If a special someone in your life enjoys drinking different beers this article may help you find a great gift to facilitate the interesting hobby of home brewing.
Making a move toward home brewing – instead of simply being a purchase connoisseur – is a creative and productive approach to an appreciation for the finer beers of the world.
Beer has a rich history and is cross-cultural. It can have a wide diversity of flavors. The potential blends of beer is nearly as diverse as the wine culture. The move toward making beer identifies with that cultural side of a true connoisseur.
To encourage a friend to develop this fun hobby, you are honoring his creative side as well as his love of good beer. Once that new home brewing hobby takes wings, the passion to make beer takes shape into the improvement side. Adjusting the quality and taste rather than just drinking a home brewed beer.
For the more frugal among us, there are financial reasons to produce your own beer at home. The costs of making a batch of beer at home are very low once you get all the tools, equipment and supplies to work with. It is a myth that making beer at home costs an arm and a leg. Considering that you don’t have to set up a brewery and that you can just purchase a beer kit, you’ll find all the starter equipment you need right out at the gate. In fact for less than $200 you can make multiple gallons of great tasting beer.
Now imagine this…Imagine the beer your new home hobbiest creates is so tasty, so different, that a local pub wants to stock his beer? That little home hobby becomes a side business, and then a small business, and then a micro-brewery. It isn’t that far-fetched really, it’s happened to others. So consider developing that unique taste with a recipe that can produce consistent taste and you could bottle, label and sell it (given local laws and regulations).
These are all good reasons to encourage an interest in home brewing. You might also consider that the hobby does not need to be a solo effort. Two or more people can partake in the interest, sharing the finished product as well as ideas for improvement.
Get Set Up for That First Batch of Brew
Once we discover that we don’t have to rely on big company brewed beer for a glass or bottle of brew, and can make our own at home, a world of discovery opens up.
Some of the finest beers you could hope to taste are actually not made in the biggest commercial breweries but in small pubs around the world. If you have already discovered some particularly flavorful home brewed blends, it won’t be long before you decide to take a stab at brewing a batch at home yourself.
It all begins with that very first batch! Be traditional and follow the instructions carefully at first, but keep your spirit of adventure and experimentation alive. After all, if you bought good equipment, it won’t be long before you desire to be a master brewer!
Here is the traditional process:
- Gather the ingredients for the brewing process. You don’t want to have to stop and go dig something up so have everything ready to go.
- It all starts with water. One gallon of good water will do. You don’t need specialty water as tap water in most areas of the country does well due to a good combination of minerals. Start with a gallon of water boiling in a large pot with the capacity for 3 gallons.
- The first ingredient to add is the brewing yeast. The yeast will have specific instructions but in essence you will mix the yeast with piping hot tap water and stir it in a separate pot or pan until it becomes a thick paste.
- You can prepare the yeast while the water boils and when it’s ready, add the mixture to the water.
- Once the yeast is mixed in well, add malt extract. Make sure the malt is mixed in well and dissolved before moving on.
- Hops will come as pellets when you bought them from the supplier so add them when the water is boiling again and allow the entire mixture to boil for another five minutes.
- During this preparation time, sanitize the fermenting equipment. As the brewing process approaches completion, fill the fermenter about three quarters full with cold water from the tap.
- The strong beer you have boiled is called the “wort” which is now ready for fermenting. Pour the hot wort into the cold water in the fermenter. The desired end result is five gallons of mixture in the fermenter. If you don’t find you are at that level, add more water.
The brewing process is done and you can follow the directions for fermenting that are provided with the equipment. Now it’s just a matter of letting nature do what it does to ferment your home brew.