There has been a rise in home brewing in recent years which has been great for beer because that’s how most people start craft brewing and then go pro. I brew my own beer and I enjoy coming up with new recipes and trying new recipe kits much the same way I like to try new beers I find at the LCBO or when I am traveling. Than I use this blog as my justification for buying it and yes my wife has been very supportive in this.
I got a starter kit a while back and I did the math on the startup cost to buying beer from the beer store and was more than slightly shocked. I like to make my own things I grow my own vegetables(working in a garden centre does help with that) and I try to do as much of the electrical, plumbing and reno type stuff around my house as much as I can and I take some pride in that and I like the fact that it saves me a pile of money. I figured out that for a 120$ starter kit that can with a recipe kit I could make somewhere around 55, 341ml bottles. Thats about $80-$100 of beer at the beer store but after that initial startup cost it would run me around $24.99 to make that 55 bottles using a malt extract kit. I’ll explain the kits in a bit. That’s almost $80 per month savings for me.
My first batch was pretty good and that got me exploring more info, OK a lot of info I realized how little about the brewing process I knew I’ve gone on brewery tours but they talk about how many gallons per day week and don’t always get very technical or explain because they have to stick to a time line.
It also taught me about how beer can go wrong and what causes the off flavours not just the chemicals that cause off flavours and what they taste like but how they occur and why. So all in all its been a great learning experience that has ended in beer sometime good sometimes not great(a batch or two ago I had beer that tasted like raw wine).
I’ll recommend a couple of websites and books that I have found helped me in this and homebrwing websites that have a ton of info.
The Books are:
- The Secrets of Master Brewers by Jeff Alworth(Author of the Beer Bible)
- The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth
- The Complete Joy of Home Brewing By Charlie Papazian
The Websites are:
- http:\\www.northernbrewer.com The American website has more info than the Canadian one so tell it to stay on page.
- https://www.brewersfriend.com/ There is so much info and tools on this website it will take weeks for you to go through but there beer recipe tool I”ve found to be great and I use it to create my own recipes. That I hope to eventually share on barside once I’ve got them fully nailed down.
- https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ There is a lot of how to and beginners info on here that really help me out especially the terminology.
What I brew with is Northern brewer Brew Share Enjoy Kit which came with a brew kettle(giant pot didn’t realize it was literally the same thing as my wifes double boiler) this kit has everything that you need to start out including a recipe kit. I next tried an extract kit from my local homebrew and wine making shop(Defalco Wines) which was basically add water to the fermentor and corn sugar and let sit for 2 week. Then I started my own recipes using BIAB(Brew in a Bag) I wanted to try all grain brewing but I’ll have to wait until my son is a little older to try that. Brew in a bag is alot like all grain but you can use an extract as well so you steep your grains in a nylon bag like tea and than add you liquid or dry malt extracts and this saves you about 4 hours of mashing. So far it’s been pretty good with only 1 failure and that was my fault(aerated the beer by accident while bottling.)
I’ve taken pictures of pretty much the whole process and I will get them up on the site soon I just need to take some pictures of the grain steeping since I seem to always forget at that moment.