Brewing the Brutal Homebrew Kit

Rogue Brutal IPA Homebrew KitFor Christmas this year, I gave JD a homebrew kit to make a DIY version of Rogue’s Brutal IPA, one of our favorite Rogue beers.  You could say this was somewhat selfish of me, seeing as though I would inevitably be joining him in the brewing process, as well as enjoying the fruits of our labor… but if you say it to my face, I might not share any with you when  it’s done fermenting, sooo….. it’s probably best to keep those kinds of opinions to yourself.

Anyway, we spent yesterday afternoon brewing beer.

The kit makes an easy-to-manage 5 gallon batch.  The box contained everything we needed, except the yeast (due to shipping restrictions), but the instructions told us what was recommended.  We started out steeping the grain, then adding the first bag of dry malt extract to create the wort.  Then it’s time to start the clock for the boil.  We added the bittering hops first (Centennial), after about 45 minutes, the flavor hops (Crystal), and finally the aroma hops (Crystal again).  The boil is my favorite part of homebrewing process because of the smells.  OH THE SMELLS!  As the wort boils, there’s not much to do but sit around and drink a few beers with your friends (Ok, maybe *that’s* my favorite part of homebrewing) and the smells that waft through the air as the ingredients blend together are just heavenly.  We brewed in a huge warehouse and the whole place was filled with the sweet smell of boiling wort.  It’s like baking fresh bread, only better because it’s BEER.

omg you guys, homebrewing smells *so* good!

Once we were done with the boil, we set the kettle outside in the snow to cool down.  Then we mixed in the remaining water to bring down the temp even more and get us up to our five gallon mark.  From there all that was left to do was pitch the yeast and *TA-DA* we had beer! (almost)

Now we wait.  After about a week, we’ll rack the beer to a secondary fermenter for dry-hopping (more Crystal hops).  It will take another 7-10 days after that to finish the secondary fermentation process and be ready for a taste test.  Because this is a kit and made to resemble Rogue’s award winning Brutal IPA, I am very interested to see how well it compares to the real thing.  There’s no doubt that the two will be different, but I’m hoping to recognize some of the citrus notes and hoppy flavors that I love in the original.

If you’ve never home brewed before, I recommend not only trying it, but doing it with friends.  Lucky for me, I have some highly experienced friends that I brew with, which makes it really easy.  But the whole process really isn’t as complicated as I thought it would be.  And it’s so much fun!  It reminds me of the feeling I get when I go camping with friends.  We usually hang out outside (or in a garage) and we sit around the kettle and drink beer while we watch the big pot boil.  Having friends that love beer as much as I do makes it all that much more enjoyable as we exchange stories and beer facts.  Like I said, the smells of homebrewing are amazing.  We delight in passing around bags of hops so that everyone can get a whiff of the dank smell of the raw ingredients before they go into the boil.  And the sense of community and camaraderie, so common in the craft beer industry, comes alive during a home brew session.


Click through for more pictures from our home brew!

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Categories: Homebrewing, The Spirit of Craft Beer

Author:Amy Ellsworth

Amy Ellsworth is The Craft Beer Girl. Follow her as she discovers the world of craft beer through brewery tours, beer festivals, reviews and homebrewing. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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  1. Beer Mine, Valentine. | the Craft Beer Girl - February 2, 2012

    […] fermenting!  I bought one of these for JD last Christmas and he loved it.  We had a blast brewing together and are anxiously waiting to see how close our batch comes to the real thing!   *Please note, due […]

  2. Morning Brew: Three Floyds Passes 20k, Draft Mag Release It’s Top 100 of 2012, Craft Beer Girl Homebrews and I Cover Philly Brewing. | - January 18, 2012

    […] The Craft Beer Girl wrote this great article about homebrewing the Rogue Brutal […]

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