Sunday 27 April 2014

Some thoughts on getting started with home brewing

Stuff to think about:

  • Basic equipment to get you going - at least a stock pot for heating/boiling and fermentation bucket. Most home brew shops sell starter kits
  • Gaining an understanding of the process. Maybe ask another home brewer if you can watch them or check out youtube and other online resources
  • Pitching plenty of healthy yeast at a temperature it's happy with. Happy yeast really is the most important ingredient in brewing
  • Sanitation throughout your brewing process - really important!
  • Recipes - check out sites such as BYO and BeerSmith
  • Handling post fermentation - read up on oxidation and don't do any of those things
  • Packaging - be it bottles, pressure barrels or mini-kegs, plan in advance what you're going to do once the beer is ready to drink. 

Stuff to not worry about until later:

  • Constructing recipes from scratch 
  • Fancy equipment - you can make great beer with a very basic set up and it's a great way to learn the process. Fancy equipment doesn't make you a better brewer, it just makes you poorer
  • Fine-grained temperature control - plenty of yeasts are happy at typical ambient room temperatures, so start with those (see US-05, S-04, Nottingham etc.)
  • Brewing the perfect beer. It's a learning process and with every brew you'll learn and improve. Don't be put off if your first IPA isn't as close to Pliny the Elder as you'd hoped

Home brewing really is an exciting and rewarding hobby. The main thing is to enjoy it and have fun!

Feel free to add any additional thoughts below. What helped you get started? Any tips to share?


  1. Via @pdtnc "Importantly, Teach someone else to brew after you're happy with your beer :)"

  2. Get yourself on the forum at Jim's:

  3. Via @Graham_Meakin "Always keep a notepad next to you on Brewday. If anything goes a bit wrong write it down so you can do it differently next time and gradually build your own tailored guide to the perfect brew day"

  4. Via @BroadfordBrewer "before making/buying kit - spending a brewday with someone who knows the basic process, can be a big help"

  5. Via @Crema_Brewery "Record EVERYTHING. Recipe, process, fermentation time and tasting notes at each step."