Author Topic: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk  (Read 1159 times)

Offline eriktheviking

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« on: March 19, 2015, 01:22:55 AM »
Hey I am looking at getting into home brewing as a hobby and would love to hear about it from some experienced home brewers before I spend a bunch of money to make malt extract beer.

I want to know about the hobby in general (skip the how-to's I know generally how to do it, but tips would be nice), challenges first starting out, best equipment for a beginner (do I go full boar into expensive stuff or start cheap?) and what do you wish you knew when you started that you know now!

Thanks and happy brewing!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 01:27:13 AM »
If your are looking to chat, I think a local club is your best bet. Most people I know through clubs love talking shop.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 01:46:37 AM »
It only took me a batch or two to figure out what I wanted to get out of homebrewing and I started to focus on that right away. I switched to smaller batches and learned how to experiment with recipe design and hop varieties right away. I jumped into all-grain brewing as soon as i learned about BIAB (brew-in-a-bag). There are a lot of different aspects to this hobby, you don't have to follow a specific tract just because everyone else does.

As long as you're having fun, you're doing it right. And you've come across a great community here on this forum. If you decide to jump into the hobby, this is a great place to learn for both the new brewer and veteran alike.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Werks21

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
  • Enterprising brewer and aspiring beer judge
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 01:58:43 AM »
Hey I am looking at getting into home brewing as a hobby and would love to hear about it from some experienced home brewers before I spend a bunch of money to make malt extract beer.

I want to know about the hobby in general (skip the how-to's I know generally how to do it, but tips would be nice), challenges first starting out, best equipment for a beginner (do I go full boar into expensive stuff or start cheap?) and what do you wish you knew when you started that you know now!

Thanks and happy brewing!


To tackle the easier one of your queries, I think if your waffling about getting into the hobby you should make a small batch or three just using stuff you already have and see if you like brewing. There are plenty of articles on minimalist brewing out there. or you can go the Mr. beer route. For real brewing equipment its real easy to drop $200 bucks at the start, though you can do if for significantly less if your thrifty/resourceful.
Tip, keep sanitizer on the counter or floor in the room on brew day and every other beer handling day.
Tip, use recipes from solid sources till you know what your looking at.
Tip, make sure you have a place in your house that will stay within your fermentation temp range for your yeast BEFORE you brew.

Good luck and good brewing.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 02:09:47 AM »
reasons to do it:

you could make a 1 gallon batch of beer for less than $20 bucks assuming you already have a pot big enough to boil pasta.

You'll make beer

It's an amazingly fun hobby

you'll make beer.

Reasons not to do it:

if it turns out you enjoy it you are in danger of spending a lot of time and money on it.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline eriktheviking

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2015, 02:34:22 AM »
reasons to do it:

you could make a 1 gallon batch of beer for less than $20 bucks assuming you already have a pot big enough to boil pasta.

You'll make beer

It's an amazingly fun hobby

you'll make beer.

Reasons not to do it:

if it turns out you enjoy it you are in danger of spending a lot of time and money on it.

What is this $20 you say? I definitely want to get into it, and have 0 equipment. Do you guys have some good links for brewing with stuff found at home? I figure I've always got Oatmeal, Yeast, Sugar and Water... Just need a little hop and something for it to sit in with an air-lock right?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2015, 02:46:54 AM »
If you have a whole foods near you, they sell kits from Brooklyn brew shop for 1 gallon batches. I think they run $40-50 and include most of what you would need minus the kettle.

Offline Joel5000

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2015, 02:52:18 AM »


What is this $20 you say? I definitely want to get into it, and have 0 equipment. Do you guys have some good links for brewing with stuff found at home? I figure I've always got Oatmeal, Yeast, Sugar and Water... Just need a little hop and something for it to sit in with an air-lock right?

You cant make beer with oatmeal and yeast that you have around the house.  Read the online version of Palmer's "How to Brew" and invest in a basic starter kit.  If you have a local homebrew shop they may have a decent kit, or there are several good online suppliers.  This is a great hobby and I would hate to see a new brewer discouraged from continuing because of taking short-cuts and having a bad first batch. Good luck and have fun!

Offline cascadesrunner

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
  • San Diego, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2015, 02:53:27 AM »
A great resource would be a local home brew shop or club.  Many of these offer brewing days where people interested in starting can come watch, learn and ask questions.  It's a great way to meet brewers with tons of knowledge and experience.
Run then beer.

Offline tommymorris

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2101
  • Tommy M.
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2015, 03:00:12 AM »
Try http://brooklynbrewshop.com/beer-making-kits for 1 gallon recipe kits.

Offline eriktheviking

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2015, 03:07:54 AM »
Loving everyone's suggestions. I live in KC and locally (within 45 minutes) there aren't a ton of clubs from what I am seeing. I may go the kit route to start and get my feet wet. I'm also going to buy a thermometer to put in my basement and keep track of the temp down there since that is probably the best and only place I have to let it ferment in my house (stays warm all year round and is super, super dry).

Again, I am beyond novice but I think this will be really fun! I enjoy cooking on multiple levels and I think this is right up my alley and scratches the same itch.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2015, 03:08:14 AM »
Equipment wise, I suggest not dropping too much on things you might outgrow after a month. For example if you are choosing between a 5 gallon kettle for $50 or a 8 gallon for $70 or a 14 gallon for $100, get the 14.

Also, I have a floating thermometer I was told that I needed. I used it for my first batch and bought a digital for $5 on eBay.


Offline troybinso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2015, 03:18:49 AM »
I think a big reason that homebrewing appealed to me - besides the good beer - is its similarity to cooking. If you don't like cooking, I would be surprised if you liked homebrewing.

Offline brewday

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
  • Chicago
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 03:21:41 AM »
If you have a whole foods near you, they sell kits from Brooklyn brew shop for 1 gallon batches. I think they run $40-50 and include most of what you would need minus the kettle.

This is how I got started and I highly recommend - it's a very simple way to jump right into all-grain brewing.
Jon Weaver

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2959
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking About Homebrewing and Wanna Talk
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2015, 03:34:26 AM »
You are in KC - calling Amanda!  She is a great brewer and is in a good club!  I had her beer at NHC with the KC Beermeisters (or something like that) and they are solid.  A great resource!   I am sure she can point you in the right direction for KC home brewing.  Really, starting out is a big pot and some buckets and lids.  Nothing like rocket science....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"