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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 04, 2014, 10:37:41 PM

Title: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 04, 2014, 10:37:41 PM
For me it was 1994 and I was living in Germany. Someone bought me the mr. Beer kit- plastic barrel to ferment and plastic bottles for finished product. I remember mixing my cans of LME and pitching the dry yeast. I waited anxiously for many weeks to sample the first bottle. It was carbonated, it was malty...other than that It barely resembled beer.  So since I was living in Germany, I decided it was best to give up mr. Beer and drink some of the best beers in the world throughout Europe (wise choice). So glad a few years ago I found  some good people in the forums to get me kick started in the all grain brewing. It's been such a fun and rewarding hobby that will be a part of me for the rest of my life.


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Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: morticaixavier on November 04, 2014, 10:46:56 PM
For me it goes back to about 94 or 95 as well. I was fresh out of high school... I mean college, yeah college cause I was totally 21. And I was a geek. I decided I HAD to make mead. So I found the cat's Meow on line and spent too much money on ingredients and turned out a succession of undrinkable swill. I gave up for 10 years or so until I married a woman whose uncle was a bee keeper. I finally managed to make a decent batch of mead and started in on beer not to long after that. Fast forward another 2 or 3 years and I finally made a really good batch of beer. I was hooked at that point and haven't looked back since.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: 69franx on November 04, 2014, 10:52:47 PM
I had a fraternity brother who brewed back in 90-91ish, who became my room mate, but never brewed while we lived together. Fast forward 23 years and my girlfriend got tired of listening to me moan about poor beer selection, and really enjoyed most of what I put in front of her. We went on a beer tour here in Cincinnati almost 2 years ago that made a stop at one of our LHBS's. She saw all the equipment and pushed me into it. I swear I had nothing to do with the decision, lol. Love her to death for that push.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 04, 2014, 10:56:18 PM
I had a fraternity brother who brewed back in 90-91ish, who became my room mate, but never brewed while we lived together. Fast forward 23 years and my girlfriend got tired of listening to me moan about poor beer selection, and really enjoyed most of what I put in front of her. We went on a beer tour here in Cincinnati almost 2 years ago that made a stop at one of our LHBS's. She saw all the equipment and pushed me into it. I swear I had nothing to do with the decision, lol. Love her to death for that push.

thats a great tour in cinci by the way. loved the old lagering cellars and walking in the footsteps of the mobsters and some of hollywoods wannabe gangstas.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: dls5492 on November 04, 2014, 11:30:22 PM
For me, it started back in in 1988 in St. Petersburg, Fl. My apartment was close to a homebrew shop and it look like an interesting thing to do. I brewed a lot of amber ales because back then, about the only thing available was Bud, Miller, Coors, etc. This was my way of escaping that. Hallelujah!
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: 69franx on November 04, 2014, 11:59:08 PM
I had a fraternity brother who brewed back in 90-91ish, who became my room mate, but never brewed while we lived together. Fast forward 23 years and my girlfriend got tired of listening to me moan about poor beer selection, and really enjoyed most of what I put in front of her. We went on a beer tour here in Cincinnati almost 2 years ago that made a stop at one of our LHBS's. She saw all the equipment and pushed me into it. I swear I had nothing to do with the decision, lol. Love her to death for that push.

thats a great tour in cinci by the way. loved the old lagering cellars and walking in the footsteps of the mobsters and some of hollywoods wannabe gangstas.
Thanks, those are all great ours too but the one I was talking about was a bus tour. Got on the bus at Christian Moerlein Lager House, then on to: Mt. Carmel, 50 West, Rock Bottom, Rivertown and Listermann's Brewing supplies and Brewery. We had a blast, nothing like 6 charter buses carting 360 rabid beer fans(or as many drunk beer drinkers) all over town in the name of "DRINK LOCAL BEER!"
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 04, 2014, 11:59:33 PM
I started back in late '92/early '93 after my Dad got me a Munton's ESB 'kit' as a present. Back then a kit consisted of 2 cans of hopped Munton's LME and a packet of 'Beer Yeast' taped to one of the cans. So I went to a liquor store and paid them the deposit fee on a couple cases of empty longneck returnables, brewed the beer and quickly became the envy of every friend I had - I saw a lot of 5 gallon kegs burned through on a Friday before I rethought my brewing strategies !  So I brewed maybe another extract batch or two and then switched to extract with steeped grains. Made the jump to all grain maybe a year later thanks to Charlie P and his Zapap lauter tun. Consulted Cat's Meow (and other even lesser ones too) along the way to figure out putting recipes together, or sometimes what not to do  ;).  After sometimes mixed results fly sparging for years I found Dennybrew and made the jump to batch sparging, which along with finally submitting to learn better pH control , gave me the consistency across styles I wanted. Time has been a blur of work and beer planning/thinking since !
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: BrewBama on November 05, 2014, 12:18:31 AM
I was in the Army stationed in Savannah GA in '92. I was an extract brewer on the kitchen stove. I made some pretty good beer back then. I was reassigned to Italy so stopped and picked it back up 20 yrs later Aug '13 after AL made homebrewing legal in May.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: klickitat jim on November 05, 2014, 12:40:28 AM
Born in 63. In 65 the feds came to our house on a tip that Dad was making brandy. Outlandish rumor, they didn't find anything. But after that he made beer wine and something he called honey wine. I remember having fermentors in my bedroom from early on.

I got busy as an adult and didn't take up the hobby untill a couple years ago. My system is a world of difference from what Dad used. Many things they didnt know then.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 05, 2014, 12:45:26 AM
Born in 63. In 65 the feds came to our house on a tip that Dad was making brandy. Outlandish rumor, they didn't find anything. But after that he made beer wine and something he called honey wine. I remember having fermentors in my bedroom from early on.

I got busy as an adult and didn't take up the hobby untill a couple years ago. My system is a world of difference from what Dad used. Many things they didnt know then.

Great story.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: JT on November 05, 2014, 12:47:33 AM
Jan '13.  Amusingly enough I was convinced I would save $ vs. Buying commercial brew.  Fast forward a year and a half and I'm setting up an electric brewery in my basement... not sure I've saved money but it's been fun!
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: kmccaf on November 05, 2014, 12:56:22 AM
After I got my Bachlor's degree in 2010, I stopped in a liquor store and bought the starter kit from better brewing, and got an extract hefe. Made a pretty good beer. Went all grain a year or so later, and am still a batch sparger! I have always been a dyi kind of person, and there were flavors I could envision that I wasn't getting in commercial beer.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 05, 2014, 01:23:03 AM
Well I hope the powers that be on this forum pin this so the stories can keep coming. It's interesting to see where and when it all started.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Stevie on November 05, 2014, 01:49:41 AM
Man you are all geezers.

Started in 2006 and really got going in 2009 when I moved to a house with a great yard with a 10x40 covered patio. Went bananas when I started kegging.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: jeffy on November 05, 2014, 03:09:51 AM
My first kit was Dogbolter Bitter, brought to me by a good friend from London in January, 1990.
It's pretty interesting to look back at the notes I made back then.  Actually pretty good detail.
I had a Dogbolter Bitter at a home brew shop a couple years ago and it triggered a memory of my first brew.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: tcanova on November 05, 2014, 03:14:46 AM
I too spent time in Europe in '89-90 playing music and fell in love with the beer.  When I came back to the states I visited one of my cousins in St. Louis who was into home brewing and he got me started.  Old geezer alert... "Back in my day we only had dry yeast and Cooper's malt extract and we liked it!!"
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Alewyfe on November 05, 2014, 04:19:14 AM
Gramma made beer during prohibition to support the 5 kids after grandpa was permanently injured in a work accident. The local sheriff turned a blind eye because he understood her dilemma and her brew was darn good. So I'm told it's in my blood. A trip to the UK with my Brit husband in '73 found me packing a couple cans of Boots Chemists beer extract. I loved English beers and I wanted some back home. After a lot of false starts and wretched results I gave up. More trips to England, and the availability locally of beer making supplies, got me going again in the late '80's. That was the same time I found the Homebrew Digest, AHA and the Minnesota Home Brewers Assoc. Now I had the info and mentors to make some really good beer. (Gramma was proud) I had to give up brewing from '95 until '07. Then we retired and moved to Oregon and I dusted off the keggles and memories and jumped back in......deep.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: riceral on November 05, 2014, 11:39:17 AM
My wife bought me a homebrew kit for my birthday back in 2000. Brewed extract, then extract with grains, going to all-grain after about 3 years. Had a period of about 6 years where I didn't brew--4 years working on my doctorate, then another 2 years when I took charge of a department needing serious work.

Back to brewing again and finding I still have a lot to learn. And enjoying the hell out of it.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: majorvices on November 05, 2014, 12:28:52 PM
For that you have to get a little back story on why I even live in Alabama. Because it was the main reason I started brewing.

I moved to Alabama from PA in '93 after my dad transferred down here working for the Army. I bounced around in PA several months in my old job at the York Daily Record/York Dispatch scraping by on a 22K/year graphics job and living in a run down apartment when my dad convinced me that there were better paying jobs in Huntsville.

I moved and was struck by the terrible beer selection. Sam Adams was about the most creative beer you could buy. There was a 6% abv cap on beer (which was silly since you could buy 100% grain alcohol and even 17% wine in the grocery stores).

My mom got me a basic extract kit as a Christmas gift in 95 and I was hooked. It was just a can of John Bull and the yeast under the lid. The beer was terrible even though I convinced myself and others it was great.  There was a 10 page booklet that describe "English Ales and Continental Lagers" that I must have read 20 times trying satiate my thirst for knowledge. I soon found Charlie P. and was off to the races.

I was in beer "no-mans land", an outlaw brewer since homebrewing was technically illegal, and knew nothing about the BJCP or anything until about 2004 or so when I discovered the MoreBeer forum and my eyes were suddenly wide open and even though I was making pretty good beer I started making great beer by interacting with all the great folks in the "Brewniverse" (I just coined that term, right now).

I'm very proud to say that I was at the catalyst of brewing change in Alabama and one of the original people who worked to bring down the stupidly restrictive beer laws, and even more so that I am at the vanguard of the craft brewing movement in Alabama as one of the first craft breweries to open in the state (when we formed our LLC there was only 2 breweries in the state of Alabama, now there is probably 30 or more)
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 05, 2014, 12:40:34 PM

For that you have to get a little back story on why I even live in Alabama. Because it was the main reason I started brewing.

I moved to Alabama from PA in '93 after my dad transferred down here working for the Army. I bounced around in PA several months in my old job at the York Daily Record/York Dispatch scraping by on a 22K/year graphics job and living in a run down apartment when my dad convinced me that there were better paying jobs in Huntsville.

I moved and was struck by the terrible beer selection. Sam Adams was about the most creative beer you could buy. There was a 6% abv cap on beer (which was silly since you could buy 100% grain alcohol and even 17% wine in the grocery stores).

My mom got me a basic extract kit as a Christmas gift in 95 and I was hooked. It was just a can of John Bull and the yeast under the lid. The beer was terrible even though I convinced myself and others it was great.  There was a 10 page booklet that describe "English Ales and Continental Lagers" that I must have read 20 times trying satiate my thirst for knowledge. I soon found Charlie P. and was off to the races.

I was in beer "no-mans land", an outlaw brewer since homebrewing was technically illegal, and knew nothing about the BJCP or anything until about 2004 or so when I discovered the MoreBeer forum and my eyes were suddenly wide open and even though I was making pretty good beer I started making great beer by interacting with all the great folks in the "Brewniverse" (I just coined that term, right now).

I'm very proud to say that I was at the catalyst of brewing change in Alabama and one of the original people who worked to bring down the stupidly restrictive beer laws, and even more so that I am at the vanguard of the craft brewing movement in Alabama as one of the first craft breweries to open in the state (when we formed our LLC there was only 2 breweries in the state of Alabama, now there is probably 30 or more)

Another great story- keep em coming folks. At the very least it's an opportunity to reflect on why we love what we do.


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Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 05, 2014, 12:59:34 PM
My first kit was Dogbolter Bitter, brought to me by a good friend from London in January, 1990.
It's pretty interesting to look back at the notes I made back then.  Actually pretty good detail.
I had a Dogbolter Bitter at a home brew shop a couple years ago and it triggered a memory of my first brew.

Man, I brewed the Dogbolter a couple times - blast from the past !  My LHBS sold it for awhile back then. I actually remember it (for the time) being pretty good for a hopped LME beer.

EDIT  -  I remember being excited when I bought it because it said on the label that it was concentrated wort form a British brewery.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 05, 2014, 01:04:53 PM
For that you have to get a little back story on why I even live in Alabama. Because it was the main reason I started brewing.

I moved to Alabama from PA in '93 after my dad transferred down here working for the Army. I bounced around in PA several months in my old job at the York Daily Record/York Dispatch scraping by on a 22K/year graphics job and living in a run down apartment when my dad convinced me that there were better paying jobs in Huntsville.

I moved and was struck by the terrible beer selection. Sam Adams was about the most creative beer you could buy. There was a 6% abv cap on beer (which was silly since you could buy 100% grain alcohol and even 17% wine in the grocery stores).

My mom got me a basic extract kit as a Christmas gift in 95 and I was hooked. It was just a can of John Bull and the yeast under the lid. The beer was terrible even though I convinced myself and others it was great.  There was a 10 page booklet that describe "English Ales and Continental Lagers" that I must have read 20 times trying satiate my thirst for knowledge. I soon found Charlie P. and was off to the races.

I was in beer "no-mans land", an outlaw brewer since homebrewing was technically illegal, and knew nothing about the BJCP or anything until about 2004 or so when I discovered the MoreBeer forum and my eyes were suddenly wide open and even though I was making pretty good beer I started making great beer by interacting with all the great folks in the "Brewniverse" (I just coined that term, right now).

I'm very proud to say that I was at the catalyst of brewing change in Alabama and one of the original people who worked to bring down the stupidly restrictive beer laws, and even more so that I am at the vanguard of the craft brewing movement in Alabama as one of the first craft breweries to open in the state (when we formed our LLC there was only 2 breweries in the state of Alabama, now there is probably 30 or more)

Yeah, good story.  Kudos on all the great work down there.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: erockrph on November 05, 2014, 01:59:31 PM
A good friend of mine's dad (who was like a father to me) homebrewed back in the 90's, right when I was in college and just getting into craft beer. There was also a local brew-on-premises place in the early 2000's that I went to a few times. So homebrewing was always on my radar, but I never actually picked it up.

A few years back another friend of mine started homebrewing with his wife. That really lit the fire for me. I sat in on a brewday, saw how easy it was, and decided to jump in. It was also right after my son was born, and I was looking for a new hobby that I could do at home, so it was just the right timing (finally). My wife got me a kit for Christmas that year, and I found this forum before I even brewed my first batch.

Even though there were a few other times where I almost picked up the hobby, I'm actually glad it happened a bit later. Homebrewing has really come a long way in recent years. Within a few months I was brewing beers that I was really happy with. Back in my younger years, I don't know if I would have stuck with the hobby that long. Especially if my beers were so-so, while there was a ton of good craft beers that I had easy access to. Right now, it's the perfect hobby for my current situation and I make beer that is just as good (if not better) than a lot of the breweries that are flooding the market right now.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: theDarkSide on November 05, 2014, 02:36:45 PM
I suck with dates but it was sometime after I got married in 1995, my wife and I were at the Vermont Brewer's Festival and the VT Homebrew Supply had a booth. They had 1 homebrew kit left, which my wife bought for me (so it's her fault).  I had been thinking about getting into homebrewing for a few years after I bought a homebrew kit for a friend of mine for his bachelor party.

I found one of the only homebrew shops in NH at the time and got my ingredients for my first recipe, a dry stout.  The beer was horrible...tasted like ass with a little footbath water mixed in.  Discouraged by these results, I took a couple years off from brewing.  I then decided to give it another try and found The Brewing Network online.  This was somewhere around 2006.  A few decent extract batches and in 2008, went all grain and have been doing it every since.

Now my beer has less a$$ and foot character  ;D
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: pete b on November 05, 2014, 02:42:29 PM
In 2007 I met my girlfriend. Many of our first "dates" were me doing the heavy lifting to help her make 20-25 gallon batches of mead, which she has been doing since the mid nineties. We got to know each other staying up late doing things like cleaning crates of cranberries and bottling while drinking her great melomels. It didn't hurt that at any given time she had (and we still have) 20-30 carboys of mead in various stages.
After a couple years of making mead and me expressing an interest in making beer, she got me a kit, some books, and put some hops rhizomes on order for Valentine's day 2010 I believe. I think it was my next birthday that she bought me a pre-made mash tun, a cylindrical cooler with false bottom, thermometer, and sparge set up. After a few frustratingly long brew days using the sparge set up I learned about batch sparging. And this year for my birthday she got me my AHA membership. So now I am a homebrewer and a meadmaker's assistant.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 05, 2014, 02:44:55 PM
I suck with dates but it was sometime after I got married in 1995, my wife and I were at the Vermont Brewer's Festival and the VT Homebrew Supply had a booth. They had 1 homebrew kit left, which my wife bought for me (so it's her fault).  I had been thinking about getting into homebrewing for a few years after I bought a homebrew kit for a friend of mine for his bachelor party.

I found one of the only homebrew shops in NH at the time and got my ingredients for my first recipe, a dry stout.  The beer was horrible...tasted like ass with a little footbath water mixed in.  Discouraged by these results, I took a couple years off from brewing.  I then decided to give it another try and found The Brewing Network online.  This was somewhere around 2006.  A few decent extract batches and in 2008, went all grain and have been doing it every since.

Now my beer has less a$$ and foot character  ;D

:D  Good stuff. 
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: reverseapachemaster on November 05, 2014, 03:45:36 PM
In 2009 I was visiting a married couple who were friends of my wife (then girlfriend) who had moved to Branson, MO from Dallas. He homebrewed and had learned from his father in law. He had done a few batches and his beers were much better than what I expected. Like most people I had the idea that homebrewing kits were a lot like the root beer kit I had tried as a teen in the 90s and it was going to suck. We talked about how easy brewing was, especially extract brewing, and I decided I could do it too. So shortly after we got back home I bought the typical starter kit and a boxed Belgian ale extract kit.

My first brew was on my wife's birthday very late at night. We had been out all day and into the evening doing things for her birthday but I really wanted to brew. She agreed that we could brew and then she fell asleep before I had even started the boil. That began a tradition of her falling asleep any time I brew in the house while she is home. The beer turned out okay for what it was: stale extract in a beer fermented almost too hot for Belgian yeast. Nevertheless, I was hooked and quickly absorbed knowledge and jumped into all grain after a handful of extract recipes.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: denny on November 05, 2014, 04:25:30 PM
My first kit was Dogbolter Bitter, brought to me by a good friend from London in January, 1990.
It's pretty interesting to look back at the notes I made back then.  Actually pretty good detail.
I had a Dogbolter Bitter at a home brew shop a couple years ago and it triggered a memory of my first brew.

Hey, I made a Dogbolter kit, too!  But it wasn't my first.  My first brew was in 1998 from a kit of ingredients and equipment my wife bought at Costco for my birthday.  almost didn't happen.  She had gone there to get the kit and they were out of stock.  Just as she was leaving someone returned one.  She grabbed it and the rest is history....
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: epic1856 on November 05, 2014, 04:39:02 PM
Watching Alton Brown's Good Eats episode in which he make a beer at home sparked my interest. Circa 2003. I was a broke college kid at the time so I had no money to buy the kit, but I got lucky and a couple weeks after I watched the show I ended up coming in 2nd place at a poker tournament. I walked away with a couple hundred bucks. I took part of this money and bought my beer kit and I have been brewing ever since.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: ibru on November 05, 2014, 04:51:17 PM
Another Geezer here.

I got a fairly deluxe kit (for those days) for Christmas in about 1992 and brewed a 4-5 extract batches before my wife kicked me out of the kitchen. I joined the local homebrew club the next year and started brewing all grain and kegging.

Although I enjoy the process, the flexibility making what I want and the end product, one of the reason I love to brew is for therapy. After dealing with the public and employees all week, it's like taking a mini vacation for a few hours.

The best reward is that I've met a lot of great friends through homebrewing and enjoying a craft beer.

Bruce
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: 69franx on November 05, 2014, 05:27:24 PM
Another Geezer here.

I got a fairly deluxe kit (for those days) for Christmas in about 1992 and brewed a 4-5 extract batches before my wife kicked me out of the kitchen. I joined the local homebrew club the next year and started brewing all grain and kegging.

Although I enjoy the process, the flexibility making what I want and the end product, one of the reason I love to brew is for therapy. After dealing with the public and employees all week, it's like taking a mini vacation for a few hours.

The best reward is that I've met a lot of great friends through homebrewing and enjoying a craft beer.

Bruce
Awesome story Bruce. I really like the release brewing gives me as well
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: markpotts on November 06, 2014, 02:12:53 PM
I remember clearly as a kid my dad making homebrew using hopped extract kits. This was around 1983.
I went to University in 1990 and tried 3 or 4 kits that turned out terrible before losing interest.
2008 I had a 'brainwave' and tried brewing another kit beer. It was okay......then I went on the internet to look for more information and joined a brew forum here in the UK.
Within a week of joining the forum I was in my car and on the way to pick up some second hand all-grain equipment from a guy who had recently upgraded his set up. The rest, as they say, is history.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 06, 2014, 02:43:01 PM
Hi, my name's Jeff, and I'm a Geezer.

Started brewing in the fall of 1992, so been at this for 22 years. What got me going was that several coworkers were starting to brew, so I said "I think I can do that". It turns out that they started to have kids and stopped. With no kids, I kept at it. Except there was the time I didn't brew for 1.5 years. That was while living in a flat in Germany on a work assignment. Much "research" was done on lagers and Belgian beers while living in Europe.

Being retired has allowed me the time to really get into brewing science. The equipment expands to fill the available space. I can tinker, which makes the engineer in me happy. Complicated recipes happen, but often simple old favorites get brewed. As Bill Pfeiffer used to say "Man, I love this hobby".

The hobby has turned into an integral part of our lives. When we travel, good times are had, new friends are made along with new memories. Often I am asked for my card, but I don't have one (might have to fix that). Some of our best friends are in out club, or we have met through other ways in the hobby. I can't envision stopping brewing. There may be a day I can't any longer, but damn that will be a said day.

Yeah, it has become a lifestyle.







Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: beersk on November 06, 2014, 03:31:34 PM
The seed was planted when a roommate bought a kit from Midwest in 2005 or 2006. I just hung out while he brewed and helped bottle a couple weeks later. I didn't start brewing myself until fall of 2008. Not sure what sparked the idea, but I got a kit from Midwest as well. I brewed extract for 4 batches and switched to 3 gallon all grain batches for a bit, then did 5 gallon partial mash batches, then full 5 gallon all grain. I started creating my own recipes after my 3rd batch of extract, the 4th was a dark hoppy beer. I'd never heard of such a thing, as it was before the black IPA craze,and it sounded good; and it was great. I enjoyed creating recipes and the process as much, if not more, than the final product. So since then, brewing has been pretty much all I think about and spend my time on, which is good and bad as it has taken away from some of my other hobbies. It's all about balance I guess.

Cool thread.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: blackislandbrewer on November 06, 2014, 03:39:39 PM
Love seeing how everyone got into the craft!

Like many of you, my brewing history has more than one start.

My first start was in 1995 when my dad bought my wife (now ex) and me a homebrew kit - it was a bit of a dig at her, as she didn't like any beer other than Coors Light. The kit, from Liberty Malt Supply (Pike Brewing) came with Randy Moser's first book - I forget the title - but it's the one with all the forms and graphs. When I made my first batch of beer, I pretty much did everything wrong, and was rewarded with, well, crap. Infected, got worse over time, eventually poured it all out. Started over, got Charlie's book, and tried again. Started brewing decent extract/specialty grain beers, mostly the bolder styles - Russian Imperial Stout, Barleywine.

At the time I didn't have internet service, but did get the Home Brew Digest via my local BBS and Fidonet, and got more and more interested. Eventually joined a brew club, got more and more into it, finally went to all-grain, expanded my styles, started designing beers (thank you Ray Daniels), had my 3 tier system, corney kegs & CO2, an oxygen bottle, ProMash, fermentation temperature control. Loving life!

Then the divorce happened. 2007 was my last batch of my first go-round. Life got mondo crazy, sold off nearly all my brewing stuff, keeping just enough to make mead. Didn't make a single fermented beverage in 2008. Made meads in 2009, 2010, married my beautiful new wife who LOVES beer (and wine and mead), and she talked me into making a batch for an upcoming beer party we were having. That was 2011. At that point I built my built my boil keggle, and started making extract/grains, apfelwein, hard lemonade and wine while I started re-building my system, but with so many more resources to draw from (here, HBT, Brewing Network) I took my time and built my system gradually over a year and a half. Now I typically brew twice a month, 5-10 gallon batches, most of which I share with friends and neighbors, as I can't drink as much as I like to brew!
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 06, 2014, 03:55:48 PM
Love seeing how everyone got into the craft!

Like many of you, my brewing history has more than one start.

My first start was in 1995 when my dad bought my wife (now ex) and me a homebrew kit - it was a bit of a dig at her, as she didn't like any beer other than Coors Light. The kit, from Liberty Malt Supply (Pike Brewing) came with Randy Moser's first book - I forget the title - but it's the one with all the forms and graphs. When I made my first batch of beer, I pretty much did everything wrong, and was rewarded with, well, crap. Infected, got worse over time, eventually poured it all out. Started over, got Charlie's book, and tried again. Started brewing decent extract/specialty grain beers, mostly the bolder styles - Russian Imperial Stout, Barleywine.

At the time I didn't have internet service, but did get the Home Brew Digest via my local BBS and Fidonet, and got more and more interested. Eventually joined a brew club, got more and more into it, finally went to all-grain, expanded my styles, started designing beers (thank you Ray Daniels), had my 3 tier system, corney kegs & CO2, an oxygen bottle, ProMash, fermentation temperature control. Loving life!

Then the divorce happened. 2007 was my last batch of my first go-round. Life got mondo crazy, sold off nearly all my brewing stuff, keeping just enough to make mead. Didn't make a single fermented beverage in 2008. Made meads in 2009, 2010, married my beautiful new wife who LOVES beer (and wine and mead), and she talked me into making a batch for an upcoming beer party we were having. That was 2011. At that point I built my built my boil keggle, and started making extract/grains, apfelwein, hard lemonade and wine while I started re-building my system, but with so many more resources to draw from (here, HBT, Brewing Network) I took my time and built my system gradually over a year and a half. Now I typically brew twice a month, 5-10 gallon batches, most of which I share with friends and neighbors, as I can't drink as much as I like to brew!

ex's and bad batch of beer...ironic; we can make mistakes and move on to something better (been there done that on both fronts) ::)
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: thebigbaker on November 06, 2014, 04:04:51 PM
Fun topic and some great stories!

For me it was around October 2011 and I just started getting into craft brew earlier that year...even though I had been living in the Denver area since 2005 (late bloomer?).  Earlier that summer, I was at a crawfish boil thrown by some of my rajun' cajun friends and someone had brought over a couple growlers from Dry Dock brewing, which I then discovered was really close by to our house.  So later that summer my wife and I visited Dry Dock and discovered they had a homebrew shop connected to the brewery (the homebrew shop actually came first, so maybe a homebrew shop w/ a brewery connected to it?).  It took a few visits before I decided to take the leap into homebrewing and it's been an obsession ever since. 

I brewed a couple of extract batches before moving to all grain and in my search for knowledge and guidance for moving to all grain, I stumbled upon the AHA site and this forum.  It is because of this great site and forum members, my beers continue to improve, my passion for the craft continues to grow and I've gotten friends and neighbors into the "hobby."  Now I bring 9 -12 gallons of homebrew to that same yearly crawfish boil which set in action the chain of events that began my homebrewing adventure.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: thebigbaker on November 06, 2014, 04:11:59 PM
Yeah, it has become a lifestyle.

Ain't that the truth!  Couldn't have said...or typed it any better.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: WDE97 on November 06, 2014, 07:11:48 PM
Started in 1996 when I was in college. A friend of mine homebrewed and after helping with a couple of batches, I was hooked. Before that, I didn't even know homebrewing was possible. My first batch was some kind of lager kit. Yeah, I know, starting with a lager was pretty silly, but I didn't know better that time. Of course I fermented it in my closet, in Alabama, in the summer, at a nice cool temperature of 72F.  :P  Everything actually went pretty well. I thought the beer tasted great (probably didn't) and kept with it. I brewed a few times a year and then took a few years off when I got married the first time. After getting divorced a few years later, I rekindled my interest and then got serious in 2008. I switched to all grain, bought all sorts of equipment and books, built a keggerator, joined the AHA, turned a bedroom into a storage/barrel room/temp control chamber, and the rest is history! Oh, and two years ago I was fortunate enough to marry a woman who not only tolerates this addiction, but supports and encourages me as well! Now that I'm a "beer nerd" as she likes to call me, we spend a lot of times in pubs and breweries during our travels. Doesn't get much better than that!
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: glenmoorebrewing on November 06, 2014, 07:43:01 PM
Started almost two years ago with a lme pre hopped kit and a packet of "yeast". It ended up terribly as it had sat in a customers basement for over 5 years. This was not enough to stop me from many trips to the lhbs. Now running a 3 tier gravity capable of 15 gal batches. Still no beer I would call amazing, but some of them are getting pretty good.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: BrewingRover on November 06, 2014, 08:17:18 PM
I had my first taste of a friend's homebrew some time around 1990. It wasn't very good, but I found the idea interesting. A few years later I met a couple of other people who brewed and they made beer that tasted fairly good. (this was all in the beer wasteland that was Utah in the early 90's) I bought a copy of Charlie's book, and decided I didn't have the space in my tiny apartment to brew. That was followed by a move for grad school to another small apartment and then the LA area. I had space but I knew enough about fermentation temperatures to know I'd need something to control it, so I put the idea on the backburner again.

Jump to 2005, when we moved to the Chicago suburbs and the basement beckoned. Within a month, I'd bought a starter kit and brewed a batch of "IPA" that tasted good enough to make me keep trying. And now I've got a basement full of gear 8)
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: garc_mall on November 06, 2014, 11:26:23 PM
I started out just really liking beer. Christmas 2010, my wife's aunt bought me a copy of Charlie P's book, but I was just getting ready to deploy, so I didn't get a chance to brew. I spent the 10 months of deployment reading everything I could get my hands on about homebrewing, and listening to Basic Brewing Radio. The day I got home, I went immediately to the local homebrew shop and picked up a beginner's kit (It was my welcome home present to myself) and designed my own recipe (Was supposed to be an American ESB, ended up more APA) which I bought the ingredients for. I brewed the next day, and never looked back. I brewed 3 batches in 3 weeks to get the beer pipeline running, Moved to all grain on New Years Day 2011, and started kegging early last year. I have made some great friends through the beer community, and I don't know where I would be without homebrew.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 07, 2014, 02:40:05 AM
Older than most, I had homebrew given to me in 1982 and said then that I wanted to try making it, but over the next 2 decades, I only rarely had homebrews and life got busy...fast forward to 2003-2004 when a neighbor was brewing and both of us were Boy Scout leaders with our same age sons.  I loved his homebrew and said I wanted to brew with him...it just so happens that an older Scout had an Eagle project at a women's shelter located down the street from our LHBS.  We completed the project and I ambled down the street to check out the "basic package".  Other leaders said "you'll never make your money back at that".  I bought the package and my first Pale Ale kit anyway.  Those other guys are now begging for my beer at parties.  Nuff Said.  We now have 6-7 regular Brewers in my neighborhood alone.  While I may not have made my money back, I have no regrets and typically tell people that I wasted most of my first 45 years not brewing.  But I am making up for lost time - which reminds me...at 200 gallons per year, shouldn't I consider those early years as a period of banking gallons for the current production period?  I got plenty of cushion under that arrangement!!! 

Cheers to the best hobby known to man.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: beersk on November 07, 2014, 01:41:26 PM


Cheers to the best hobby known to man.

Cheers to that! Really cool stories in this thread.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 07, 2014, 01:49:58 PM


Cheers to the best hobby known to man.

Cheers to that! Really cool stories in this thread.
+1 hopefully this thread will live on and give new members opportunity to see how we all are very similar yet with unique twists.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 08, 2014, 12:58:57 PM
Come on ladies- I know you're out there lets here your story!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: gkelley on November 08, 2014, 01:15:19 PM
College in '95 in Cleveland.  Edme beer kit from some place in Colorado.  It came with a great bottle capper that I still use.  Also use the fermenter from that kit although I'm about to retire it.  First batch was crappy beer with the nastiest after taste.  But I caught the bug improved my skills and love it.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: petecobb on November 08, 2014, 02:53:04 PM
My wife bought me a starter kit for my first Father's Day, 1980!  Started with extract beers, bottled, and worked my way up to all grain, kegged, including nitro pour.
Cheers!
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: corkybstewart on November 09, 2014, 11:55:58 PM
I started saving bottles in the late 80's with the idea that one day I would brew beer and need them.  In 1992 we moved to a new much bigger house, my wife decided if I was going to haul crates of empty bottles I should start learning to fill them.  She bought me my first kit 5 gallon setup and it was off to the races from there.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: klickitat jim on November 10, 2014, 01:36:38 AM
I started saving bottles in the late 80's with the idea that one day I would brew beer and need them.  In 1992 we moved to a new much bigger house, my wife decided if I was going to haul crates of empty bottles I should start learning to fill them.  She bought me my first kit 5 gallon setup and it was off to the races from there.

Dang, 12 years of bottles would be a barn full for me.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 10, 2014, 01:47:29 AM
I started saving bottles in the late 80's with the idea that one day I would brew beer and need them.  In 1992 we moved to a new much bigger house, my wife decided if I was going to haul crates of empty bottles I should start learning to fill them.  She bought me my first kit 5 gallon setup and it was off to the races from there.

Dang, 12 years of bottles would be a barn full for me.

No joke. Maybe a warehouse full, especially in my younger years.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: S. cerevisiae on November 10, 2014, 02:52:26 AM
I started brewing in early 1993. My interest in brewing was sparked when a good friend and former shipmate started brewing in late 1992.  I was not much of beer drinker at that point in time, but brewing had the creative and scientific elements that drew me to my profession. 

Bruce's Dogbolter was the third and last kit beer that I made before switching over to making beer from extract, specialty grains, and hops.  It was also the last batch of beer that I made with dry yeast for over twenty years.  I brewed my fourth batch of beer with yeast that I cultured from a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  It was such an eye-opening experience that I dove head first into yeast culturing, which became a hobby unto itself.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: ranchovillabrew on November 10, 2014, 06:23:50 AM
For my first Father's Day in 2011 my wife and her friend bought myself and her husband a deal at the local on premises place.  We brewed there and had a lot of fun despite poor instruction.  They lost our batch (a common occurrence at this place) we ended up reading a few books each and rebrewed there a few weeks later.  Being a scientist (me) and an engineer (my buddy Ryan) we were not content with the recipes they had available.  We put together our own recipe and went back.  We were pleased with the results and decided to get setup at home.  I spent the next 6 months reading like crazy and got my first equipment for Christmas 2011. I brewed my first 5 gal batch on new year's day 2012. Just brewed batch 51 at home plus a few more at friends houses and the local brewery.  Ryan started doing 1 gallon batches about the same time and just jumped to 10 gal a few weeks ago.

Our wives say it was the most expensive father's day present ever.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: el_capitan on November 10, 2014, 07:29:22 PM
I was in my first year of teaching, and I decided to make some naturally-carbonated root beer with my 7th grade science class.  After that project, it occurred to me, "Hey!  If I can make root beer, I can make real beer too."  Then I remembered that my friend's dad Curt was a brewer, so I made contact with him and we made plans to brew an extract batch together.

After that, he gave me a basic set of equipment and a copy of TCJOHB.  I devoured that book and brewed my first batch (Papazian's "Elbro Nerkte Brown Ale") on Feb 17, 2005.  It was actually really good - smooth and dark with no flaws.  I jumped right in, brewing once or twice a month for a couple years. 

So now I'm coming up on my 10-year anniversary (better take that day off work!) and still extremely passionate about the hobby.  I make sure to give Curt samples from time to time, and I also teach beginner's brewing classes at his restaurant supply shop/LHBS.  I'm really lucky to have had somebody to get me going like that, and I get a lot of satisfaction from  getting new brewers started on the right path. 

Cheers!
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: S. cerevisiae on November 10, 2014, 07:46:56 PM
After that, he gave me a basic set of equipment and a copy of TCJOHB.  I devoured that book and brewed my first batch (Papazian's "Elbro Nerkte Brown Ale") on Feb 17, 2005.  It was actually really good - smooth and dark with no flaws. 

Like many old-timers, I learned how to brew using a copy of TCJOHB.   I gave my stained and dogeared copy away years ago.  My favorite recipe out of that book was "Rocky Racoon's Crystal Honey Lager."  It's surprising how well beer made from that recipe tests with beer drinkers.  I plan to make a batch next Spring for the heck of it.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Titanium Brewing on November 10, 2014, 10:38:08 PM
Wife got me a Mr. Beer kit, X-Mas 2004.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 12, 2014, 03:51:09 PM
For my first Father's Day in 2011 my wife and her friend bought myself and her husband a deal at the local on premises place.  We brewed there and had a lot of fun despite poor instruction.  They lost our batch (a common occurrence at this place) we ended up reading a few books each and rebrewed there a few weeks later.  Being a scientist (me) and an engineer (my buddy Ryan) we were not content with the recipes they had available.  We put together our own recipe and went back.  We were pleased with the results and decided to get setup at home.  I spent the next 6 months reading like crazy and got my first equipment for Christmas 2011. I brewed my first 5 gal batch on new year's day 2012. Just brewed batch 51 at home plus a few more at friends houses and the local brewery.  Ryan started doing 1 gallon batches about the same time and just jumped to 10 gal a few weeks ago.

Our wives say it was the most expensive father's day present ever.
hmm seems like ive heard the word "expensive"  from my wife a few times    ;D
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: erockrph on November 12, 2014, 05:23:26 PM
For my first Father's Day in 2011 my wife and her friend bought myself and her husband a deal at the local on premises place.  We brewed there and had a lot of fun despite poor instruction.  They lost our batch (a common occurrence at this place) we ended up reading a few books each and rebrewed there a few weeks later.  Being a scientist (me) and an engineer (my buddy Ryan) we were not content with the recipes they had available.  We put together our own recipe and went back.  We were pleased with the results and decided to get setup at home.  I spent the next 6 months reading like crazy and got my first equipment for Christmas 2011. I brewed my first 5 gal batch on new year's day 2012. Just brewed batch 51 at home plus a few more at friends houses and the local brewery.  Ryan started doing 1 gallon batches about the same time and just jumped to 10 gal a few weeks ago.

Our wives say it was the most expensive father's day present ever.
hmm seems like ive heard the word "expensive"  from my wife a few times    ;D
That's funny, I swear my wife calls it "expansive". I always assumed she was referring to my depth of knowledge on brewing having grown so much. Maybe she was referring to my credit card bill all along...
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: ranchovillabrew on November 12, 2014, 06:24:16 PM
It certainly has become an expansive hobby. Close to half my garage now
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 12, 2014, 06:29:55 PM
It certainly has become an expansive hobby. Close to half my garage now

+1.  Half of mine. Ever expansive.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Stevie on November 12, 2014, 06:31:40 PM
It certainly has become an expansive hobby. Close to half my garage now

+1.  Half of mine. Ever expansive.


Yep and yep. The last chore of the day is to make room for my lady's car in our 1 car garage. At the end of the day, that's the worst chore there is.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 12, 2014, 06:38:00 PM
It certainly has become an expansive hobby. Close to half my garage now

+1.  Half of mine. Ever expansive.


Yep and yep. The last chore of the day is to make room for my lady's car in our 1 car garage. At the end of the day, that's the worst chore there is.

I've gotten pretty clever over the years at creative storage/stacking in the garage. I buy equipment without the space looking much bigger.  :D

Edit -  She's pretty accepting though. I'm lucky.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 12, 2014, 06:42:20 PM
It certainly has become an expansive hobby. Close to half my garage now

+1.  Half of mine. Ever expansive.



Yep and yep. The last chore of the day is to make room for my lady's car in our 1 car garage. At the end of the day, that's the worst chore there is.

I've gotten pretty clever over the years at creative storage/stacking in the garage. I buy equipment without the space looking much bigger.  :D

Edit -  She's pretty accepting though. I'm lucky.

my brewhaus is 1200 square feet and its basically all mine. pool table, full bar, 65" LED, my Harley's winter home, and my dog house when needed...just a few steps out the back door of the main house  8)

(https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f1210.mail.yahoo.com/ya/securedownload?m=YaDownload&mid=2_0_0_1_738835_AGJUimIAABUJVGOs%2BAbhuGgvRLI&fid=Inbox&pid=2&clean=0&appid=YahooMailNeo&cred=XMO2YaBdGgL0GdhMcLi5enGmw5v7B2cr4t9WQYynLdEMmpCfm4mb1jtw&ts=1415818603&partner=ymail&sig=370c_V4jxFSW0cjikQ17Rg--)  (https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f1210.mail.yahoo.com/ya/securedownload?m=YaDownload&mid=2_0_0_1_737854_AGJUimIAABYAVGOsTAAu4I5RGo0&fid=Inbox&pid=6&clean=0&appid=YahooMailNeo&cred=UQ4i1pRsGgK1SR0Js1CIWBwfBWYQySpyk809DRMolXe_cTDJ.FAoK1Gn&ts=1415818586&partner=ymail&sig=tv2pR5RIeugYzRRil_y1wA--)  (https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f1210.mail.yahoo.com/ya/securedownload?m=YaDownload&mid=2_0_0_1_737854_AGJUimIAABYAVGOsTAAu4I5RGo0&fid=Inbox&pid=4&clean=0&appid=YahooMailNeo&cred=KtUlXfxlGgKTRZWGmkIsBFZxtRIA3Am1RDp2AoN4s5720FzU6n3xsgi.&ts=1415818579&partner=ymail&sig=yuPEj6t9VTPx_TNxmJ_DZg--)  (https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f1210.mail.yahoo.com/ya/securedownload?m=YaDownload&mid=2_0_0_1_737854_AGJUimIAABYAVGOsTAAu4I5RGo0&fid=Inbox&pid=2&clean=0&appid=YahooMailNeo&cred=xxCPwVEJGgLVqC3BENtZtWC1mGkjbbMbq0CoiHa.LjvS8GNdsAISLCBP&ts=1415818559&partner=ymail&sig=U6xX16bHHEquKWzVi7rzWA--)
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: factory on November 12, 2014, 08:02:56 PM
I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003-4.  We had a Christmas party and one of my classmates brought homebrew.  He had a Christmas Ale that he had designed the recipe for himself.  I was hooked on the idea of making my own beer.  I didn't have the time to get started on my own homebrewing adventure until 2006, when I wandered into my LBHS and walked out with a basic starter kit and an Irish Red extract kit with some steeping grains.  The rest, as they say, is History.  I made the move to AG about 2 years ago, and now have a shiney Blichmann Top-Tier Brew stand and a DIY RIMS controller. 
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: S. cerevisiae on November 12, 2014, 09:33:05 PM
I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003-4. 

Man, that's a tough tour of duty.   :)
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: factory on November 13, 2014, 01:22:20 PM
I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003-4. 

Man, that's a tough tour of duty.   :)

I told myself that every day.  haha.  Someone had to do it though. ;)
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: garc_mall on November 13, 2014, 05:05:56 PM
I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003-4. 

Man, that's a tough tour of duty.   :)

I told myself that every day.  haha.  Someone had to do it though. ;)

I was at DLI from 04-06, which was also tough sledding...
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Herminator on November 13, 2014, 05:20:25 PM
Actually just passed my 2 year brewversary. First batch was....well, not very good. Ever since then I have learned a lot.  Special thank you to all those here for the help.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: pete b on November 13, 2014, 06:55:58 PM
It certainly has become an expansive hobby. Close to half my garage now

+1.  Half of mine. Ever expansive.
The first time I went to my girlfriend's house there was a 32 gallon bucket with 25 gallons of mead fermenting right in the middle of the kitchen floor. So no worries there.

Yep and yep. The last chore of the day is to make room for my lady's car in our 1 car garage. At the end of the day, that's the worst chore there is.

I've gotten pretty clever over the years at creative storage/stacking in the garage. I buy equipment without the space looking much bigger.  :D

Edit -  She's pretty accepting though. I'm lucky.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: boulderbrewer on November 14, 2014, 12:04:40 AM
My first adventure in homebrew was when I was 13 and spent the whole day with my dad driving all over Milwaukee looking for Pabst Blue Ribbon Malt, he made the beer in a 30 gallon trash can( a couple cans of the malt and a bunch of sugar water and yeast, yum!). My older brother and I were in charge of the bottling, we wound up with about 8 cases of "beer". It was not good for the most obvious reasons (sanitation).

Fast forward another 13 years, my wife bought me a beer making kit and Charlie P's book as Christmas presents at the local cheese shop back in '94. I did extracts until 2000 and then I went all-grain. Only after I realized I could boil my wort in more than pot. I started a homebrew club in 2007.  In 2012 I started a brewery. I guess next on the agenda is to sell out to one of the big breweries, retire and get back to homebrewing in a warmer climate.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on November 14, 2014, 12:49:54 AM
My first adventure in homebrew was when I was 13 and spent the whole day with my dad driving all over Milwaukee looking for Pabst Blue Ribbon Malt, he made the beer in a 30 gallon trash can( a couple cans of the malt and a bunch of sugar water and yeast, yum!). My older brother and I were in charge of the bottling, we wound up with about 8 cases of "beer". It was not good for the most obvious reasons (sanitation).

Fast forward another 13 years, my wife bought me a beer making kit and Charlie P's book as Christmas presents at the local cheese shop back in '94. I did extracts until 2000 and then I went all-grain. Only after I realized I could boil my wort in more than pot. I started a homebrew club in 2007.  In 2012 I started a brewery. I guess next on the agenda is to sell out to one of the big breweries, retire and get back to homebrewing in a warmer climate.

i run into more people who's beer experiences started with PBR (mine included). i still buy a case now and then out of nostalgia.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: turkishrock on November 14, 2014, 01:26:46 AM
I was doing so good at lurking, but this thread is too good to pass up.

A friend took me to a hardware store, where I bought my first kit. It was March, 1978, and the kit consisted of one 3.3 pound can of Blue Ribbon Hopped Light Malt Extract. A packet of "Beer Yeast" was taped to the top of the can, and two pages of instructions were taped to the side. You had to supply 2 1/2 pounds of Domino sugar on your own.

It was the best beer I had ever made, up 'til then. But I knew I could do better.

My second brew (April, '78) was an Imperial Stout! (Like the one I had drunk in England. Still remember the hangover.) Three cans of Blue Ribbon Hopped Dark Malt Extract, one packet of "Beer Yeast", and no extra sugar needed.

Now, that was some five or six years before Charlie's book came out. You had to be resourceful in those days to learn how to brew better beer. My brews have improved a bit over the years, and my current brewery (Turkish Rock) takes up half of the garage AND half of the basement. This weekend I'm teaching a dozen or so members of the local club (UNYHA) how to brew a lambic.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: corkybstewart on November 15, 2014, 05:21:22 AM
I started saving bottles in the late 80's with the idea that one day I would brew beer and need them.  In 1992 we moved to a new much bigger house, my wife decided if I was going to haul crates of empty bottles I should start learning to fill them.  She bought me my first kit 5 gallon setup and it was off to the races from there.

Dang, 12 years of bottles would be a barn full for me.
Let me clarify.  On pay day I would buy a six pack, or a couple of Samuel Smith bottles, as long as they had pry off lids.  Those were days of either relative poverty or money flowing everywhere, never anything in between and steady, but I could usually find a couple of dollars to buy a decent beer.  Between paydays I drank crappy canned beer, so the accumulation was slow.
Title: Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
Post by: klickitat jim on November 15, 2014, 10:01:48 AM
It's all good. I was really just imaging 12 years of my beer bottles. I think it would scare me if I could.