Brewing 101: Today is Brewing Day (Introduction)

Somewhere I heard a mention of the hobby, and it sounded like a mix between playing with a chemistry set and cooking soup. I had to try it.

Way back in grad school I decided on a whim to try my hand at homebrewing. It turns out, home-brewed beer can be tastier and even cheaper than buying from the store, and it makes you feel like a mad scientist. Consider this series an introduction to the hobby for the uninitiated.

I was no beer fanatic or IPA-crazy “hop head” at the time, but I had tried a few fascinating beers that were difficult to find in stores and thought I might be able to make a halfway decent approximation of those brews myself. My kit was from the local restaurant supply store and my instructions a four-page pamphlet that came with the box. That and the amazing power of the Internet. Every possible answer and freak-out concern you have as a novice brewer is on there: why isn’t my beer fermenting, did I ruin it by touching it, etc, etc.

Let’s not talk about my first beer, which was mediocre due to substituting cheap sugar for barley malt extract. My second beer, an oatmeal stout, was amazing and is still one of the tastiest I’ve ever made.

Home brewing is simple, inexpensive, and fun, and it briefly makes you popular with your friends (until the beer runs out). That’s the best endorsement I can make for trying it yourself.

Next, hear about the ingredients in your standard beer, equipment needed, suppliers, and brewing steps.

2 Comment

  1. Nice! Randomly was talking to some Dutch visitors about the Grapefruit IPA they drank (their first time having an IPA) and the history (made up a lot of it). You make it sound like you are a new brewer but I know you better.

    1. Well I figured I’d start from the beginning, since there are always new potential brewers that figure it’s too difficult or complicated. I’ll step up the level of intensity after a few posts!

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