I am often asked how I learned to homebrew (I learned from a book authored by the great Charlie Papazian). People are bewildered by the fact that you can actually brew your beer. I'm here to give the power back to the people. Brewing can be as or difficult as you want, you chose your own level of involvement. I have only been homebrewing for two years, but have had great fun and success with it. I knew very, very little about beer when I first started.
Every week I will discuss another step in the process of brewing your first beer. Before you get started, there are some things you should know:
- Is it hard? -- Brewing your first beer is incredibly easy. If you can boil water, you can brew. In many ways brewing is even easier than cooking. I didn't know how to cook anything when I made my first beer.
- What if my beer "sucks"? -- Simply put, it won't. It's very hard to make a "bad" beer as long as you follow the instructions! You will be surprised by how good your first beer is, I guarantee it.
- Is it expensive? -- It will take about $150-$200 to start brewing. After this initial investment, your beer will cost you $30-$50 for every 5 gallons (about 48 bottles).
- How much time will it take? -- Brewing an average 5 gallon batch of beer will take a total of 5-10 hours. Most of your time will be spent waiting...
- Patience is a virtue! After you start your first batch you will have to wait about 3 weeks to bottle it. After it's bottled you will have to wait another 1-2 weeks for the beer to condition and carbonate.