Beer aficionados can only try so many different beers before they get the itch to create something of their own. Sometimes the economics of buying good craft beer can play into this decision. Over time, it can be less expensive to brew your own delicious brews instead of paying retail prices at a bar or beer store. And sometimes a beer drinker has a very specific beer preference that nobody else will sell.
There's a simple solution for both kinds of beer drinkers. Homebrewing is not a small or easy task. The art of making beer takes time, patience and love. And creating your own beer can not only lead to a happy person but sharing is caring, and friends can also enjoy your skill.
If a homebrewer has a greater plan than just drinking, they might be able to open a small local brewery like Banger Brewing in Las Vegas. With some loans and connections, a homebrewer could open a popular regional brewery like Dogfish Head.
The journey of crafting your own beer can bring a variety of different accolades. The most important distinction, of course, is creating a delicious beer. The only way for a person to create the next great pint is to get started homebrewing. So, let’s get started.
Understand the Brewing Processes
The easiest way for beginners to start brewing is a process called extract brewing. This is the quicker method where you’ll use ready-made malt extract and will allow you to skip the sugar extraction process since it’s already been done.
Once you’ve learned how to brew, you can move on to the less-streamlined all grain brewing technique. This takes a bit more work and should provide a better beer. Look at the processes of learning how to walk before you can run.
Purchase A Brewing Kit
Homebrewing kits are not created equally. I never used the gift a friend gave me because it was more of a novelty item than a serious brewing kit. There are different kits for different kind of people. Let’s look at two different options to get started brewing beer at home. One kit for the new brewer that wants to learn all about the craft and the kit is intended for someone that just wants to make beer at home and possibly save a few bucks.
Homebrew Starter Kit - Brew Share Enjoy (Northern Brewer)
The Northern Brewer starter kit is one of the most popular for new home brewers. This kit is specifically made for first-time brewers that want to learn about the entire process. As soon as you unbox the package you’ll be greeted by a few documents including a laminated welcome packet that essentially has all the directions you’ll need to brew your first batch of beer. The lamination is a nice touch since you’ll be dealing with lots of water while learning to brew.
You can choose from a kit with their Block Party Amber Ale extract recipe kit or their Chinook IPA Extract recipe kit. This massive instructional kit has a 6.5-gallon fermenter that produces five gallons of beer. That’s a lot of beer. While the kit comes with everything you’ll need to start brewing, the instructions make approaching your first homebrew less intimidating than you might expect.
The Northern Brewer starter kit is huge and a great way to learn about all everything that goes into creating your own beer at home.
Craft Beer Kits (Mr. Beer)
Mr. Beer offers a large variety of beer kits. These are kits are easy to use and are created for someone that just wants to make beer at home. They’re also streamlined for someone that wants to make beer at home. They aren't exactly the beer kits that will teach you to become a master brewer, but that said, they come with everything you’ll need to start brewing at home.
Their two-gallon fermenter is made specifically for new brewers that don’t have too much space to work with. In addition to the “little brown keg,” the kits come with two bottles, carbonation drops, and sanitizer to keep the kit clean. The premium kit comes with a refill, so you can produce up to four gallons of beer. You can also find plenty of refill options on the Mr. Beer website.
These kits are geared towards someone that wants to brew at home but not necessarily spend the time to learn all the ins and outs of brewing beer.
The Premium Gold kit has two different recipes for just under $50 at Amazon.
Addtionally, if your're looking for more guidance, Beer Advocate has a great forum for any beer drinker. One of the members of the forum set up a query for new brewer questions.
Follow our "Man About Town" Marc Meltzer on Twitter @MeltzVegas.