It’s embarrasing to find out your most pressing questions cold be featured in “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”… And you couldn’t answer them….
Yes, that’s the joke my mentor told me when I asked him if I’d spoiled my beer… maybe it was the series of questions that kept me up at night for days and days after my first brew…
Will my beer be affected if the gravity was .004 higher than the recipe? You sure that small packet of dry yeast will do the job of the liquid yeast? Oh, I know… “Can I open my bucket to see if it’s done fermenting?”… yep that was the tipping point, I’m convinced.
It turned my mentor into Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, and forced to teach me how to be patient and just leave the darn thing alone…
I was just crazed at the entire brewing proces, lusting for my own craft beer. It was a frenzy of internalizing the brewing instructions back and forth, a compulsion to cocoon, to avoid every mistake in the book no matter what.
Any hint of a mistake brought about a humongous quest of researching everything and anything ever written on the topic, whether online, on a book or even in stone.
I spent countless hours soaking up in hidden knowledge found at various forum threads that’d been active for the last four years.
But that’s just how the home brewing cycle goes. Start home brew hobby, worry about spoiled beer, ask any one and everyone about your possible mistake, learn, watch the process over again with every newbie that now asks you about their possible mistakes. That is, until they take on a simple home brewing course…
Although I realize that some brewers would rather shove shards of glass under their fingernails than do the amount of research I did, they spend too much money and many years learning by mistakes. Saving money on beer by brewing your own is not exactly the only motivation you should have to brew, but if you don’t learn how to do it right then you may end up spending more than just buying commercially available brew…
So, in a carefully crafted attempt to rescue the would be brewers had it been easier for them to get the right information, I’ve come up with a series of common set of questions most brewers ponder about during their first few brews…
- Should I Dump My Beer Because….?
Many times the reason because (whatever that happens to be) it’s not enough to justify pouring the beer down the drain. I’ve brewed beers that came up way below my expected gravity readings as well as way above gravity readings. I thought the final product would come up as something else other than beer, but have found that time cures just about everything. Unless you are 100% sure it is ruined, then I suggest you give it time and see if that fixes the issue… I’ve left “would-be-spoiled” brew for a couple of months and had it turn out great.
- What Is The Fastest And Easiest Way To Get Started?
The answer will greatly vary depending on what your goals are. To help you out, however, here’s what you need to know….
There are 3 types, or levels, to home brewing.a) Using Kits
b) Extract brewing
More than likely you’ll be better off using kits for your first few brews. The process is simple and you can learn what brewing beer is all about using these kits. The drawback is that the types of beer you can brew are limited and the ingredients may not be as fresh which means not high quality beer (but still pretty tasty and better than commercial)… If you are bold and want a little challenge, then extract brewing can be where you can start brewing. You can brew virtually any style of beer and begin practicing to go into all grain brewing. Unless you have experience or someone to guide you, I don’t recommend anyone to start out with all grain brewing. The most seemingly insignificant error can completely change the final outcome of the beer.
- What type of beer should I brew first?
Hands down, a pale ale like I show in the video, which you can watch by signing up to our e-letter. The reason for this is because it will help you build a foundation to brew just about every other style. Making a stout for example, is simply a matter of changing the specialty grains and hops and the process is the same. A lager would be just a matter of using lager yeast, maybe change your base malt and fermenting the beer at a colder temperature…
- What supplies do I need to brew my own beer at home without using a (deleted so no one is offended) kit?
You basically need a pot, fermenter, syphon, hydrometer, thermometer, bottling equipment, airlock, and the ingredients. There are kits sold to brew using extract brewing, although there are cheaper ways to come up with your own.
These are the four most common home brewing questions I get so hopefully it helps you… if you want to get more information on these questions or find out how to put together the equipment needed to brew without overpaying for it, then I recommend you check out the beer easy videos.