So how does one go about making their own booze?
Beer…. It seems to be one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States. Whether it’s drinking it, brewing, attending events focused on it or building a collection, beer has finally started to make its way back into the homes and hearts of us all over the age of 21. Bars everywhere are now finally “getting it “ when it comes to what people want to drink. Mercifully looking past the Miller and Coors brands, many establishments are seeking to branch out in their beer selection in order to please their patrons and I am sure we can all raise a glass and cheers to that. But what happens when going to the bar for a pint seems like too much effort? You make it yourself of course!
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot harder than making a casserole, but the payout is defiantly worth the time and effort spent. My husband recently took a dive into the unknown waters of beer making and boy was it an eye-opener. My kitchen was turned into a war zone and my house smelt like hops for a good week, but in the end, it was a great project for not only my husband but for me as well. The shopping and brewing process gave the two of us an opportunity to work together in making something that we can enjoy later down the road.
So where do you start? Well, the first step is to do your homework. There are several books that are great guides in the beer making process such as Brewing Classic Styles and How to Brew Beer. Many brewing books are full of helpful “how-to’s” and also help the reader decide on the type of beer they wish to brew and how to specifically engineer their beer.
The next step is process is buying your equipment, and depending on how aggressively you will be pursuing beer making as a hobby will determine the types and amounts of equipment you may need to purchase. Ingredients are also key, as they are what make the beer… well…. beer. The ingredients you put into the beer will determine the type, sweetness and color of the beverage you will end up having as a finished product. As with any recipe, it is also important to stick to a formula, to begin with, and not go too crazy to start out. Local homebrew shops are a bevy of knowledge and resources. Each one I have been into has been staffed with people who are not only extremely helpful but are also enthusiastic about the growth of the home brewer and are always more than willing to hold the hand of a newbie.
Actually brewing the beer? Well, that is the fun part! The process can differ based on the type of beer you decide to brew but generally speaking, there are five key steps to the “brewing” process.
- Brewing the Beer
- Cooling and Fermenting
- Kegging the Beer or Priming/Bottling
- Drinking… also known as the best part
For greater explanation and detail on the brewing process make sure to check out the books mentioned above as well as visiting the following website: http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2009/01/10/how-to-brew-beer-5-steps-for-making-beer-at-home-part-1/. And make sure to check back soon to see how our flagship beer turns out!