Bitter Bummer: My First Homebrew Failure?

After successfully brewing my first three batches of beer using pre-made kits, I wanted to make my fourth batch from scratch using a recipe from one of my homebrewing books. Because this was my first time making beer on my own, I decided to make something simple and cheap. I eventually settled on a recipe for Ordinary Bitter, a light English style. After finding a recipe to try, I scaled it down for my fermenter (around two gallons), ordered the ingredients online, and got ready to brew. Thankfully, the brew day went by without any major issues. However, when I went to measure the original gravity (sugar content) of the finished wort, I discovered a big problem.

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Black, Bitter, and Boozy: Homewbrew Black IPA

After brewing a tasty (though somewhat average) one-hop IPA, I set my sights on my third and final brewing kit — Black IPA. I find it amusing that despite the other two kits having cute or clever names (Caribou Slobber and Zombie Dirt), this kit was simply labeled Black IPA. Despite the hundreds of beers that I have tasted, I had never tried one of this style. Yet, here I was about to brew one. I had no idea what to expect.

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My First Homebrew IPA!

After my initial success with my first homebrewing kit, I immediately ordered two more. Though I eventually wanted to brew beer from scratch using recipes and maybe someday even design my own, but in the meantime, I would focus on improving my basic brewing skills. For my next beer, I decided to dive right into the hop-filled deep end with a single-hop IPA. A few weeks after submitting my order, my kit arrived and I was ready to brew again.

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My Homebrew Journey Begins

A little more than two months ago, I decided to start brewing beer. Truth be told, I am not a huge drinker, though there is something special about beer that deeply attracts me. About two years ago, I wrote a short-lived beer blog for a local website (you can check it out if you want, though its in Chinese). During this time, I got the opportunity to try out many different types of beers and learned much about their characteristics. However, as I started reading up about homebrewing, I realized that my blog had only begun to scratch the surface. Despite beer being made up of four simple ingredients (malt, hops, yeast, and water), to a brewer it is an infinite canvas filled with countless possibilities.

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