24882811401_719694db38_zI brewed this beer with my brother and it is my first brew from grains. The Dark Star Festival Ale kit is a kit of grains and hops allowing anyone to recreate the Dark Star Festival brew in their home. We were following Greg Hughes's book on brewing and the book makes brewing very accessible to the beginner. As it happens, Greg runs BrewUK, the supplier of the grain brewing kit I use.

We muddled through the process and managed to output a liquid approximating beer. The biggest mistake we made was not fixing the false bottom to the mash tun correctly which meant that we could not get the wort to flow out into the boiler. Once the hot mash had been poured out of the tun, the false bottom fixed and the mash put back into the tun, we were able to sparge the grains and get a wort.

The only other problem was priming the ale - it didn't gas properly. In the end, we re-gassed the canister and the ale flowed well. It did not taste bad at all - absolutely fine for the first attempt.

Actually most of the work in brewing is sterilising equipment. Once you have done the process a couple of times, it is very easy to get through it.