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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm a brewer, You're a brewer

Over the years, one thing I've always loved about the homebrewing hobby is the range of skill levels it's open to. If you bought a Mr. Beer kit, and make a couple of gallons every few weeks, you're a homebrewer. I f you've set a miniature version of a commercial brewery in your garage, and make 25 gallons of beer a week, you're a homebrewer.
Anyone at these two extremes, and everyone in between, can make good, drinkable beer. As I've said in my podcast, you should make the beer you want to drink. The biggest advantage to brewing with all grain is that fact that you have absolute control over your ingredients. There is no limit to the variety of different types of grain you can use to develop your beer.
If that's important to you. But, you can make really good, even world-class beer, using malt extract. You can make good, drinkable beer using a canned kit. What you use to make beer is determined by what you're capable of, what you can afford, what you have space for, not what some “expert” says you need to use.
I have also seen that homebrewers at either end of the spectrum say bad things about brewers at the other end. Stop it!
If you have the money and time to set up a 25-gallon system in your garage, with a gas-jet fired brew kettle, and a temperature-controlled fermentation tank, well, great! If you have a salvaged 1-gallon jug tucked in the corner of you 3-room apartment, good for you!
Making beer is done by making a sweet solution, and then adding yeast. The yeast eat the sugar, and produce alcohol and CO2 as waste. I read an old saying years ago. It said, “Yeast make beer. Brewers make wort.” The differences in different brewing styles, techniques, is where we get the food for the yeast, that's all.
Everyone, make the beer you want to drink, enjoy your hobby. Just allow others to do the same.