Catch the Local Buzz with Episode 6, “Beer No Evil”
If you’ve cracked open a cold one or been at the ball game with a brewski, its time for you to take charge in your choices by HOMEBREWING…. Here’s a refreshing guide that’ll quench your thoughts and help you hop on to being a malt master in your group.
The basics: As the name implies, homebrewing is the hobby of brewing beer at home.
The truth: It is an easy, fun, and rewarding activity (In the end you will have beer and its up to you if its good or not, rise to the challenge).
The reality: Anyone who can make soup from a can is capable of brewing quality beer in their home (that means you can do it).
The facts: 750,000 Americans from all walks of life brew beer at home.
How Much Does It cost?
The Basic beginner equipment kits start at around $80.
Ingredients cost anywhere from $25-$45 per 5 gallon batch depending on the style being brewed (5 gallons or about 48, 12 oz bottles). You can always get crazy with the ingredients to so the upper-limit on ingredients really can be anything, 40 bucks is a good average to plan around.
What are the Ingredients Used to Make Homebrew?
Homebrew is primarily made from malt extract, malt, hops, yeast and water.
See Basic Ingredients
How Long Does it Take?
It will be about four weeks before you can drink the beer you make, but the actual time from boil to beer depends on the style of beer you’re making.
- Brewing: 2 Hours
- Fermentation: 2 weeks
- Bottle Your Beer: 1 Hour
- Bottle Conditioning (allows beer to carbonate): 2-4 Weeks
How Do I Get Started?
Download a free copy of Zymurgy: An Introduction to Homebrewing, the American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) free guide for beginning homebrewers.
Visit your local homebrew supply shop (see Find a Supply Shop) to get a beginner equipment kit and the ingredients for your first batch of homebrew (see recipe in Zymurgy: An Introduction to Homebrewing).
- The AHA Homebrewopedia is an excellent wiki-based online resource for homebrewing information and recipes.
- There are many great books out there on homebrewing, check out the American Homebrewers Associations Recommended Reading.
- Join a homebrew club (see Find a Club). Clubs are an excellent source for homebrew knowledge and camaraderie.
Be Sure to Check out Our Coverage of The 33rd Annual National Homebrewers Conference held this year in San Diego. July 16th-18th.
Friendly Advice from Travis Hammond, Member of QUAFF
Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity (QUAFF)
One of the parts of the brewing process that uses a good amount of water (30 to 100 gallons for a 5 gallon batch of beer) is cooling the wort after the boil to a temperature suitable for pitching yeast (about 50 to 70 degrees depending on the beer style). Many homebrewers have found ways to capture the cooling water for other purposes. I catch my cooling water in buckets, let it cool overnight, then put it on my lawn or garden. Some guys catch the hot water and use it to clean their brewing equipment or run a load of laundry saving energy and water. Other guys have designed pumping systems to recirculate a small amount of water and they add plastic bottles full of ice to keep it cool. Not sure which method is more sustainable.
I feed a good portion of my spent grain to my chickens. We sometimes use it for bread as well.
I’m an environmental consultant, so I look for ways to conserve where possible. I have to admit, however, that quality comes first. I don’t let sustainability get in the way of making great beer. I try to incorporate green practices when I can, but homebrewing has to be less efficient than producing beer in larger quantities. I homebrew as a hobby because I can control exactly how the beer turns out rather than having someone else do that for me.
Stone would be good for your green business section. The roof at their Escondido brewery is covered with solar panels, and they do primary wastewater treatment on site to reduce the load on the City of Escondido treatment plant. I think they have found ways to reclaim some of the heat energy they use. Local food at the Bistro, etc. Just what they need…. more pubicity.
Thanks for educating people about sustainability. We still have a long way to go.
If you enjoy this Green Yourself idea be sure to check out the full episode about this issue
Season 1 – Ep. 6 Beer No Evil
Season 1 – Ep. 6 Beer No Evil