I’ve always said I have no interest in homebrewing, mainly because 1: I don’t like cooking and brewing is similar, 2: I don’t have the room, 3: I have access to great beer so why bother?
Last year I took the BJCP study group, and met a ton of homebrewers. I’ve always liked listening to their stories, experiences and homebrew setups. Learning about brewing (which is what half of the study group was focused around) the idea really peaked my interest. Also I was one of the very few people in the group that didn’t homebrew.
I continued being fascinated about homebrewing. I would go to a friend’s house and see him brew beer and it looked so ‘easy’. And his homebrew turned out really nice. Earlier this year, I can’t remember where I specifically saw this, but I saw an advertisement for Brooklyn Brew Kit for $20 at Williams-Sonoma. So I thought, well why not try. The Kit has ‘everything’ you need and was specifically created for people who live in apartments/condos. The worse case is I lose $20 and half a day.
So the result of this experiment was….a disaster. As any homebrewer knows, temperature is one of the most important things about homebrewing. I didn’t hit any of my temperatures. Plus I used only the equipment and instructions they gave me, which was pretty basic. On top of that I didn’t really know what I was doing. Afterwards, the kitchen was a mess and I knew the beer would turn out horrible. Actually what was surprising, the beer turned out to be ‘kinda’ drinkable and not as bad as I thought.
After that experience I was determined to try again, because I hate being conquered! So I spend 2 weeks indulging myself in reading and researching homebrewing, talking to others about homebrewing and upgrading my set up. I bought another 1 Gallon fermenter, a auto siphon (which didn’t come with the kit), a digital fermenter, a 2 gallon mash tun and a hydrometer. I also ended up buying the Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making book (which I’ll review in detail in another post). So after buying a few ingredients I was able to try again.
This time….much better. I was much more prepared now that I had researched more about the process!
Since the summer, which is when I started homebrewing, I brew at least once a week. And I have to say I’m addicted! I love experimenting and learning and there are so many homebrewers in Toronto that I can seek advice anytime I want and there are so many people willing to help.
So now I’ve added homebrewing to my beer journey. There will be a few more posts including my setup this week!
Some important resources that I relied on and I recommend all of these for anyone who is planning on going down the homebrewing road:
1. Book – The Complete Joy of Homebrewing
2. Book – How to Brew. You can download a free copy here.
3. Forum – homebrewtalk.com. Basically any question you have about homebrewing, it’s been asked and answered here.