Home Brewing: The Learning Curve

When you know more about making beer at home, you can notice there’s more than just one way to produce beer. Here’s a fast run down of the different home brewing stages. Bear in mind that although you don’t have to start at one point and work your way down the process, when you first start home brewing, you’ll definitely (and it’s advisable) start at the edge. It is essentially because beginning brewing is boiled down to the very fundamentals — allowing the novice to first grasp the principles of home brewing, before extending and testing out any of the other variables that occur while producing beer.

When you’ve built the stable base, you can then go out in all manner of directions. The explanation home brewers advance through the stages is simply that you have more influence over the beer’s final flavor as you progress. In the home brewing process you have more options — different types of products, different ways to mix the ingredients, more recettes to use, or even make your own).

For most newcomers the beer product package is the gateway to the home brewing universe. A box in a can, all you need in one simple package to make beer. You just dump the malt extract into the wort, and you’re on the way. This method of brewing is called Extract Brewing, because the real grains are not used for brewing. You use the malt extract in either liquid or dry form, instead.

Extracts will make great beer making, and many home brewers start with brewing extracts. There were even brews of the award-winning blend. One thing about the kits: materials are not the strongest though, but they can be easily improved on. There’s no indication how old the yeast is and often the kits come with pre-hopped extract of barley.

It’s not too hard to replace fresher yeast and add fresh hops to your boil, but the difference in your final brew ‘s flavor will be obvious. Brewers yeast can be bought separately, either online or at the LHBS, and is inexpensive.

The kits’ main objective is to introduce you to the home brewing environment, create drinkable beer in the shortest amount of time, and get you hooked on home brewing. Then, they know that you’ll probably buy more beer packages. For them you can make decent beer but only a few quick tweaks can produce better beer.

Substituting fresh yeast, fresh hops and increasing fermentation and aging time for the bottle are just small , simple steps that you can take to reward you. Such small steps are driving you up a level, but it’s a big step that you can make a great payoff — better beer!

Once you’ve got a few batches of Extract Brewing under your belt, you could seek Partial Mash Brewing and go up a level. Partial Mash involves adding grains to the boil while still using some extract of malt — you are simply substituting some of the malt extract for some. You can continue with steep grains, which are no more complicated than tea making. You simply add a few grains to the boil, either directly (and straining them out after boiling), or in a bag of grains.