Friday, July 2, 2010

The Session #41- Homebrewing

This month's issue of The Session is hosted by The Wallace Bros. at Lug Wrench Brewing Company.  They asked bloggers to write about how homebrewing has influenced Craft Beer industry.

I am sure that many craft brewers started out as homebrewers.  I love the homebrew competitions that breweries hold, whether it is Sam Adam's homebrew competition or Heavy Seas (the Letter of Marque Hop Rye Porter was amazing).  But homebrewing means something different to me.

To some people homebrewing is their live. To me it is the start to a new life.

Now that I moved out to the country from Baltimore, one of the things that I am looking forward to is homebrewing. Yes, I could have done it in the city, but space was an issue. I have already decided to brew some of the beer for my upcoming wedding in October (with the help of my brother), and we have been going over recipe ideas. Will I keg or bottle? Big batches or small batches? Lager or stick to ales? These are the questions that vo through my mind on my hour and a half drive every morning.

The final question that goes through my mind is what style my first homebrewing will be. I though about doing a saison-it is my favorite now. Or maybe an IPA- my longtime favorite. I do love Belgians though or something safe like a basic pale ale. These questions burn me up and give me things to contemplate. What I know I can't wait for is to make these decisions. I also feel fortunate to know that I have build a good core of people who I know can answer any questions that I may have about homebrewing. So if you have any answers to the above questions, or any good advice, please let me know.


  1. Jay,

    Welcome to homebrewing! If you have the means, start right into kegging. Its a heck of a lot easier and a lot less chance of contamination. Secondly, stick to the ales first until you've mastered that process. Lagers are a lot more finicky. Lastly, connect with the other local homebrewers - they are probably your best resource.



  2. @JW Thanks for the advice, I am planning on being an ale man, but the thought does cross my mind often. Hopefully, I can get into kegging, but am sure I will start out bottling.

  3. Keg or bottle? Bottle first so you can appreciate how awesome kegging is.
    Big batches or small batches? As big a batch as you can boil and ferment. It takes the same amount of time to do a 5 gallon batch as it does to do 20.
    Lager or stick to ales? Ale are easy and your temperatures are more ‘house’ temperature friendly with little help. Lagers are fun every once in a while but only with someone who has a dedicated fridge.
    Good Luck and welcome to the wonderful world of Home brewing.
    I have an All Grain Class I’m teaching at Maryland Homebrew on Saturday they are always a good way to get started. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.