The purpose of this book is to guide the first-time homebrewer through his or her first few years of brewing, to explain the most cost-effective way to get started, the things to worry about and things to blow off, and as many secrets as I can pack into this short introduction to the wonderful world of Homebrew. More
When people ask me how I got into Homebrewing, I have always had the same answer, “Beer is expensive!” This garners a laugh each time. But I’m dead serious. Not only is beer expensive, but very good beer is very expensive! And very good beer from places very far away from my own Beer-Mecca hometown of Portland, Oregon, are very very expensive, if even able to survive the voyage from halfway around the world without being ruined with some kind of pasteurization or other preservative process. (Yes, Guinness Stout served in Ireland does not taste like it does here in the states as an exported product!)
From the moment I fell in love with Belgian Ales, I realized I would be coughing up more than $10 for a four pack of some of my favorites, such as Chimay Tripel or Hoegaarden Wit. However, I could make a reasonable Belgian beer of my own for a fraction of that price if I could just brew it myself!
Hence, I began a long and arduous process of becoming the best homebrewer I could, in order to make my favorite styles of beer to the best of my ability. Since that time, I have been a member of three local homebrew clubs, the president of the Oregon Brew Crew, a certified BJCP judge, and a member of the American Homebrewers Association.
And what I have noticed is that practically every homebrewer goes through the same process of evolution. This book has two purposes in mind. One, to give you a “conceptual” idea of how brewing works so that you are not following a series of inexplicable instructions, but actually brewing beer. Second, to give you an overall picture of what you need to get started and what you will purchase as you graduate from your first utmost affordable homebrewer’s kit. You will see it grow it piece by piece, and you will eventually reach sudden and radical “graduation” points. The first is moving from a bottling to a kegging system, the second, moving from a malt-extract process to an “all-grain” process—most likely, but not necessarily in that order.