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Author Topic: The Decline of Homebrewing  (Read 18063 times)

Offline JPBEERJP

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #60 on: September 24, 2016, 07:34:23 pm »
Thus the reason there are so many microbreweries popping up all over the US.

My hats off to microbreweries and their artistic skill set.

Offline majorvices

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #61 on: September 25, 2016, 07:02:29 am »
There's no surprise to any of this. When the economy tanks, DIY goes up. When the economy improves, DIY goes down. Homebrewing also got caught up in the waves of everything local plus craft beer. Lots of people were going to abandon homebrewing when they could start affording/justifying $10 six packs of beer. Plenty of people got the starter kits as Christmas gifts and brewed a couple of times only to decide they didn't like cleaning, waiting for the beer, etc. You can only sell those starter kits so many times.

There is a correction but it's a good thing. What's being lost in breadth of new brewers is being made up for in depth of knowledge, experience and technical expertise.

There may be some truth to what you say but it in no way applies to me or do I think it applies to most folks here. I never brewed beer to save money. In fact, if you factor in the time it takes to brew a 5 or 10 gallon batch you aren't saving any money at all. But regardless, I have always enjoyed brewing, from the very first batch, for the sake of the craft itself. There is just something deeply satisfying in brewing.

Offline BrewHalla

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #62 on: September 25, 2016, 07:45:56 am »
I believe the statement of the canary is correct. There is way too much bad beer on the market.

What I see scaring people off from home brew is they get all excited run out and buy all the equipment and then rush out to a large package store and buy a bunch of beer they think they want to brew and try it.  These are people use to drinking the ballast point, stone, sierra nevada and then jump right into the deep murky bad waters that truly exist in microbrewing. After that point if you get them alone, has to be alone so they don't ruin their beer cred as any hipster will say any microbrew is a good brew (decidedly false), I hear they really don't like a lot of microbrew and don't think it's worth it to continue brewing.

 The other side i see is the lazy nature of the fad follower. They figure out that you can't just drop yeast in a bucket and BAM awesome beer so they take the equipment and throw it in the attic.

To me in the end it doesn't bother me. Hops are so high right now because of over demand I want them to leave. Take me back to the day of 1 to 2 bucks an ounce as opposed to 3 to 5 dollars an ounce.

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Offline thirsty

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #63 on: September 25, 2016, 07:49:53 am »
I can't stop brewing. I have too many hops growing in the yard.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #64 on: September 25, 2016, 09:41:20 am »
There may be some truth to what you say but it in no way applies to me or do I think it applies to most folks here. I never brewed beer to save money. In fact, if you factor in the time it takes to brew a 5 or 10 gallon batch you aren't saving any money at all. But regardless, I have always enjoyed brewing, from the very first batch, for the sake of the craft itself. There is just something deeply satisfying in brewing.

I don't think it applies to anybody who regularly frequents homebrewing forums. My point is that the ranks of homebrewing swelled with people homebrewing on the cheap or brewing a little because somebody got them a Mr. Beer or bucket starter set and never went beyond that. These were not people moving on to kegging or buying nice brewing equipment. They aren't the people trying to brew with expertise or refine their technique. They just wanted to have fun and brew drinkable beer that wouldn't cost as much. You can definitely homebrew cheaper than you can buy beer if you don't get into brewing exotic beers, stick to basic equipment and don't keg. Some of those people advanced into the hobby but many did not.
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Offline tommymorris

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The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #65 on: September 25, 2016, 11:25:57 am »
I think one reason people quit is home brewing is not easy to get right on the first few batches. Especially if you are used to good quality craft beer. Your first few batches will not compare.

Offline Stevie

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #66 on: September 25, 2016, 11:41:46 am »
I think one reason people quit is home brewing is not easy to get right on the first few batches. Especially if you are used to good quality craft beer. Your first few batches will not compare.
Maybe, but who knocks pizza dough or bread out the park first time? Maybe risk/reward is high due to the amount of time.

I do brew to save money. Beer is stupid expensive right now. $6+ bombers, $10+ six packs, $7+ pints. If I factored the time at minimum wage, I'd still be saving on a 10 gallon batch. I think it is unfair to factor time when it is also my hobby. If i wasn't brewing, I'd be out spending or watching tv.

Offline tommymorris

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The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #67 on: September 25, 2016, 11:46:01 am »
I think one reason people quit is home brewing is not easy to get right on the first few batches. Especially if you are used to good quality craft beer. Your first few batches will not compare.
Maybe, but who knocks pizza dough or bread out the park first time? Maybe risk/reward is high due to the amount of time.

I do brew to save money. Beer is stupid expensive right now. $6+ bombers, $10+ six packs, $7+ pints. If I factored the time at minimum wage, I'd still be saving on a 10 gallon batch. I think it is unfair to factor time when it is also my hobby. If i wasn't brewing, I'd be out spending or watching tv.
I think many people quit all kinds of things that are hard.  Lots of people receive home brew equipment as a gift, give a try a few times and move on.

I agree home brewing is cheaper as long as you don't count the value of your time and probably you need to exclude equipment cost. The way I see it equipment and time are costs associated with my hobby. Ingredients, fuel, CO2 are costs associated with the beer.

Offline Stevie

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The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #68 on: September 25, 2016, 12:19:52 pm »
I wasn't disagreeing. That was more towards those that give up. But, in all honesty, making decent beer is way easier than making bread.

Offline denny

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #69 on: September 25, 2016, 02:38:26 pm »
I wasn't disagreeing. That was more towards those that give up. But, in all honesty, making decent beer is way easier than making bread.

No kidding.  My first batch was fantastic.  My third won an award.  After 10+ years of bread baking I'm still hit or miss.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2016, 03:05:19 pm »
+2.  Making really good bread is on another level.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #71 on: September 26, 2016, 05:10:42 am »
Looking back, I got lucky when I started homebrewing. NB kits meant fresh ingredients, and by my second batch I had things going pretty well.

But someone who starts out with old LME from a local shop that was started to "cash in" on the homebrewing boom? Yeah, I doubt he/she would stick with brewing long enough to sort out the issues. But if stores like that all go out of business will it really be bad for the hobby?

I've introduced a few friends to brewing. The ones who end up brewing (Or want to but can't afford it) are without fail people who enjoy hard work, and enjoy the fact that the work is part of what makes the beer special. They're also good at committing to sticking with brewing till they get it right. With the attention span of society seemingly getting shorter and shorter, can anyone be surprised if someone gives up after a few batches when the results aren't stellar?
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Offline skyler

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #72 on: September 26, 2016, 07:30:18 am »
There's a reason why most homebrew clubs (and this forum) are largely populated by men over 50. I think a lot of people get into brewing in their 20's or early 30's and get out of it when they have a kid or move in with their girlfriend/wife. Those who really value the hobby keep with it and get more involved as they get older; the rest will slowly give it up as they become fully-formed adults.

An yeah, money plays a factor. You need to get pretty deep into the hobby to make pro-quality beer (mash tun, fermentation temperature management, a stir-plate, etc.). Most homebrewers never get that far. But once you have bought all those supplies, you can brew two kegs' worth of almost any non-sour, non-hop bomb for under $.50/pint. If you just don't care about that, you are a lot less likely to stay in the hobby when you start earning grown-up money.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #73 on: September 26, 2016, 07:44:42 am »
You need to get pretty deep into the hobby to make pro-quality beer (mash tun, fermentation temperature management, a stir-plate, etc.). Most homebrewers never get that far. But once you have bought all those supplies, you can brew two kegs' worth of almost any non-sour, non-hop bomb for under $.50/pint. If you just don't care about that, you are a lot less likely to stay in the hobby when you start earning grown-up money.

I disagree with most of this.  I don't spend barely a dime on new equipment yet can compete with the rest of 'em.  Also I don't really care about the cost per bottle.  I homebrew because I love the process and the creativity of it.  That will never change, even though I make 6 figures.  Many of my other friends making great money (including a doctor and a lawyer) aren't doing this to save money.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2016, 11:33:02 am »
Joe Sr.  You are like the Omega Man to me...Always right and a light in the darkness....

Hah.  You flatter me.

I had time to kill on Friday and wandered through Binny's.  I browsed every single beer aisle (and twice down the bourbon aisle).  There are a phenomenal amount of beers out there.  And a lot of them are really good and really well made.  They're also expensive, but I get Keith's point about time and equipment costs. 

I grabbed a couple of quads I've never had (plus some I have), an old ale (Smutty Nose Really Old Brown Dog - outstanding!), some standbys that were on sale, and a few other things.  I spent a ton (mostly on the bourbon to be honest) but I've got a really nice variety of some really good beers.  It didn't take any time out of my weekend.  I can see the allure of skipping the brewing and having a huge selection of great beer available.
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