HOME BREW? – THAT’S OLD SCHOOL

HOME BREW?

THAT’S OLD SCHOOL

In the first of our new series of reviews by Grizzly Brews here we take a look at an introduction to home brewing.

OUT WITH THE OLD

We all enjoy drinking beer in its various forms, but what about crafting your very own pint? That’s just something your granddad did, right? Well I’m here to tell you that it’s out with the crusty old cans of malt extract from Boots and in with an exciting range of beer kits produced to replicate your favourite beer styles. Home brewing is now a journey of discovery, you may even end up making beer styles you’ve never heard of.

CRAFT BEER BOOM

A massive increase in the popularity of craft beer over the last 10 years has led to the increased availability of home brewing equipment and improved the quality of beer kits. The craft beer boom has also dominated the internet, meaning that rapidly growing online communities of home brewers are bursting with information, tips and tricks to help you make the perfect pint.

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WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE

Now that making craft beer is accessible to everyone, with solutions that suit a variety of budgets and abilities, what’s your excuse?

You can find a huge variety of home brewing equipment and kits in major supermarkets. Wilko stock around 20 different styles, and Tesco offer more than 200 items relating to home brew!  If you’re looking for a little more, then get yourself online where you’ll find some well-presented and generously stocked brewing shops. Even well-known breweries are making kit versions of their most popular beer, for example, “Cwtch” by Tiny Rebel, named champion Beer of Britain in 2015.

WHERE TO START

If you’re interested in starting brewing, the best place to start is with a beer kit. It’s where I started and it’s where many others have too. I could get into extract brewing and all-grain, but I’ll save those for another issue. Beer kits give you a chance to get the hang of the basics whilst enjoying a nice beer, which is what you want when you start a hobby, right?

KITS

There are several types of beer kit, one being the standard can & yeast combo, which is the most common and often the best value for money. Another type is the cardboard box kit, these tend to be premium kits. They come with better instructions, you don’t need to buy any sugar or spray malt and some come with a small bag of hops to add to the beer to improve the flavour.

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Last but not least there is the homebrew bundle, which comes with everything you need to make the beer, including equipment. These are pretty good especially if you don’t have the time to hunt around for individual items. A word of warning, stay away from those kits offering any gimmicky ways of storing and dispensing your beer, bottles are the most reliable way of storing your precious nectar.

RESEARCH

Whichever option you choose, make sure that you prepare for your brew day, keep everything to hand and do a little research so that you know what to expect. My number one tip for beginners is to keep everything sterilised and thoroughly rinsed of cleaning solutions.

GET OUT THERE

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy a beer kit that takes your fancy. Don’t worry about whether or not it turns out perfectly, the best way to learn is by getting stuck in. You’ll be enjoying your own beer before you know it, cheers!

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GET IN TOUCH

If you have any queries about brewing or would like me to cover a certain topic, then send an email to grizzly@grizzlybrews.co.uk

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Twitter: @GrizzlyBrews

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