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