In my last two posts I mentioned the slow journey to beer appreciation. In this post I’ll talk about the tentative steps, then plunge, into home brewing.
After the 366 Days of Beer challenge I knew that tasty beer is the only type of beer I want to drink. And I knew that only by trying new beers could I find some if the really good beers. There.were a lot of good and some bad craft beers. Surely that was the same with beers made out side of breweries, right?
During 2011 my good mate Ian had done some “on premises brewing” out at U Brew It on the north-west side of Melbourne. He decided to do his own brew and invited me along to help. It was fun. The set up was open and the people friendly. Plus the range of beers you could make was huge.
When we did the bottling there were a whole lot of others doing the same. You get chatting, sharing a couple glasses, and even swapping a six pack of beer or two.
In December 2011 I did a brew with my wife with a view to keep three slabs for our engagement party. The brew turned out quite well. We enjoyed three slabs over the next coupe months. But the three we kept in a cellar weren’t cold enough, and went off.
I made a quick return to U Brew It at the start of May 2012 to brew a golden ale. Then returned again just a day before the engagement party to bottle. The beer went down very well. Nearly all six slabs went in one night!
The intention was to return and do anyone one. But as 366 Days of Beer started taking off there wasn’t a need, or space, for that much beer.
Ian found out about a beer show called The Beer Frontier that use to be on Channel 31 here in Melbourne. The episodes were, and still are, on YouTube. Had some interesting segments including home brew. That opened my eyes up to what home brewing was all about. They were showing the full grain and full boil process, which was a bit daunting.
Then, on 2 November 2012 Crafty Pint sent out a the weekly newsletter with info about BrewSmith. For those who live in Australia and like great beer I can not recommend enough getting on board with Crafty Pint. The weekly newsletter alone is packed with fantastic information about what’s going on with craft beer.
The newsletter on that day included information on, and a competition, for BrewSmith. Now if you’ve been reading the blog you’ll know that we did a lot of BrewSmith beers. And we’ll probably keep doing a few more. Back in 2012 this was a real eye opener for me. I wanted to make good beer but didn’t want to spend massive cash on a set up. The BrewSmith set up allows minimal upfront cash and great beer.
It was around September-October that I decided that moving into home brew was a good idea. My birthday is in the middle of October and I thought it might be a good present. I considered the typical home brew kits such as the one from Australian Home Brewing (link might die in a month or two). I knew the importance of a bench capper so this is the one I was looking at. The alternative was a BrewSmith kit (again, link might die). After a lot of time, I spent over a month thinking about the two, I chose the BrewSmith kit.
Lucky for me my wonderful wife bought me both.
In January 2013 I started my first home brew. And ever since then it’s been fantastic.
I hope you have enjoyed my little story. For some people home brew was originally about saving money. For others it started with a “that’s a cool idea/gift/thing-to-do-one-day”. For a few it has been about trying to replicate or make something better than a beer they know. And for those like me, it was all about the appreciation for great beer.
So far we haven’t made anything bad. The first lager was average, and the second one is better. We’ll keep brewing, sharing our knowledge and letting others know about the awesomeness of home brew.