Month: December 2016

Why You Should Join a Homebrew Club

homebrewIf you are interested in homebrewing, consider joining a local homebrew club that is geared toward the style of homebrew that you find the most interesting. It doesn’t matter if you are wanting to try grain alcohol, wine, or beer, you are almost guaranteed to find a homebrew club in your area that will match your interest.

Oftentimes, when you are new to homebrewing, you will simply follow the directions that come along with the kit, not realizing that there are other ways to make your brew. When you become more experienced, you may start trying different ingredients or different methods and want to share your experiment with the members of your homebrew club. These clubs are designed for such sharing, as well as just gathering for a fun time. You may spend your time in the club meeting discussing the issues of legality that are in the homebrewing industry, or just sit around and enjoy the product of someone’s brew.

Oftentimes, the local homebrew clubs will have competitions. The members can enter their homebrews into the competition to be judged on things like the fermentation or their zymurgy. If your local club holds a competition, you will need to plan ahead. For beer, it takes almost four weeks to ferment properly when refrigerated before it can be used for drinking.

Homebrewing is a rewarding and fun hobby. It can be challenging as well. Luckily, it is a hobby that doesn’t take up a lot of space, though. All you really need is one stove burner for brewing then some storage space. Within a few hours of time, you can have up to five gallons worth of your homebrew ready to be put in the keg or bottled. One of the fun parts of homebrewing is the ability to create your own labels for your bottles. This is a wonderful way to personalize and define them as your own.

When you join a homebrew club, you can ask questions and listen to many new ideas on techniques for your homebrewing. There could be things that other members of the club have tried in the past that didn’t work out and, by hearing it from them, saving you a lot of time, money, ingredients, and effort. Just that alone is a good enough reason to join your local club. It is always better to learn from the mistakes of others whenever possible.

Typically, you will find that homebrew club members are very willing to share their experiences and knowledge about brewing at home, even though there is often a lot of competition on brewing the best. Regardless, no matter what type of brew you enjoy, straight alcohol, wine, or beer, sharing knowledge with those new to the world of brewing is what the clubs seem to do best. And just think, one day you will be able to pay back that knowledge and help another new brewer with their homebrew experience.

Unique Gifts for the Homebrewer

giftsAre you looking for something unique for the homebrewer in your life? Well, we have some suggestions below!

  • Customized Labels and Caps: if you want to help someone add more “cool factor” to their homebrew, this is how to do it. These are an affordable, and usually reusable, gift that is certain to put a smile on their face.
  • A Mixed Six Pack: Want to know an easy gift to give a beer lover? Well, how about beer! If you go to Rate Beer or Beer Advocate, you can use those resources to find beers that are good (look for ones rated over 90). This can be a quick, easy gift for the last-minute shopper. If you want it to be Christmassy, go with the darker and stronger beers.
  • Insulated Stainless Growler: These are great to use for commercial and homebrew beers, especially for brewers that like to travel. These will keep the beers at cold temperatures for a long time. Two good options for these are Hydro Flash and Lifeline variants.
  • Beer Haulers (Handmade): These haulers are available in a lot of sizes and shapes including leather growler totes and wooden six pack haulers. They can be found online in places like Etsy. My brother in law that does garage door repair in Little Rock, AR got one of these for me last year for Christmas. I have used it quite extensively this past year.  
  • Unique Bottle Opener: This is one of those categories with a lot of choices in it. Bottle openers come in many styles. Be sure to choose one that goes along with the personality of the receiver. It is hard to go wrong with a bottle opener as a gift.
  • Glasses: The possibilities of glasses are almost endless. You can buy a full set of taster glasses, a pair of IPA glasses, a single schooner, or, if you are having a hard time deciding, get a mixed pack of glasses.
  • Subscription to a Beer Club: There are a lot of beer clubs out there to choose from. I personally prefer ones that provide beers that are out of market. There are some clubs that also provide recipe kits for you to try out. Try to find the beer club that offers the most bang for your buck.
  • Kegerator: Are you looking for a costlier gift to wow your home brewer? If so, go big by getting them a gift that can keep them and their friends happy for years.

There are so many options for gifts that would suit any home brewer. If none of these seem good to you, do a quick online search for other options.

Using a Kit for Your Homebrew

brewHave you ever questioned if there is a better beer than the commercial stuff put out by the large factories? Well, there is. You can buy a homebrewing kit and brew beer in the comfort of your own home. Not only will it save you money, but you can experience the joy of drinking beer with the tastes you prefer.

When you buy a Microbrew home kit, you will be able to make around two gallons worth of beer that will cost you around twelve dollars. With most homebrew beer kits, you will receive a brew keg as well as the malts and hope you will need. They will also have the boosters and additives needed for the alcohol. The brew keg can be used over and over and comes with plastic caps and printed instructions.

There are many varieties of beers that can be made with your microbrew homebrewing kit, including fruit based ales, light beers, stout, lagers, and pilsners. You must have discipline when it comes to the entire instructions in the microbrew homebrewing kit. Once you have mixed all the ingredients and moved the key to the closed position to start the brew, there is no room for peeking into the keg before the process has been finished. Instead, you must trust the instructions and not deviate from the path it sends you down. You cannot rush this process.

If you prefer a little variety in your homebrew, you can attempt making birch beer or root beer by using a specialized microbrew kit. There are a lot of different kits available for any level of experience or budget. There are even those made specifically for gifts that contain all the tools needed for homebrewing.

With all of that said, a microbrew homebrewing kit will help you to find satisfaction in your beer that you can never find in most beers that are commercially brewed. You will not only save money, but the homebrewing kit will allow you to make the beer taste the way that you like. It can also help you to develop your own flavors and styles that the commercial breweries can never produce on a mass scale. Give a kit a try.

The Basics of Making Beer

beerThink about all the kinds of beer you can find in the store today. Now, consider all the beers from the international brewers. The number of beers available can be overwhelming. Think about this now: all the different kinds of beer are made with the same basic brewing systems. This system is something you can not only learn about, but do in your own home and become a brew master.

The process of brewing is simple, but it takes practice to create the perfect pint. Below are the basics of beermaking:

  1. Clean everything before starting. You will want to wash, rinse, then sanitize all your brewing and fermenting equipment before you get started. If bacteria get into your brew, it could make you sick or spoil the entire batch.
  2. Choose the recipe you want to use and measure everything exactly.
  3. Once you have your boil stabilized, it is time to add the moss, malt, hops, and any flavors or other things your recipe says. Make sure you have the amount of everything you need before you start the process. Most recipes will have you boil water first then add in other ingredients. Always ensure you use the right amount at the right time to get the final product you want.

After the mixture is completely prepared, it needs to be cooled completely. After it is cool, the yeast and any other ingredients need to be added. This mixture will now be put into a bucket for fermentation where it will remain for a set amount of time. Different lengths of time are needed for different types of beer, so read your recipe to determine the amount needed.

Once fermentation is complete, it is time to bottle the beer into bottles that have been sterilized then cap them. Now you have your own tasty homebrew ready to enjoy!

Continue practicing and producing your own beer will become easy. When you have found the perfect recipe to suit your tastes, you will have no desire to go back to the commercial brews.   Pro Hint:  Do not attempt to do your own Nashville Lawn Care after testing your brews.