually a very fun day. And the house smelled awesome.

Brewing while drinking a beer from the brewery that inspires me. Poetic.

I can not recommend this kit enough. It was simple enough for a knuckle-dragger like me to comprehend, but still gives you the room to experiment. You can purchase the kits online at their website, and if you're lucky, there might be a retailer near you that carries them as well.

Brooklyn Brew Shop:


Brewing beer paired well with: Prodigy - Invaders Must Die

Seriously, I was dancing while brewing. A lot.


  1. Can't wait to hear how it turned out. I have been thinking of branching out from Mr. Beer to a kit like this, so this article was extremely valuable.


    1. I'll be writing a follow up review of the IPA I made the first time around, and probably one for the porter that I just finished up!

    2. And! Mr. Beer is a great starting point to get you used to the sanitizing process and even parts of the brewing process. I cant knock it. And the cost for this BBK is about the same for the MR. Beer. Even in terms of refill recipes.