Home brewing is the art of making your own beverage, usually alcoholic, on a small scale and generally for personal consumption. While home brewing is not a new concept and has been around for centuries, the concept of making beverages at home became less attractive as laws and bigger companies made it harder for home-made brew to be sold commercially. There are very few countries where your home's produce can be sold to customers and as a result, the art of home brewing is almost completely about giving yourself something more than the commercial stuff.
The problem with commercial brewing is that every single drink tastes the same and none have any character of their own. They are all alike, churned out by a machine that can do thousands of them at the same time. The need to find something more tasteful and superior in quality is usually what home brewers are on the lookout for, which brings them to the point of buying their own equipment and making their own beverages. Depending on what you are trying to brew, the kind of ingredients that you use and the kind of equipment that you use, your beverage's taste and texture will vary. Just a few simple things and you will be ready to start off on your own.
Setting the Place up for Home Brewing
The first thing you need to decide upon is choosing the kind of beverage you wish to make. You can choose from a long list of drinks that include beer, wine, cider, Kilju or Mead, as well as any other category of drink that comes under these groups. Beer is the most common drink that is picked up in home brewing. Whether making it at home or in a large factory, the process remains the same. Since it is also the most common drink for people to consume, it is also the most common choice of home brewers who are constantly trying to find new ingredients to make it better.
To prepare your home for a session of home brewing, all you need to do is find a place where you can set up your equipment. These "kits" are available commercially, for anything that you'd like to make, and come with a set of instructions on what you need to do to go about making your own beverage. Most stores that sell brewing equipment will also sell you the ingredients although the best thing is to grow your own, if you have the time and place i.e.
Once you have your ingredients, you need to use them as required and perfect your technique and taste for the beverage you are trying to create. There is never any right or wrong way for home brewing, especially when it comes to ingredients, because the way you use your ingredients will decide your taste at the end of things. The only thing you need to remember is that if your ingredients are of high quality, and your techniques are right at every step of the process, you just cannot go wrong. Then, it's all a matter of perfecting the finer details like taste and texture.
Storing your Hard Work
There are many different ways of storing what you make and the most important thing to remember is that no matter what material or container you use, everything needs to be properly clean and sterilized, without any traces of water. You can bottle your beverage or store it in kegs or simply finish it off in one go! If you choose to sell your beverage then you need to check with your local food and health department to find out the laws regarding selling your home brewed beverage.
There are some places where this is allowed and you can simply take your produce to the local farmers' market or even sell it out of your own garage. There are other places where you are not allowed to sell it directly to the consumer, but can become a supplier to a local pub, if you so choose. However, the most common rule is that you are free to do your own home brewing but the final product cannot be sold commercially, in any form and to anyone.
Whether you choose to sell it or just share it with your friends and family, home brewing is an extremely therapeutic and creative hobby that doesn't require too much effort. Once you've put in all the ingredients and set up all your equipment, you just have to sit back and watch those ingredients work their magic. Barring a periodic check, you don't need to do anything at all. At the end of a few days or weeks, depending on what you are making, you will find the beautiful fruits of your home brewing labour waiting for you.