How many of your beer nut friends also dabble in homebrewing? As we get more and more into the strange world that is craft beer, it’s pretty much inevitable that at some point we’ll find ourselves knee deep in milled grain, pellet hops and boil pots. How do we get there? Why is it so common in beer?
Not everyone who’s ever eaten a meal becomes a chef, so why must we all insist on trying our hand at brewing the sweet, sweet amber nectar (as they say) that we all love so much? It generally starts with the community. Craft beer, at one point, was quite the small, tight knit, niche group of folks, and it wasn’t super widely available. Generally one of the folks you’d end up at a bottle share with would brew their own beer, and you’d be invited over for a brew day. You’d get a taste of the action and fall in love with the process, which is equal parts science and art, and it’d be pretty much a wrap from there.
Homebrewing is quite the labour of love. On the surface, it seems like a much more affordable way to drink – purchase the equipment once, grab fresh ingredients each brew day, and casually brew a few cases for what it would cost for a handful of bombers. Not quite. Brewing is as addictive as any other hobby, and there’s always that new piece of gear you need. A new carboy for aging sours on fruit (you can’t be expected to not brew for the 10 months it takes for the lacto to kick in now, can you?). An extra tap for the keg fridge. Extra kegs, for that matter. A wort chiller (an ice bath just doesn’t cut it). A fancy titanium mash paddle. The list goes on.
We’ve been homebrewing from around the time we got into craft beer in 2011. Granted, we’ve only done about ~20 brews since then but it’s something we genuinely enjoy and whenever we do it, we always say to each other “Man, why don’t we do this more often?” Since we started the video portion of BAOS Podcast around a year ago, we haven’t had the opportunity to document a brew day – until now. If any more experienced brewers have suggestions on how we could improve our processes or add some additional steps that would make a difference to the final product, we’d love to hear it. Cheers!