You finally have an amazing home bar and have been brushing up on your mixology skills. Now is the time to take it to the next level by brewing your own beer. Before you begin, you will need to stock your bar cabinets with the necessary tools and provisions, and you will need to know a few things that will set you on the right path. Here are a few home bar brewing tips for beginners to help encourage and inspire your journey.
Learn the tools of the trade from the beer making veterans.
The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) offers simple steps to help you master the homebrewing process, including tutorials with topics that include small batch brewing and using specialty grains. You’ll also find some great homebrew recipes to try that include the four main ingredients in making beer — malt, hops, yeast and water. Here are the tools they recommend adding to your bar cabinets in order to brew at home:
- Airlock & Bung
- Brew Pot
- Unscented Dish Soap
- Homebrew Sanitizers
You will also need a large liquid measuring cup, a strainer, spoons, and a calibrated thermometer that can withstand high temperatures. For more details on each of these items, click here.
Do your research before diving in.
According to Popular Mechanics, most people spend around $200 on homebrewing equipment and ingredients. Nothing too fancy, but still quite an investment. In their recent article, How to Make Beer at Home, they go in-depth on the process, from sanitizing everything and creating a starter wort, to making the mash and adding the grain. They also discuss the boil, cooling and pitching, and bottling your brew, as well as what to do if your first batch fails. It’s an insightful resource, but there are others as well. Before diving in head first, take the time to research, and connect with other homebrewers through online forums, groups and conventions.
Be Patient and stick with it.
Even with tried and true recipes, a wealth of research, and all the right equipment, there is always a learning curve when attempting to master a new skill or task. Homebrewing takes practice and mistakes will be made when trying to keep consistent temperatures and the occasional boil over. This is par for the course and even happens to experienced, professional brewers. Don’t get frustrated and don’t give up. Instead, be patient and stick with it. Once you sip your first success, you will be glad you did.
Know that you have some tips to get started, we are sure you will soon be on your way to inventing your own signature craft beer, whether it’s an ale, weizen, IPA, lager, shandy or porter. You may even want to try your hand at hard cider! Why not make the most of your home bar and give it a go? Cheers!
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