Home Brewing Beer
Making beer at home is easy, rewarding and can lead to some amazing friendships & interactions. Like most people I started brewing at home with beer brewing kit from MoreBeer! The kit came with everything I needed to brew a batch of beer at home. Typical of most homebrewing starter kits, the equipment and beer recipe ingredients where for extract brewing. I know a lot of people that just dived right into all-grain brewing and there is nothing wrong with that approach. For myself and what I recommend to others as well is starting with extract brewing. It allows you to focus on a few steps in the brewing process as you are essentially starting from the boil. I think the old saying crawl, walk, run applies beautifully to learning to brew and most anything in life. By starting with extract you can focus on, in my opinion the two most important things in brewing; cleaning / sanitation and fermentation. Not to say can’t jump into all grain brewing and give these topics the respect they deserve. It’s just a lot easier to focus on and learn a few things at a time. After all you don’t eat an entire pizza at once, you have one slice at a time.
Once you have brewed a few batches of extract beer a good natural progression is to try what they call a mini-mash. This essentially allows you get some of your sugars from mashing grains but still back it up with liquid or dried malt extract. Aside from allowing you to learn the brewing process in steps, it also allows you to upgrade your brewing system over time. Purchasing a complete all grain system can be expensive and if you’re just starting a new hobby it’s nice to spend as you go. However with systems like the RoboBrew/BrewZilla, getting started with all-grain brewing has never been more affordable and accessible. When I started brewing these type of systems were not available though. Either way, most extract brewers move to all-grain brewing; as it allows you to take complete control over your beer recipe and intern the finished beer your making.
Another topic worth mentioning is the social aspect of beer & brewing. We all know beer is a social drink, heck this country “The United States” was founded in pubs by revolutionary individuals. Sure it’s fun to sit back and enjoy a pint of a beer you made. But it’s even funnier to share a pint with friends and family. That leads to another great way to learn and improve your brewing, joining a homebrew club! For the first few years of my brewing career I brewed alone and only shared by creations with family and friends. It wasn’t until I was selling some homebrew equipment on the internet that I was directed towards joining a homebrew club. The person purchasing equipment from me asked if I was aware of the local homebrew club. It really never crossed my mind to seek out or join a club, but let me tell you; it was one of the best recommendations and things I could have ever done. Not only do you meet and network with likeminded brewers like yourself; the friendships that have come from the club have not only enriched my life it has my family as well. I know being social may not be for everyone, but meeting and speaking with other brewers is a great way to get More! out of an already amazing hobby! Regardless of your brewing path, be it extract or all grain or alone or with others; always remember to keep learning and have fun brewing, cheers!