Home brewing can be much cheaper than purchasing beer from commercial brewers, taverns or stores. Everyone enjoys a different taste to his or her beer. Some home brew hobbyists choose to customize their recipes to their taste buds, which can cost more, but it’s still more economical in the long run to brew beer at home.
Hop is the substance that gives beer the majority of its flavor so this is generally the first ingredient that is adjusted to change the flavor of a finished beer. Some devoted drinkers will adjust the amount of hop flavoring to be much higher than what they’d taste in a commercial beer. A good home made beer also gives you a chance to adjust the amount of alcohol that goes into the beer. You may also want to experiment with creating a darker or lighter beer and create specialty beers that are unavailable on the open market or very rare and difficult to find.
Besides all the obvious reasons mentioned here for home brewing, it’s just plain and simple a lot of fun. Once you get started, you won’t want to quit. The anticipation of tasting your home brew is something that will keep you looking at the calendar and thinking of the variations in your next batch. You might also consider having a ‘sampling day’ with guests filling your home and tasting the fruits of your labor.
Is A Home Brew Legal?
The U.S. Constitutions have given each individual state the right to dictate the laws that will be in effect regarding the manufacture of home brewed beer or other alcoholic substances. Do not assume what is legal in one state will be legal in the next state. You don’t want to see a new hobby of yours turn into a nightmare of legal issues.
Alabama, for one, clearly states that it is illegal in all counties to have any equipment or apparatus used to manufacture any kind of alcoholic beverages. It’s also illegal there to have any illegally manufactured beverages brought into the state or transported inside the state.
Most other US states do permit home brewing. There are some restrictions to the amounts of beer and the age of the person brewing – generally you are allowed no more than 100 gallons of home brew per person per household and that person must be over the age of 21.
In those states, the maximum you can brew per year is 200 gallons. People that brew their own beers are restricted from selling it because the federal government taxes alcohol through excise taxes. Most Western countries have the same home brewing laws.
In Michigan, for instance, it’s perfectly legal to brew your beer if you are over 21 years of age but only up to 100 gallons. You can give your home brew to other people, but you cannot sell it. The 100 gallons, incidentally, can be broken down into 20 5-gallon batches of brew. Many home brewers like making smaller amounts at one time so they can experiment with different flavors, colors and varieties.
Kentucky, on the other hand, prohibits anyone from having in their possession any apparatus used in the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage including home brew. While they are more concerned with illegal distilling, their laws can also be extended to the home brewing of beer.
Be sure to check with your local government before embarking on any home brewing adventure!