Author Topic: How and when did you get started with homebrew  (Read 4670 times)

Offline 69franx

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #30 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
Frank L.
Fermenting: Ringler Pilsner (thanx Ron)
Conditioning: BVIP (thanx Denny)
In keg: Traquair House Clone (Skotrat style)
In the works:  Czech Dark Lager, American Pale Ale

Offline markpotts

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #31 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.
Yorkshire, England

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #32 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.







Jeff Rankert
AHA Governing Committee
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline beersk

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #33 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.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline blackislandbrewer

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #34 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!
David
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When I read most of the posts on homebrewing forums, I hear them in the voice of the Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons"

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #35 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) ::)
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
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Amber Ale
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #36 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.
Jeremy Baker

"An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience." - Mitch Hedberg

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #37 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.
Jeremy Baker

"An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience." - Mitch Hedberg

Offline WDE97

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #38 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!
Robert H.

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.    - Steven Wright

On tap: Strong Scotch Ale, RIS, Barrel Aged RIS, ESB, Pale Ale, Saison.

Fermenting: RIS, Kolsch.

Up next: Dopplebock, Saison

Offline glenmoorebrewing

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #39 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.
-AK

Offline BrewingRover

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #40 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)
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #41 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.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #42 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.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 02:42:37 AM by ynotbrusum »
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline beersk

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #43 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.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: How and when did you get started with homebrew
« Reply #44 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.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest