That homebrew taste: From visiting breweries to brewing your own
There is nothing quite like the feeling of cracking a beer after finishing some chores on a hot summer day or warming up over some stout at the local brewery on a cold winters night or even just talking shite over a pint of pale ale, or lager, or (for the hophead out there) the dreaded Triple Hazy IPA!
But, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably asked, what the bloody hell is in a Triple IPA, and why does it cost the same as my HECS Debt?!
Well then, it’s time you start home brewing, the easiest, one of the oldest, and best tasting hobbies.
Brewing your first beer
So, you have an interest in beer, what next?
Buy a Coopers can, CSR sugar or Malt extract, pour it into a fermenting bucket, chuck in some water and yeast, and away you go. After 2 weeks you have beer. Bottle it, chuck in some more sugar for carbonation, wait another 2 weeks, and drink it.
So that’s it. Thanks for reading this article…
Oh wait; did the first beer not taste any good? Well bugger now I have to tell you what to do next.
Make another batch
The keys to home brewing are failure, patience, and perseverance. The first five batches of beer I made tasted awful. But there is something unique that first homebrew beer you make.
Historically people and cultures have been making beers for thousands of years. In their huts using fire and whatever grain they could get from their fields.
Fun fact: Archaeologists have uncovered beer brewing vessels from an ancient religious site called Gobekli Tepe, that dates back 11,000 years ago. Over those thousands of years beer has been refined and made tastier until it resembles the beer we know today.
Then Tooheys New came along and it took a step back another few thousand years, but the craft industry is trying to right that ship as much as they can.
So, what does this all have to do with you?
Well, if an ancient farmer with a clay pot and some fire could make beer to drink, so can you. Every failure is just another step in making that first beer that you can take around to your friend’s place.
What’s more is, it’s yours!
Just because it’s a tin, doesn’t mean it’s not unique to you. The way it’s stored, bottled, the water, yeast, all of the key components are up to you.
You’ve bought the tin, and you made a few batches. Maybe by batch 3 you have something drinkable, so what do you do next?
Start telling people about it.
The wonderful thing about the rise of craft breweries in Australia is how much it has bought people together.
So why don’t you do the same!
Invite people over to try some beers and get involved in the brewing process. And if you have questions about brewing beer, there is a huge community of people online and at your local homebrew shop who are excited to help.
You will make new friends who are making weird beers with fruits who are desperate to make you try it (don’t do it! it’s all a trick to make you think an orange, tomato, and basil sour beer is the next big thing. It isn’t Steve stop trying to make it happen!).
Building the brewery
Everyone who starts this hobby will one-day dream of running his or her own brewery.
As a home brewer you don’t need to worry about over-heads, what beers to have on tap for what customers, rosters, any of that crap. All you need to worry about is yourself, and what you like.
This is your own personal brewery for yourself, friends, and family. I built mine in my shed, cleared a corner and built it so I could brew beer quickly and easily. There’s nothing to flash about it, just some chairs and a small kegerator (a chest freezer that holds a few kegs).
But everyone is different, a friend of mine has designed his own taps using funko-pops and has a corkboard with his beer names on it like Kylo-Rye Ale. This was, for me, the most fun part of brewing. Creating a space that is both personal and communal.
I hope this article has given you a strong jumping off point. And remember: Every brewer you meet, and every new beer you tried started from the exact same place you are starting from.
Follow Ethan on Twitter: @Ethan_R_ONeill
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