Home Brewing – A Brief History

It has taken home-brewers over forty years of brewing, experimenting and drinking by enthusiastic amateurs to bring the craft to the stage where we can produce beers to match the quality of our commercial counterpart. Given the ingredients and the methods it’s hardly entirely surprising that amateur brewers will want to try brew a beer like their favourite pub pint.

I hope to help you in this pursuit. I will not however tell you how to brew precise copies of your particular favourite beers, because by using home brewing methods, for example with the use of home brewing kits, it’s impossible to turn out the same beer as large brewery’s. I hope to help you make homemade beer and stouts that match your favourite beer with a fair degree of success. Similar flavour, and colour can be achieved and in such a way that you may end up liking the homebrew version better than the original.

Modern Home Brewing Really “Took Off” in the Early 60s.

The chancellor of exchequer, Mr Reginald Maudling used his April 3rd budget in 1963 to abolish tax excise restrictions on the brewing of beer at home. It was no longer necessary to have a private brewers licence or pay duty on any homebrew produce. Home-brewers could now produce as much beer as they want, with the only legal stipulation that not a drop of it can be sold. With one stroke of his pen Mr Maudling very sensibly gave Home-brewers the same freedom to practice their craft as had always been enjoyed by home wine makers.

There was a huge upsurge in the interest for home brewing, that eventually beer kits started to appear on shelves in the local specialist shops to meet the demand. Even boots the chemist started to stock brewing kits on their shelves, even the local Woolworth’s store started to stock brewing equipment. And there were specialist’s shops springing up on most high streets. Information on kits for home brewing exceptional bitters, pale ales, stouts and lagers are available on the site.

However there is much more to the hobby of then just making up a kit, Home-brewers need to know what’s behind the theory and techniques and know how to diverse their own formulations for most types of beer. You will be brewing a gallon of beer for the price of two pints. The methods used in home brewing are simplicity in itself and the cost of a fully equipped home brewing kitchen the can be recouped in three or four sessions. Using normal kitchen equipment and utensils, some recipes can be brewed using additional equipment vessels costing less than 4 pints of beer.

Thousands of people perhaps encouraged into the hobby initially, by the ever-increasing costs of pub beers, have found that they can with the greatest of ease brew at home really satisfying beers for as little as 40 pence per pint.

So why not join them?

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Give Home Brewing a Try – You May Just End Up Being an Avid Home Brewer!

For anyone who has ever tried, you already know home brewing is great fun. Here’s a little “quiz;” how many of you have sneaked a few of the old man’s home brew? Luckily, the quiz is not being graded! Let’s face it, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a home brew!

Show of hands – of all of you who have tried home brewing, how many times have you failed (ie. batch turned out “skunky”, pot boiled over, etc.)? Through the blessings of modern technology, we now have access to the best brewing equipment and methods available. Additionally, current brewing equipment is much more practical and safer, too. Since the laws changed in the US, allowing individuals to act as their own home brewer, a multitude of equipment suppliers, both locally to you, and on the internet, have sprung up. The good news is there are so many, it has made brewing your own beer considerably cheaper in the last few years with no signs of slowing down.

In response to the current abysmal economy (can you say recession?), home brewing is not only practical from a financial point of view. It has also a considerable hobby for some. After you attain the right knowledge, it will lead to many years of making enjoyable beer at home. Brewing kits today are easy to use, as well as, offer excellent value, are easy to clean, and will last years. There are a great many forums and websites to give you a helping hand in selecting the right equipment, ingredients, recipes, and home brewing instruction. Making beer at home is also very cheap. Most brewing recipe kits are in the $20 US range, and yield approximately 2 and a half cases of beer (30-12 ounce bottles). If your wallet is feeling a little light due to the economy, and you like your beer, home brewing is definitely something to consider. I have friends who spend way too much money on a Friday night out at the local saloon. Some of those gentlemen would never consider becoming a home brewer, but for me, the economic benefits of making my own beer is too much to ignore. Plus, you will be able to put those empty bottles to good use, instead of spending hours at the recycling depot cashing them in!

Crafting your own home brew has is the most pleasurable part of brewing at home. Just make sure you do not add too much sugar! Trust me. I know. However, you do have the opportunity to tackle more advanced home brewing kits, and to select what ingredients which go into your home brew. Ever wondered what tomatoes, raisins, or watermelon tastes like in beer? The sky is the limit! You will only be held back by the limit of your own creativity while being a home brewer. Amaze and astound your friends with your own uniquely crafted beer. And, for all you single fellows, impress your dates by showing them you are a true renaissance man and brew your own beer! Plus, the alcohol level of your home brew is entirely under your control. Just don’t make it too strong.

The final advantage of home brewing is you control the volume you can make. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are federal limits as to amount of beer you can make, but in all honesty, you will never hit them. Please make sure to check with your local authorities as to how much beer you can make at home for your own consumption, and please, please, please, never sell your beer without a license (at least not in the US). I have stored as much as 10 cases at any one point in time. That is a lot of beer (unless you are having a party). Just imagine never having to buy beer again!

Guy Ryerson is an avid home brewer and publisher of I’m a Brewer, a website dedica

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