Where should I start? Part 1 - The Basics

Posted by Barley Beaver on

Hey, shoppers of Canuck Homebrew Supply, missed me? Well, I sure did miss you, and I definitely should apologize for the long period of silence on my end. We’ve been pretty busy at the shop and warehouse these past months, and hadn’t enough time for writing as we usually do. But now things are slowly getting back on track and I can address some of the commonly asked questions, the most frequent of which is “where should I start with homebrewing?” that comes in one form or another.

Part 1

Brewing Basics

The most peculiar thing about this question is that it’s both very simple and very hard to answer. On the one hand, starting to make beer on your own is as simple as cooking a soup, since you need only several ingredients and a large enough pot to do it. But once you start looking closely into each of the ingredients and how they could be employed in the process, it becomes obvious that it’s only the tip of the iceberg, and it’s a huge one, with many professional brewers spending decades on mastering.

But fret not, as making the first batch of your own beer is really simple, especially if you choose to start out with a simple recipe that employs only the basic brewing ingredients. In fact, there are many out-of-the-box kits available just for that purpose, allowing you to brew an impressive range of beer styles without having to know which types of hops, yeast, or malt goes into the boiling pot. My personal suggestion would be going with one of such recipe kits for your first brew day, as they allow you to asses the complexity of the task and evaluate your equipment and space needs for this exciting hobby.

Speaking of equipment, there’s a persistent myth surrounding beer brewing, which implies that you need lots of specialized equipment in order to brew beer at home. Well, sure, if you look at the brewing systems some enthusiasts have put together over the years of brewing beer at home, the first impression will certainly be that of a sophisticated particle accelerator that you just won’t be able to afford. But if you look at the core of any brewing system, the underlying principle is very simple as it’s based on a couple of pots connected to each other. And all you need to start brewing in terms of equipment is just a single large pot that will allow you to hold at least 6 gallons of liquid on a stove or gas burner. Simple as that.

Sure, there are certain items that will help you while brewing, and I’ll strongly suggest looking into beginner homebrew equipment kits for those. But to be honest, in order to brew your first batch of beer you don’t need a hydrometer, pH meter, Irish Moss, or oxygenator. Keep the equipment to a bare minimum with a boiling pot and a plastic fermenter, with some clean bottles on the wait for the finished beer, and you will certainly be able to brew your first beer at home.

In the next part of this entry I’ll cover the basic approaches to using extracts and grains, and explain how this will affect your brewing methods and what equipment should be used for each. But until then, make sure to grab one of the recipe kits from our shop and make your own beer!

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.