There are many starting points to make your own beer, but the toughest part about starting was learning how to home brew beer. There were not a lot of options available when I began so I went to a local home brew store and purchased everything I was told to get…and some of it still sits around.
Well rather than having that happen to you, here are my 4 best ways to learn how to home brew beer. If you have another idea that I may have missed, comment below so everyone can see.
How to Home Brew Beer Method 1 – Buddy System
As with most things in life, the easiest way to learn is by doing. Unfortunately there are some upfront costs that usually stop home brewers before they get started. There is an easy way around the cost problems…find a friend that brews and have them teach you how to home brew beer.
Chances are you know somebody who brews beer and I am sure they would appreciate the extra support. From experience, you spend 3 to 5 hours waiting during brew day and it gets lonely. Why not have someone there to talk with and keep you company?
The best part is an extra pair of hands to help with some of the less fun tasks like sanitizing (necessary, but a pain) and clean up after you have sealed the fermenter. Since you have spent the day helping brew you are invested. You can offer to come over for bottling day because a second set of hands is always in need.
How to Home Brew Beer Method 2 – This Website
Ok, so maybe I am a little biased but I believe I have covered what you need to learn how to home brew beer. I will fully admit that nothing replaces actually brewing which is why I would start with Method 1. In the event that you and your buddy cannot align your schedules, follow through this website. Here is what you will get (hint: start in the “New Brewers” menu):
- How to Brew – This one walks you through the website in detail. This list will give short insights.
- Home Brew Basics – Definitions of things you need to know
- Get Started Brewing Beer – The different levels of making home brew beer
- Beerconomics – How much does it cost? How much room do you need?
- First Brewing Equipment – What is the minimum equipment to brew a batch?
- Your First Batch – An overview of what your first batch will be like
- Sanitize Beer Equipment – Why do you sanitize your beer equipment?
- Bottling Home Brew Beer – What does it take to bottle your home brew beer
If you are following this website, keep this page handy as I will add to it when I come up with more helpful posts.
How to Home Brew Beer Method 3 – Go For It
This one is simple. You purchase a beer recipe kit, read the instructions and purchase what you think you need. For this method, Brewers Best and Brewcraft make some good kits that you can use. This is probably the least desired method to learn how to home brew beer as there will be some mistakes along the way…I wouldn’t want you to get discouraged.
For what it is worth, rather than start straight with brewing beer you could start by making beer. Mr Beer and BrewDemon both make starter kits where you add water and then ferment. It takes the brew day learning out-of-the-way so you can better understand fermentation and bottling before moving on.
How to Home Brew Beer Method 4 – Lost Puppy
I stand corrected, the only worse way to learn how to home brew beer using method 3 is to use this method. Here you go to your local home brew shop and tell them to set you up. You will go home with equipment that you could use to make some quality beer but you won’t have any idea how to use it. Chances are, your recipe won’t even call for it.
The one that really got me was the secondary fermenter. I was told it was mandatory, but then never found it in a recipe. This means I had this nice glass fermenter collecting dust. Ten years later I am finally dusting it off because a recipe called for it.
What you get in this method is the same results in method 3 only extra up-front costs. Save your money and start with minimal equipment. If you enjoy it, you can always buy it later.
Ready, Set, Brew
Now you have my 4 best ways to learn how to home brew beer. Your initial cost will increase as you go down the list. This means you will have to brew more batches in order to start saving money. The potential for lost batches (or 48 terrible beers that you drink because you don’t want to waste them) increases as you go down the list.
Remember, if you can find an experienced friend then go for it. Touch up on your definitions so you don’t get lost. Say you and your friend can’t match up for a brew day, then follow this site and it will show you the way. For the last 2 (Go For It and Lost Puppy) I use the term “best” loosely. You will spend more than you want to get started.
If you have any questions, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.