Start Home Brewing Today!
The warmer days of Spring are fast approaching and that means it’s the perfect time to try out home brewing your own beer.
It’s relatively easy and not very expensive to get started with a home brewing hobby. For about $100 you can be up and running with everything you need to get going. Our favorite Raleigh home brew shop – Atlantic Brew Supply carries a great beginners kit for $67.99. Once you have your gear you’ll need your ingredients and they happen to have a nice selection of extract kits for the low price $19.99 including styles like Irish Stout, Dunkel, Pale Wheat, and Pale Ale.
Many people are often a little nervous about the idea of making their own beer and everyone here at RHBA will tell you to just relax and have a good time. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, and there are literally thousands of experienced brewers just a few clicks away ready and wiling to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
“There’s a major intimidation factor out there that homebrewing requires lot of time and equipment,” said Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association. “But really, if you can make soup from concentrate, you can make beer. There’s simple kits out there and you probably have most of the equipment you need. It’s a small startup investment.”
A great way to learn the basics is to join a homebrewer for his or her brew day. You can post on our facebook page or just scan the site for info on when or where brews may be happening and someone will most likely be glad to show you the ropes and probably share some beer too. Many local homebrew shops including Atlantic Brew Supply also offer classes on occasion. You’ll quickly discover that the world of homebrewers is a very welcoming place!
We also suggest doing plenty of research! There is a seemingly endless supply of home brew knowledge and info available out there for first timers. Books, videos, magazines, podcasts and more. Most brewers of all skill levels are constantly reading, listening and watching for new tips and tricks to improve their beers. One great place to start your studying is at the How To Brew website and we also suggest purchasing the book to have for quick reference.
The two most crucial points to follow when making your own beer are:
- Cleanliness and sanitation. – Make sure to properly clean all of your equipment before brewing with a mild dish detergent or brewery wash. Then clean again with a brewery sanitizer like Star San. It’s not totally needed before you boil, since that process will kill most bacteria and
germs, but it absolutely must be done with everything you use after the boil.
- Fermentation temps – This is extremely important for making quality beer and is often a big reason why your beer may not come out right. If
you live in an extremely hot climate you may take a break from brewing in the summer or use a bath of ice cold water or refrigerator to keep
your vessels at the right temp depending on what your brewing.
It’s a good idea to get the basic equipment to make sure you’re even a fan of the hobby. Some people stick to their stovetop kettles and extract
while others quickly start building up advanced systems. Space is an issue so keep that in mind when purchasing. Many brewers often work in
their garages, sheds and even back yards.