Step 01: Buying equipment and Ingredients

It turns out that getting brewing equipment in Puerto Rico is nearly as hard as finding a decent beer.  The nearest home brew store is two hours away in San Juan.  Thanks to the distance from the mainland, the majority of home brew stores there won’t ship here, and if they do, the associated shipping cost is prohibitive.  In the end, I managed to piece together enough equipment from Amazon.com and suffer the sting of the shipping on a basic kit. The ingredients I ordered in the form of a Nevada pale ale kit from the brew store in San Juan–an extract kit with specialty grains, liquid yeast, and priming sugar. My intentions are to get a few basic extract batches under my belt to master the process of brewing and sanitation, then jump into all grain brewing.  After some basic calculations, I can save approximately five dollars on each six-pack while I’m using the extract, and when I switch to all-grain, I can save an addition two to three dollars. The coming week or two will include receiving my equipment and ingredients, constructing a wort-chiller, a trip to visit the Caribbean Brewing in San Juan, and preparing my first batch of beer!

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Step 00. Motivation, Or Why Did I Think This Was a Good Idea?

I moved to Aguadilla, PR three months ago to begin a new job.  I came with great hopes of whiling away my time on the beach with the sun on my face, the sound of the waves in my ears, and a cerveza in my hand.  The sun, the waves, and the beach are all there, but a decent beer is very hard to find. I don’t enjoy drinking to excess, but there’s nothing like a quality brew on a hot summer day!  And there are nothing but hot summer days here, no matter what the locals try to tell you! In the coming days I will post my experiences, photos, and maybe even some videos (if you’re lucky!)  of my adventures in home brewing.