Things to know about making wine Some people will want to try their luck at making wine at home. This is a fun idea and one that needs to have a great deal of thought first. Wine making is the next step for anyone that has already tried their hand at brewing their own beer. If they have tried this, they can make wine and good tasting wine at that. Not everyone is going to be able to make perfect wine the first time. They are going to have to take their time to perfect their recipe and figure out what they are going to need to make the right wine and make sure that it tastes great. Being clean is critical when you are making wine. You will find that if you keep work area and equipment always clean, you will avoid many problems in the wine making process. You do not want to have unwanted bacteria in your wine solution. Patience is another must that you have to have. You have to make sure that you are aware that you are going to be working at this for a while. You may be great it the first time or you may find that you need to have more practice. You will also have a hard time waiting to taste your creation. However, you have to let the wine sit for the recommended amount of time so that it can ferment over time. The actual art of making wine has been around for a long time. The recipes and the styles of wine have changed but the process is just about the same that it always has been. You may find that the recipes have different ingredients, temperatures, yeast, and fruits. This makes no difference. All that really matters is that you are making your own naturally tasting wine. Even if you fail, you will at least have given it the chance. You may succeed or you may fail, but either way you will have enjoyed the experience. You can find all the information and basics of wine making online and in other literature. You can get everything that you will need to know out of these books. This is how you are going to be able have the know how when it comes to making your own great tasting wine. Once you know what supplies you need and you have the right equipment and state of mind, you can then begin your own wine making experience.
Waiting for Your Home Made Beer is the Hardest Part The rock music artist Tom Petty had a hit song that went, "The waiting is the hardest part". And when it comes to brewing your own beer, maybe the most difficult step of them all is the fermentation and aging process. After all, the steps leading up to the time when you wait for beer to mature is full of activity. From shopping for new equipment and ingredients, to cleaning and preparation to boiling the wort to cooling and preparing for fermentation, it’s a fun process. And that is what you want from a great hobby. But once you have used all of your skills (so far) to make a great wort that is ready to ferment and age, storing and waiting for that process to finish seems to take forever. If this is one of your first batches or if you tried a new grain or hops, you are eager to see how good the beer will taste. And you are eager to serve ice cold home made beer to friends and family. But you also know that if you break in and interrupt the process too soon, the beer you drink will be unsatisfactory and not nearly as rich and flavorful as how it will be when the aging process is done. So you wait, sometimes impatiently. One way to continue enjoying the "fun part" of home brewing is to have fresh batches of beer in production each week. If you went that route, you would eventually end up with a lot of beer in various stages of fermentation and aging and you would have to date and mark the storage bottles so you know which beer is ready to use and which needs more time to reach maturity. And when you consider that an average minimum size of a home beer brewing cycle results in five gallons of beer, that can mean you will have a lot of finished beer around unless you have a big audience of beer drinkers to help you drink up the stuff. The time between when beer is bottled after the brewing process is complete until it is ready to taste can be anywhere from six weeks to six months if you include both fermentation and aging. The actual aging process is pretty fascinating and understanding it helps you develop patience for nature to take its course. During fermentation, the yeast will work to change the structure of the sugar that was part of the brewing process. As the fermentation continues, carbon dioxide is created and this gives your beer that bubbly quality that is a big part of the appeal of the beverage. Fermentation also pushes sediments from the yeast and proteins and these sediments would hurt the taste of your beer if the cycle were interrupted. It's worth it to let the process naturally cure the beer so these unwanted byproducts naturally work their way out of the finished product. It does take a lot of patience to be a brewer, even a home brewer because allowing the aging process to produce perfect beer may take over a month or even longer. But this waiting is just as much a part of making great beer as the boiling and fermenting so you have to nurture the patient side of yourself to get a great outcome. Part of your preparation for brewing is preparing a place for your beer to be housed in optimum conditions for fermentation to work its magic. As opposed to perhaps your impression before you became a home brewer, you will not store the beer in the refrigerator during this phase because colder temperatures actually stop the fermentation process. That is why you keep milk in there. Instead plan to set up a "fermentation room" that wills stay at a constant cool temperature between 65 and 75 degrees any time of the year. This should be a room where you can achieve some temperature control so the beer stays in a stable environment to reach a perfect flavor. It is also a room you won't feel the need to go to and interrupt the fermentation process. You can draw some of the beer out as early as 4 weeks from the start of fermentation. But for the best possible taste for your beer, you should give this process two to four months for adequate aging. Word Count 742
A Brewing Society One of the reasons the hobby of home brewing is so popular is that you are not just taking up a pastime, you are becoming part of a closely knit society of home brewing that has its own culture, language and social structure that is unique to brewers alone. Of course, the social aspect of drinking beer is well known. The infrastructure of pubs and bars that offers to patrons a place of comfort, friendship, fun and relaxation is about a lot more than just tipping back a delicious drink,. It is a part of our social fabric that goes back to revolutionary times when our most important documents were hashed out over a beer. And the importance of sharing a beer is just as powerful today as we all enjoyed thinking about that bar where "everybody knows your name" called Cheers. So just as the social aspect of enjoying a beer with others is strong and well entrenched in our culture, so too is the art of making beer a deeply rooted part of society that goes back generations. That popularity has regular revivals and we are seeing a surge of interest in brewing today as all over the country brew pubs are springing up around delicious home grown beers that in many cases are far better than the mass produced beers that are heavily advertised during the Super Bowl. This well developed and sophisticated brewing subculture not only will be of great help to you as you start to learn about becoming a home brewer yourself, it will become a society that is a lot of fun to be part of and where you may make friends for life as you share with others your love of making your own beer. In America the grass roots level subculture of home brewing is growing fast. This is no small concern to the big retail brewers who cannot possibly make the quality and rich kinds of beers that can be made at the local level. But this is a natural evolution as we follow our cousins in the UK where keg beers made locally dominate the world of beer consumption in a culture where pubs are a central part of the fabric of society. One reason home brewing has such an appeal is the tremendous diversity of beers you can produce and the control you have over flavor, consistency and alcohol levels. In most cases, once you have your basic equipment for brewing beer, it is cheaper to make your own beer. And there is something satisfying about brewing up a big batch of beer to put back to ferment as you enjoy a five gallon batch you made last month. Beer brewers can become quite obsessed with flavor, color and "punch" and always be looking for new ways to become better at this fun and interesting hobby. Whatever level of involvement in beer making appeals to you, you can probably find new friends in the beer brewing society that you can share your hobby with. There are beer brewing radio stations and ham radio channels devoted to helping amateur brewers share their secret recopies and solve each other's problems. And there are home made beer competitions that can really put some challenge that all on you to make that blue ribbon beer that rally makes the judges sit up and take notice. So as you find yourself getting more and more enthusiastic and "caught up" in the fun of home brewing, don't be embarrassed by that because you can find a diverse assortment of other beer making enthusiasts to share your hobby with. So have fun, make friends, make good beer and above all, share your beer and your knowledge with others. Because beer is about more than good drink. It's about good times with good people as well. Word Count 647
The Fast Track Way to Making Beer at Home There are a lot of people who have taken the plunge to buy all the equipment and get started making their own beer from scratch at home. But the odds are that just as many people are curious about brewing beer at home but are pushed away by the challenge of buying all this stuff and figuring out how to do it and then the problem of the mess and the storage of equipment and beer in different phases of fermentation and completion. For many, what is needed is an easy way to give home brewing a shot without having to go to all the effort of buying a complete set up of equipment, all of the ingredients and the bottles and storage just to find out if you like it. What is not generally known is that there is such a fast track way to making beer at home. By buying a simple device called a beer making machine, you can easily make a batch of beer right in the home The good thing about a beer making machine is that it is basically a plug and go situation. This takes a lot of the intimidation out of buying many individual units of equipment and going through each step of brewing and fermentation by the seat of your pants. The brewing machine goes a long way to take the preparation over so you can do all the steps using the resources of the machine. When you buy the machine, it comes with the ingredients and instructions. The entire design of a beer making machine is based on the idea of reducing the mess and fuss of beer making for that first time home brewer who needs to have some of the joy of making their own brew but not as much of the work and the worry. You certainly don’t have to be a beer making guru to use these user friendly machines because the instructions are clear and written in an understandable way and the ingredients come measured and ready to go. But as with any ready made solution for discovering something as great as home brewing your own beer, there are pluses and minuses to breaking yourself in on a beer making machine. Probably one of the biggest pluses is that they are a one time use machine that you can use and throw away. This gets the problems of cleaning and sanitation out of the loop entirely. All of the ingredients are prepared and ready to add in premeasured amounts so the fuss and worry about going from completely raw materials is removed as well. It is just about as user friendly as you can make home brewing be. The down side of using a beer making machine to break into the craft of home brewing is that because it is completely set up when you buy it as a kit, you don’t get the change to play with the ingredients and enjoy the creativity and experimentation that is a big part of why beer making is so fun. You go through the steps and make one good batch of beer. But you don't have the chance to make it a great batch of beer because you cannot make changes to the ingredients as you go. Also a beer making machine is sold to make one and only one batch of beer and then you, in theory, are to throw it away. This may seem like a big waste and you might try to clean it up to use it again. But the real idea of the product is as a starter experience. It really isn't the kind of thing intended for you to buy a new kit every month and continue making that same kind of beer each time. But keep the perspective that it is not really designed to be your total and final solution for beer making. By breaking into home brewing with the beer making machine, you get some of the experience of making and fermenting your own beer and then bottling it to serve a few weeks later as a genuine product of your little at home brewery. And the fun of that may be a great way for you to start making beer and then grow into a hobby that may last a lifetime. Word Count 737
Great Grains for a Great Beer One of the great reasons for learning to brew your own beer is to learn more about the various grains and ingredients that makes one beer better than another one. When you first start your hobby of home brewing, you no doubt got connected to a local club or association of home brewers. They can help you learn the lingo and how to tell what the best grains are to use in your beer. But before you go to the first meeting, it might speed things up if you knew the basics. The use of malts is at the heart of how grain contributes to a great beer. The difference between a light beer that doesn’t have a heavy malt taste and one that virtually tastes like a loaf of bread all go back to what malts you pick and the process that is used during the malting and brewing of your beer. There are actually a big variety of different grains that people commonly use when brewing their own beer and you may have to take some time to brew up a few batches using different grains to see which ones capture what to you is the perfect beer taste that will make your home made beer unique. But understanding how malting works is a good first step. Now as a home brewing enthusiast, you will probably not actually take grain through the malting process yourself. But you should become familiar with how malting works and why there is so much variety to the outcome of the malting process. In that way you can use that knowledge when buying the malts for your beer so you can get a malt that will give you the flavor, color and intensity of beer that you are looking for. The malting process starts with the grain to be used. The most common grains are barley, wheat or rye but others can be used from time to time. The grain is used from the seed form and steeped and germinated which gets the active part of the malting and brewing process underway. Germination, which from your high school science class you know is what happens when a seed sprouts out to become a plants, releases the store energy of the seed that was put there to jump start the growth process. We are going to use that energy and convert it into malt mash that you can use to brew your beer. What happens during the germination process of those grains is that the stored energy in the seed is changed as it is released. When the starches in the seeds changes into sugars by the enzymes that are active part of the germination process, those sugars give us one of the core ingredients for great beer. It is at that exact moment that the germination process is suspended using kilns to dry the grains and all of that good sugar and enzymes that became active remain in the malt for use during the brewing process. Obviously this description of the basic malting process is simplified but for our purposes it gives you a background into what happens before you buy the malts you will use in your home made beer. But based on this description, you can go on to get a feel for the wide variety of malt types. The more you know about malt, the better informed you will be about what malts you wish to use when you brew your beer. And those decisions will have a big effect on the taste of your beer. So for great tasting beer, use great malts and knowing one malt from the next is the key to knowing which to use for the best home made beer possible from your home brewing efforts. Word Count 641
Why make your own beer at home You can make your own beer at home. It can be a family project or just a new hobby for yourself. Many people do not understand why some make their own beer. They wander why they want the big mess and all the clutter of creating their own brew. They think that it is easier to go to the store and get what they want when they want it. However, it is not about the convenience or the cost of the beer stores. The actual reason why a lot of people are making their own beer is because they think it is fun and exciting. This is a way for them to do the hobby that they like and that keeps them busy. Some people create their own brew because they have never tried it before and now they want the opportunity. There are so many different recipes for beer that have been handed down through different families. They are using the recipes that their ancestors used and seeing if they can do what they did and that are creating great tasting beer. Many of the recipes are easy to follow and have an ingredient list that is easy to find. There are different things that people can buy to make their beer making experience more fun. With the right kit and the best beer-making recipe, anyone can try making great tasting beer. Even if it is a one shot thing, it will be worth seeing if they can create a beer that is just as good as the stuff that is purchased in the store. You can create anything with the supplies that you can find in the store. Buying the kits to brew your beer is going to make it easier for a lot of people to do. You can get everything that you need with this kit and it will make your beer brewing easier. Finding these kits will make the beer brewing adventure even more fun for someone that has not had the opportunity to try making their own beer yet. Finding out about making your own beer is easy. You can go online and get all the facts and the tips that you need to get started on making your own beer. Many tips and pieces of advice that a person can use when they are checking into all the beer brewing articles online, such as right here! You can use this information to get creative and find a new past time in making your own beer.
The Right Home Brewing Kit for You There is always an urge when you get started in a great new hobby like home brewing to go out and buy the most expensive equipment and supplies and dive in head first. That instinct may come from watching an "old pro" at home brewing working his or her own elaborate set up to make some great beer. So naturally when you start learning how to brew beer at home yourself, you want to strive for the best which is to make beer as good as the old pros make. But the instinct to over commit should be resisted. The home brewing industry is a big one and it has gotten much more able to support new recruits to this exciting hobby and passion to get you just what you need when you need it. And if you go out and spend a fortune on equipment that is just not right for you starting out, not only can you get frustrated but if your love of home brewing doesn’t "stick", you can end up feeling badly about such a huge investment. So, as is true of a lot of hobbies, its best to start out slow, use some very basic "starter equipment" and get a few batches of beer under your belt and grow from there. That is where getting started with a home brewing kit is a good move. In that way, with one purchase, you can bring home the basic equipment you need, the supplies for your first few batches of beer and, probably most importantly, some instructions on how to get started making beer. You can find a pretty wide variety of beer making kits to choose from just to get started. And because the diversity of the types of starter kits that are out there, its good to know what you want as you start shopping the web sites, catalogs or at the local beer brewing retailer. As with everything else, you can find low priced options when you are buying a beer brewing kit and other kits that have a lot more accessories and supplies to offer. The things to look for in the way of equipment in your very first kit are sanitizers and bottles as well as containers for fermentation once the brewing process gets underway. Keep in mind that once the beer is in production, you will be moving it from container to container and you will have the opportunity to step in and remove unwanted residue from the last step. So various siphons and strainers can really help you as the master brewer of this batch of beer to purify your brew as it moves from the boiling pot to the fermentation containers. So don’t just buy the first home brewing kit you see. Take some time and evaluate what each one has to offer to determine if the more expensive ones come with a more in depth assortment of supplies which can keep you from having to run out and supplement the kit fairly early in your beer making career. Those kits might cost a bit more but compared to buying each of those items one by one, it’s usually a very good deal. In addition to the assortment of brewing tools and accessories, look at the physical size of the equipment you get. The best size for any batch of beer is a minimum of five gallons. Brewing in that quantity gives the wort a sufficient room to brew well. So make sure you read the fine print that the pots and storage containers you are getting with your kit will allow you to make batches that fit your expectations. But also keep in mind storage issues as you don’t want equipment so large, it's hard to keep it all handy for your next brew. Word Count 647
Looking Before You Leap into Home Brewing Whenever you start a major new hobby, its best to take a few minutes and think about what you are getting into. A lot of new hobbies require a significant investment of time and money. This is certainly true of golf, skydiving, scuba and home brewing. So along with a plan on how to get started, its good to have a good plan for getting ready to plunge into home brewing full scale. If you have a road map for "checking it out", you can determine if home brewing will fit into your lifestyle and your budget. "Looking before you leap" means that you find out what it means to be involved in the hobby or sport as a full time member of that hobby community. When it comes to home brewing, that will only happen when you too can make your own beer at home. And when that time finally gets here and you can play with the recipes and make the taste of your own beer very unique, that will be an exciting moment for you. But a mature approach to this very adult hobby means checking it out and knowing the investment of time, money and space in the home before you spend your first dollar to get set up as a home brewer. An easy and fun way to ease into the hobby of home brewing that doesn't cost a cent is to begin to network with those who are already well into their passion for making beer. You can find forums online to use to learn more about getting started. And there are almost certainly a number of home brewing societies and clubs in town that you can find out about online or through your local retail brewing supply store. These social connections will be people who are very much "evangelists" for home brewing because they know the fun of it. So you will get plenty of chances to sit in with a new friend to step through the brewing process and not only learn what equipment you will need but how it is used as you get training from an "old pro" in home beer making. Once you have gotten some basic training the free route through home brewing gurus, the time will come when you are ready to consider buying your own equipment and taking a stab at it yourself. But you have already witnessed that home brewing is a big event in the house filling up the kitchen, the refrigerator, making a mess sometimes and requiring places to store, refrigerate and ferment the beer in the various stages from ingredients to finished product. So it is important that the hobby of home brewing not just be your solitary passion but if at all possible you get the family into the act. If they can attend meetings at the home brewing club or go to competitions or other events that are all about home brewing, they can catch the same enthusiasm you have. That enthusiasm will be very important particularly in your significant other because each brewing session will be a major event in the house involving the kitchen with lots of pans and bottles and equipment. So having your wife or husband fully onboard with the process and even working on it together makes the fun of home brewing even more fulfilling. Another area of looking before you leap is to plan out not only how you will use all of the equipment you will buy but how you will handle issues of storage. It’s a very pragmatic concern but if you bring in this arsenal of beer making equipment. Between batches it is going to have to be somewhere. And while you will enjoy that equipment a great deal, you don’t want it to dominate the home. By getting a feel for the equipment when you are preparing to start your home brewing hobby, you can prepare a storage space for the equipment when it is not in use. Think ahead about storage for the fermentation phase of brewing as well as storing up to five gallons of beer per finished batch. But by thinking ahead, when you become a very active home brewer, you will have your family and facilities all ready for the changes. And that is looking before you leap into the exciting world of making and enjoying your own home made beer. Word Count 746
A Little Home Brewing Fun for the Kids In any family when one person gets excited about something new, everybody gets in on the act. And that is certainly true of children. They love to be active in whatever hobbies mom and dad love to be part of. So if you bowl, the kids want to go and play the video games. If you love Shakespeare in the park, the kids will go and play on the ground nearby. So if you can find a way to give the kids a part of what you are doing, that keeps the family together. That may seem tough with a hobby like home brewing. After all, the process of brewing is pretty involved and there is boiling water and sterile instruments to think of. That kind of thing really isn't fun for the kids. So if you can find a way to make a "beer" just for them, then they too can enjoy the excitement and feel part of what the adults are doing. A way to fill this need is to brew up a delicious batch of ginger beer from for the kids. And the nonalcoholic beverage drinkers in the family will love it too! Of course, ginger beer is not real "beer" in the sense of an alcoholic brew although it can be mixed with beer for delightful and very British toddy. But it's so easy to make that the kids can get involved and they will love the beverage that results almost as much as mom and dad love their home brewed beer. It’s a good thing to have the procedures, tools and ingredients for your ginger beer all ready to go on brew day because it’s a great surprise to the kids to let them know that they are going to get to make their own beer too! Because the steps for making ginger beer are fast, easy and harmless, the kiddos can have a ball doing it using a very simple recipe and even if they drink it all gone, it's easy enough to whip up another batch. The ingredients for ginger beer are not exotic and they can be found at any grocery store. They include… . Be ready with 8 plastic bottles that will hold a pint and 4 bottles that will hold a quart and some bowls to mix the ginger beer up with. . Ginger - you can get it fresh at larger grocery stores. Two ouches is enough. . Cream of tartar - about one teaspoon will do. . Two lemons sliced. . A pound of sugar . An ounce of yeast . Boil one gallon of water. Now it's just a matter of putting it all together. Cut the lemons in big sized rings and combine them in a big bowl with the other ingredients. The only other preparation you need to do besides boiling the water is to crush the ginger so it mixes with the water and other parts of the beer. Now just chill the mixture to room temperature and add the yeast. Put it in the larger bottles to let it ferment for a couple of days. Once that is done, skim off the residue on top and your ginger tea is ready to enjoy. Word Count 552
The Malt of Beer We tend to think of "malt" as a thing. Of course there is the candy malt and there is the old fashioned "malted" that was the stable of 1950s "malt shops" which in our mind is more like a modern day milk shake. But when it comes to beer, just about anyone, even people who are not involved in home brewing can list the ingredients as hops, malt, and grains. So as part of our quest to become more familiar with all of the aspects of beer making, it’s a good idea to explore more deeply what exactly the malt in beer is all about. When you hear the word "malt" in regards to the brewing of beer, the reference is actually to malted barley. Malt is the outcome of the process of malting which starts with pure barley grain, the same grain you might use to make muffins or barley soup. That is a good way to ground the concept of malting to something very familiar. But even then the term "malted barley" is not specific enough. Malting gets right to the heart of how beer is made because the core ingredient of beer are what results when the sugars from malted barley are fermented. Those sugars are scientifically named maltose, hence malt. So the malt used to make beer is the outcome of fermenting the sugars from malted barley whereas the candy or desert form of malt are those sugars themselves, unfermented. That makes good trivia for the new home brewers club meeting. But what makes brewers malt so useful in beers is that there are a wide variety of types of maltose sugars that result from the fermentation. And each of these can be brewed into a very unique beer. How malt is produced can make for even more interesting trivia. And it gives you insight into how the malts you use in your home brewing come to be. The process of malting barley begins with jump starting the germination process that is nature's way of preparing the barley plants to grow from seeds into sprouts. The barley is soaked and then they are drained fairly soon so the seeds will be stimulated to begin to germinate. The part of the germination process that is interesting to brewers happens when certain enzymes are released by germination. These enzymes are powerful chemicals that convert the stored sugars and starches in the seeds which become food to power the germination and growth of the plant. But it is those enzymes that the brewer is looking to capture. The entire objective of malting is to activate those enzymes in the seeds and release them so the brewer can capture them for the brewing process. So as soon as the germination process starts, the grain is quickly dried so the enzymes are captured in that raw state to be processed into malted barley. Once the brewer has the malted barley in the condition we just went through, that malt is saturated in hot water. This stimulates and activates the enzymes and puts them to work again. Under the controlled conditions of the brewing process, the enzymes do their job of converting the starches in the barley to sugars. And as those sugars go directly from conversion to be boiled with hops and then combined into fermented yeast, the result is this little thing we call -- beer. Now this is all good information but most of us who are making beer at the amateur level. For our purposes, malt extract that is sold by your home brewing supplier is a great way to have all of that skilled preparation at your disposal without you having to do all the work. By buying the malt in extract form, it is ready to go into your boiling water and join the home brewing process in full swing. As you add the malt, those enzymes will kick in and the chemical reactions needed to create great tasting beer will be well underway. Maybe there will come a time when you will get more involved in the more complicated procedures of brewing or at least visit a brewery where the malting process is underway. But since our love of home brewing is about learning all we can about how beer is made by making it ourselves, getting a feel or the malting process is both educational and fascinating as well. Word Count 743
Home brewing options in saving money Home brewing is a method of making beer at home. If you have ever tried a few different types beer while you are at a party or while you are celebrating life, you will notice that some are heavy and some are light. You should also remember that some are dark and others are light and clear, while some are bitter, and some are not. A home brewing kit is going to give you the ability to make and try your own beer so you can find that one special taste you love. When can you use the home brewing systems? You can use a home brewing system to make beer for a summer party, for a small get together or you can use the home brewing system just to have fun and keep you own brand of beer on the shelf in your home. Making beer at home will be easy as you follow the directions and the instructions that are included in any home brewing kit. As you experiment, you should also be writing down every thing you do step by step, as you create different types of beer. As you continue writing down what you do, and any variations in what you do, you will be able to replicate that process for the final beer that you do like the taste of. Remember, every variations, every tiny fraction of difference in measuring, in how long you boil, or even what type of container you are using is going to make a difference in the final taste of the product you are enjoying. Where are you going to store the beer? Storing your beer is actually going to be an easy part of making the beer! I know you are thinking that you have to store all the beer that you make in a refrigerator but actually, that is not the case. You can store the beer in the buckets (that are sealed) that you made the beer in. As the beer is sealed tight is going to stop fermenting and the beer will stay good until you open it. When you are ready to open that bucket and pout it into glasses or containers so it gets cold you will need to put some type of lid on the beer while it gets cold to prevent it from getting flat tasting. Flat beer is worse than warm beer to many people are the world. By brewing your own brand of beer, you are going to be able to save up to fifty percent of the cost of buying beer from a store. If you are having a large party that can be a huge, overall savings if you just think about it! Now it is time to get busy and start making your first batch. Making your own beer really is fun. You can make beer, while your friends are over for the day, or you can make a batch of beer a few nights before that big party, you are going to attend. One thing is for sure, when you make your own beer, you will know exactly how much you have, and that you are not going to run out. If you store beer in the basement, where it is going to ferment and cool at the same time, you are always going to be prepared for visitors.
Home brewing kits - great holiday gifts! Are you always searching for a special gift for that person who seems to have everything? I would bet that they don't have a home brewing system of their own! If you can give the gift of creating something to someone, a home brewing kit is going to be something that will be laughed about and used for weeks and months to come. Your friend might even stumble upon a fantastic method for make beer that all of you love. Holidays, birthdays and special occasions are all a great time to give the gift of a home brewing system to make beer. Most every one just loves to have a great time, enjoy a beer, and sit back and relax.
The hobby beer maker is one who can make the beer dark, heavy, light, sweet or sour. The gift you are giving to a person, with the gift of a home brewing system is one that will create a new hobby for that person. Hobbies are how we pass the time in life, and enjoy our time. Giving someone this new hobby is not only going to give them a hobby, but something new in life to talk about with others at the same time! For the holidays (or for those birthdays, special occasions and even retirement parties), you most likely know someone who has everything they need or want. Yet, you still need to find that perfect gift that is going to be personal and useful at the same time. A home brewing kit is going to be the answer. It is going to show that you know that person likes beer (or wine as there are wine making kits too!) and you are giving the person something they can share with others who visit their home.
What types of special equipment are needed for home brewing? No special equipment is needed. The home brewing kit is going to give you all the information, and ingredients you need to get started on making a batch of beer. The home brewing kit is even going to give you information about how to make larger batches, and what types of household things you can use to do this.
You will find that if you are purchasing a gift of a home brewing kit for someone, you might even want to purchase one for yourself and get in on all the fun that is to be had. You can make brews at home; share with your family and friends, and all while enjoying your time by the fireplace in the summer or in the winter! Making your own beer is easy. There are no hard to find ingredients, and you don't have to wait long for the final product either. The beer you make is fun, easy and good tasting all at the same time! As you enjoy making beer, and find that special flavor you want to re create all the time, you could even bottle and give others your own beer as a gift when you head to their home for a party or get together.
Going to the Source to Learn Home Brewing The time between when it first dawns on you that you could start learning to brew your own beer at home and when you actually take a stab at it is often a long one. For one thing, it takes a pretty significant learning curve to even begin to visualize that it possible to make beer at home. Oh, you may have heard about home breweries but to think of doing it in your own home setting is a leap of understanding that takes some time to get through. The internet is often a source of information that we go to start learning more about a new area of life like home brewing. Perhaps that is how you found this article and that’s good. That means you are off on the right foot and using free information from people who have already learned a few things about brewing at home to get your orientation to what it would take for you to learn to brew your own beer at home. As often happens with any new area of interest, if your fascination with how to brew beer at home starts to get some momentum, it’s a good way to go to log on to the major home brewing web sites and begin to get oriented to the methods, the equipment and the process of brewing beer at home. Do be aware that some of these sites get very technical and it's easy to get intimidated. But if you can just get an understanding about the equipment and the ingredients and some basic ideas of how the process would go if you were the one doing the brewing, that is a good start. Because online articles and web sites mix expert knowledge with newcomers orientation, if you do stumble into a section of those sites that you don’t understand, just surf on to pages that are intended to help you where you are and understand that when you get to that level that that technical sophistication, you can always come back to these pages. Just build a good bookmark library because it will serve you well. But to pick up speed on learning the real details of what brewing is all about, you don’t have to depend just on reading or books. Because brewing beer in your own home is more than just book knowledge, it is handling of equipment and ingredients, the more direct exposure you can get to the brewing process, the better. But it is also very likely that you developed your interest in home brewing while enjoying a good brew at your local brew pub. Most towns have brew pubs where home made beers are sold in just about every flavor, color ant texture. Many times these brew pubs grew up out of a home brewing hobby that just got bigger and bigger until it became an enterprise and a money making business That is why most brew pub owners are more than happy to give tours and lessons in home brewing. This is probably some of the most value exposure you can get to how the process of home brewing works. By walking through a brewery where the beer you make is made, you can step through the process to get a feel for how you will proceed. You can see the boiling pots, how the strainers are used and the filters and fertilizers and everything that is needed to take beer from raw materials to the finished state of a fine brewed beer. In fact, with a little charm and by working for free, you may be able to apprentice in the brew pub making beer. This time will be tremendously valuable to you to help you learn the ropes of making your own beer. You combine this hands on knowledge with what you are learning on line and from other training sources along with what you can learn by networking with other experienced home brewers and you have a powerful source of knowledge that will pay you well when you start making your home beer yourself. And that knowledge will result in some great tasting beers from your kitchen so you will be glad you took the time to learn all you can before taking the plunge. Word Count 725
The Heart of Home Brewing Can you remember the moment you first got the idea in your head to take up brewing your own beer at home? For many it is a tour of a brew pub or some other behind the scenes exposure to all that happens when good beer is made. Before that one pivotal moment, you may have never even thought about beer being made at all. The origin of beer was the liquor store or the market and that was that. But when you realized that not only does beer go through a fascinating transformation from grains, hops and malts to this delicious brew you enjoy but that you can make your own beer if you want to, that is when the idea of becoming a home brewer started to become a reality in your mind. For others that moment of realization that home brewing could be a whole new world may have happened when you first were exposed to "real" beer, as the home brewing enthusiasts call it. That is when you sampled a brew that was not made by one of the big retail beer makers like Budweiser, Coors or Miller and you discovered what beer tasted like when it came directly from the brewing process to your glass. That may also be the day you found out what an amazing diversity of beer types, textures and flavors there were. And for many when you realize that you can find a diversity of beers that is almost as extensive as in the wine world that it is often very difficult to go back to boring old pasteurized beer again. So if you are about to "make the leap" to become a home brewer yourself, you are about to step into a rich and full world that is full of history, culture, tradition and new friends and associates. You won't just take up the hobby of brewing beer, you will "become" a home brewer which is a unique kind of individual indeed. It isn't hard to "define" home brewing because the term is self explanatory except to go on to say that it is entirely possible for you to make high quality beer right in your own home with a small investment in equipment, the base ingredients that are readily available as well and the love and patience it will take to learn the process. But the process is not difficult which explains why home brewing is a passion and a hobby that is growing in popularity more and more every year. You might be surprised who you know who has a love of brewing beer because it is not just the hard core beer drinker you might know. Because brewing beer at home is as much about the art and the craft of making a quality beverage, home brewers come from every walk of life there is from bartenders to ministers and from college professors to librarians. The heart of home brewing is the fun, the excitement and the fulfillment creating your own batch of delicious beer can bring. But what transforms home brewing hobbyists to life long makers of beer is the challenge of always finding new blends, new methods and new ways to make their beer even more flavorful than the last batch. Be forewarned that a zeal for becoming better and better at home brewing can be habit forming. But if you get hooked, you will meet thousands of others in your town and around the country and the world who have the same addiction as you. It’s a wonderful addiction that you will never regret catching because brewing beer at home can provide decades of fun and enjoyment making your own blends of beer. But it provides something else just as good which is really great tasting beer. So enjoy. Word Count 644
The Budget Brewmeister For a beer lover, one of the most enjoyable hobbies you can pick up is to brew your own beer at home. Once you get set up with the equipment and basic supplies, it’s a fairly affordable hobby and you will get a lot of entertainment out of going through the brewing and fermentation process. Then once you start bringing out your own home brewed beer, you get the sense of pride because this beer made entirely by you, not to mention the enjoyment of sucking down that hearty blend that you created yourself. One of the hold ups that may have kept you from getting into making your own beer may have the cost issue. If you have ever taken a tour of a brewery and you see the huge machines and storage tanks, it's hard to see how you can do that in your kitchen with just a few simple devices. But there is an entire home brewing subculture that has risen up based entirely on being able to make beer yourself at relatively low costs. Its legal, its fun and brewing beer can become a major hobby as well. All that said, it's true that the initial costs can be pretty intimidating. The cost of the pots, fermenters and other specialized equipment can run into several hundred dollars. It's risky to sink that kind of money into a new hobby before you even know if you will enjoy making beer, whether the beer you make will be drinkable or if you will stick with it. And during a time when we need most of what we earn just to get by, that is a risk that may be holding you back from getting into the hobby of home brewing. Of course one natural solution is to get your first exposure and training in making beer with someone else's equipment. Once you start poking around home brewing web sites and places where the equipment and supplies to make beer are sold in town, you can find out about clubs and societies that are full of people who have taken the plunge and are making beer all the time right at home like you want to do. These people not only love home brewing, they can become real evangelists for their hobby and with very little encouragement, you can enjoy some Saturdays in their shop or kitchen learning how to brew beer with someone that already knows how. This kind of experience is priceless because you learn what to look for in equipment and what is essential and what is optional. You can go through the brewing process and learn a lot about how to make actual beer that is drinkable and what pitfalls to avoid. Meanwhile, you may not have spent any more money than to buy your new friend lunch or to bring the pretzels for the tasting party when the beer is done. But then when you are ready to get started, your knowledge of what you really need will pay off big time. You still don't have to pay top dollar for the equipment to get up and running. Lots of people get started with making beer and for many reasons, their hobby stops suddenly. The outcome is that there is a pretty brisk used home brewing equipment market out there. You can find discounted equipment in new or like new condition out on eBay or Craigslist all the time. But don't overlook the local sources as those home brewer clubs and associations may have bulletin boards with listings of people who want to sell their equipment. Pawn shops in the area are another great resource. Another great way to save money is to go together with a friend and buy the equipment together and split the costs all the way down the line. This makes brewing beer more fun and social and each of you can have the equipment and supplies home at different times to get to know it and learn to make good beer separately so you can make great beer together. And who knows, you may get so good at it that you start selling your beer to local pubs. And when the big bucks come rolling in from that, your investment in learning to brew beer will really look good to you. Word Count 729
Getting Set Up to Make Beer The hobby of brewing your own beer at home is growing steadily as more people discover how much fun they can have making their beer at home and how great absolutely fresh beer can be. There may be no more gratifying moment for a home brewer than to serve your own fresh beer to your guests iced down in your favorite beer mugs and hear the rave that your beer is as good as the store bought beer they like best or maybe even better! Part of the reason for the huge popularity is that getting set up to make beer and finding good supplies and equipment is neither difficult nor overly expensive. You can find or create the equipment fairly easily or get it discounted from others who have retired from the brewing business. And right now there is probably a home brewing store in your town ready and able to provide you with the ingredients as well as instruction books and recipes for all kinds of wonderful tasting beers you can make right at home. And with the explosion of web sites, ebooks and articles out there on the internet about home brewing, all the help you could ask for is at your fingertips to help you get started. The reason different people get into home brewing vary. Some love the social aspect as you join a large local and international community of brewers. Another reason is that it is just great fun to assemble the equipment, learn the recipes and take a stab at making your own home grown batch of tasty beer. Even if you "botch" a batch of beer, its all in the spirit of learning and it just drives you on to learn from your mistakes to make even better beer next time. A third great reason is you have so much more control over your beer when you brew it yourself. Because you are not dealing with a beer that is mass produced and shipped from hundreds of miles away, you can control the taste, the consistency and even the level of alcohol to make your beer as strong or mild as you want it to be. And you can make changes with each batch with virtually endless variations on the recipes that are available to the home brewing community. The supplies you will need to get started are easy to find and not very expensive either. Probably the best way to get a feel for what the best equipment is and who are the suppliers to favor would come from becoming a regular at home brewing clubs and gatherings and making some friends there. If you make it well known that you are a "new recruit" and need some mentoring in how to get set up, you will be overwhelmed with offers for you to sit in on a brewing session or two to get a feel for the process. If you take advantage of their zeal to help you get started, you will be way ahead on the game when you go shopping for the stuff you need to get set up to make your own beer at home. The equipment you will need is pretty much only used for brewing beer so you will need to think of storage. The pot for boiling your initial wort and the equipment to handle the beer, filter it and ferment it are all made in sizes and at prices to encourage the home brewing markets. You can find them at retail prices at your home brewing retail outlet in town. You can use the internet and shop second hand shops to get better prices. But many like to patronize the home brewing store that helped them get their start just to make sure they stay in business to keep selling you great fresh ingredients. That same retail outlet will be a good source for the grains, yeasts and hops you need for the actual production of beer. Freshness is the key so communicate with the management of the store to learn of just how fresh those things are. As with the equipment, you can buy these things from the internet and that is fine. But get to know your supplier whoever you use and make sure you are confident you are getting the highest quality materials to make your home made beer. It will make a big difference. Word Count 745
Finding the best labels for your home brewed beer Making your own beer is a hobby that is growing fast around the world. If you really want to know what is being put into the beer that you drink, making your own beer is going to give you all that information and so much more. There are no harsh chemicals needed to make beer, and all the natural ingredients are going to be easy for you to purchase online and offline to make your own beer. You can find any basic beer-making recipe, and then make changes to the process to change the overall final flavor and taste of the beer you make. After a few 'tries' at making your own beer, you are going to create a beer flavor that you can really enjoy. We each have our own personal favorites, and as you manipulate the recipes, you can create a beer that is just right for you. You can even control the alcohol content in the beer, by determining the amount of time you leave the beer to ferment and to 'become' beer after you have added the yeast to the mixture. Beer making is fun, and it is not difficult at all. To start in the hobby of beer making, it is suggested that you purchase a beer making kit. As you purchase the kit first, you will learn how all the pros make beer. You will learn more tips and tricks for making beer so that the beer you make is going to be better overall from the start. While you make beer, you may find that you like one type so much that you want to start making your own beer all the time. This is going to leave you with a problem that you need to label your beer. You want to know what date you made the beer and even what type of beer you made. The labels you purchase for your beer cans, beer containers or even for the barrels you use to make beer are going to be vital to your ongoing hobby. Labels that you use on mailing letters that have a sticky back are going to be great for making those first batches of beer. As you continue making your own beer, you will find paper labels are going to work better, as you start putting your beer in bottles and actually having them capped or stopped. Putting the labels on the beer bottles or containers before putting the beer in, and before you put them in storage is going to help you remember which beer you want to drink first. Home brewing is something that is found all over the world. From the far corners of the nation many are starting to make their own beer for many reasons. We are including these reasons here for your own use, so you can determine for yourself if making beer is something you want to try your hand at! In making your own beer, you become master of your own home. You create the drink that your family and friends love, and will enjoy as they sip that cold beer from a frosty mug. Being able to master this talent is something that will take a little patience, and determination as you continue making batches of beer as your friends continually drink it every time they come over to your home!
Getting that First Batch of Beer Brewing Beer is such a popular beverage because it has such a deep earthy flavor and because the variety of flavors, brands, colors and textures of beers is so diverse that you can explore a new brew each and every time you want a beer and never get bored. And yet most of us pretty much settle on one taste and stick with it. That is until we discover brew pubs. That is when our eyes are opened to the idea that we don’t have to depend on Budweiser and Miller for good beer. It can be made right at home. Some of the finest beers you could hope to taste are not made in the big commercial factories but in small brew pubs all around the country. So if you have discovered some particularly flavorful home brewed beers, it isn't long before you might decide to take a stab at brewing a batch yourself. Be careful because once you start experimenting with brewing your own beer, you may become hooked into an addictive hobby that will provide hours of fun as you tinker with your recipes, get new and better equipment and become a true beer expert in brewing your own custom blends for the best flavored beer. But it all starts with that very first batch. You might approach that moment when you decide to make your first batch of beer with some fear and trembling. But keep your spirit of adventure and experimentation because, after all, if you bought good equipment, you will get the hang of it. As the wise man said, that the journey of a hundred miles begins with the first step. So too your journey toward becoming a master brewer starts with your first batch. The process of brewing that first batch is pretty simple actually. Here are the steps to go through to get your first brew underway. . Gather the ingredients to have them on hand as you step through the brewing process. You don’t' want to have to stop and go dig something up so have them ready to go when they are added in as the brewing process is underway. . 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 that actually makes the beer taste better. So get a gallon of water boiling in a large pot capable of holding 2-3 gallons of water. You need that extra space for adding ingredients. . The first ingredient to add to the boiling water is the brewing yeast that you bought just for this purpose. 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 the malt extract that you bought for this brewing process. 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, get your fermenting equipment sanitized and ready to go. 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. What you are looking for is an end result of five gallons of mixture in the fermenter so 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 or that you learn from other resources about the fine art of fermenting beer. Now it's just a matter of letting nature do what it does to ferment your beer. Enjoy the anticipation as you allow the fermenting to continue and then enjoy the flavor of your very own first batch of home brewed beer. PPPPP Word Count 745
You Can't Make Gasoline but You Can Make Beer In tough economic times, we all look for ways to save money. With gas prices going up constantly, the prices of everything just goes right on up with them. Unlike the government, we can't print up money so anything we can do to cut costs without giving up quality of life is a good move. And if quality of life includes having a nice tasting brew every so often, well then there is definitely something we can do and maybe you are already starting to do that is not only great fun but a very good cost cutting move for you. The great thing about taking up home brewing that you get three great benefits all in one great hobby. First you get a new passion in your life that will keep you busy and learning a side of beer making that you never knew could be so fascinating. Second, you inherit an entire society of fascinating people who are zealots for this hobby and life style of home brewing. And finally, once you get set up with the equipment and learn the "ropes" of brewing your own beer at home, you can make beer that is 100 times better than anything you can get at the liquor store or in a restaurant. But you can make it for a tiny percentage of what you would pay for retail beer which is inferior to yours anyway. The great thing about home brewing that in addition to all these benefits, it really is not difficult to learn how to make great beer right at home. It will take some effort and a bit of study or coaching to learn how to use the equipment and what ingredients to buy and store. But because the ingredients are easy and abundant to get, you can set up to make literally gallons of beer for a very small investment. So on top of great fun, that’s just sensible economics. One great way to get some help with this process and make it even more fun is to learn to make beer with a group of friends. You can split the costs and make it even more economical. And each of you can and pool your knowledge, your learning and your talents to make each batch of beer better than the last one. Because the process of brewing involves several steps, you need that patience and understanding of the process to do it right. And having friends in the process, each one can be watching for steps that need to be taken. Then when the beer enters the fermentation stage and what you all need is patience not to break into the beer and drink it before its time, you can be a support group to be willing to wait for it because you know how good it will be. This support group can also be very helpful to be patient if that first batch of beer is not entirely perfect. But you know there are ways to get better. So by being faithful with your learning, joining with other beer brewing lovers around your town, you can and will get better quickly. But the other value of working together with good friends is that you can eventually get a feel for how much beer you will make with each batch and how much each of you will use in a period of time. Then you can time the brewing sessions so you may even have multiple batches in various stages of completion and coming into use at just the right times so you never have to go to the liquor store again. You will have taken control of this one part of your economy by making your own beer so it's a cost you can control, unlike gasoline. Word Count 647
The Heart of Great Hops There is no denying that a great beer has a unique flavor that is unlike any other beverage in the world. That artful blend of bitterness and the rich grain flavors can give you a beer that is bold and stout or one that is mellow and smooth. And while every component of the brewing process contributes important things to that unique flavor, the hops can make a huge impact on the outcome of your beer. That is why it's good to understand the role hops plays in the brewing process and how you can control the taste of your home brewed beer by controlling the hops. Hops are a natural ingredient that is actually a flower of the hop vine. One reason that hops give you so much flexibility as an amateur beer maker is that the varieties and origin of hops is very diverse. So you can find different hops to experiment with until you find one that gives you the perfect flavor for your beer. How hops affect your beer is different depending on where the hops came from and how you use them. Some hops can introduce bitterness to your beer which is not a bad thing if it is part of the overall flavor. That "dry" flavor that many really enjoy in a good beer can came from the bitterness of the right kind of hops. But hops also give beer its deep rich aroma that is a flavor treat all by itself. So it's good to research which of these flavors the hops you are buying will add to your beer and to keep some records so you know which hops work best for you. Now when you go to the brewing supply stores in town or order from the internet, you can buy hops unprocessed and prepare them for brewing yourself. But usually when you are starting out, its easier to buy them pressed and packaged into pellets in the right measure to add to your brewing process at the right time. You don’t need a lot of hops to make a five gallon batch of beer flavorful and rich. About two ounces per batch is plenty. So be careful you don’t buy too much. For one thing, as a perishable item, unused hops could go bad before you get them used up. But also you may wish to buy very small quantities of hops so you can experiment with different ones to find the flavor you want. Besides the origin and type of hops you buy, the way you use hops during the brewing cycle has the greatest effect on the changes to the flavor of your beer. Hops used to bitter a beer are usually added during the boiling process very early in the beer preparation cycle. This ensures that the boiling will take out any aroma from those hops and leave only the bittering effect that you want. Hops used for the flavor and aroma aspect can be added later in the boiling cycle or during fermentation. The later in the brewing process that aroma hops are introduced, the more the beer that is the outcome of brewing will have that strong hop flavor. To get a beer with the strongest flavor of hops, add dried hops late in the fermentation process and none of the original flavor will be taken out of the final beverage. But this can be a very strong beer so be advised. Hops give you a lot of ways to experiment with the home brewing process to get new and interesting flavors. And the continuous growth and development of your home brewing skills and finding new ways to make your beers flavorful and rich is one of the things that makes home brewing so satisfying. And hops can be a big part of that fun. Word Count 649