Before you really get oriented to what home brewing is all about, it’s easy to think it is a process that is set in stone and there is only one right way to do it. And it is true that the brewing and fermenting process has some steps that must be followed with some discipline if you wish to enjoy a great home made beer. But one of the reasons that home brewing is such a passion to many people who enjoy this way of making beer is that there as so many varieties of recipes and styles of making.
You can easily get a feel for what a huge variety there is in ways to brew beer and in recipes for ingredients when you visit your local beer supplies retailer, go to home brewing web sites or sit in at home brewing club meetings in town. And the great thing about the social side of the home brewing culture is that you will come home with a notebook full of ideas of things you can try on upcoming batches of beer. The odds are you will have months of ideas to try out and you may never run out of new approaches, blends and recipes to try to make your home made beer interesting and tasty for yourself, your family and your friends.
For that first time home brewing recruit, one of the best ways to help him have the fun of making beer at home without so much investment and mess that will come in due time is to go with a home brewing kit or machine. Beer making machines literally take all of the thinking and planning and risk out of trying out home brewing to see if you want to make the investment in a full set up. The machine comes with a full set of ingredients for one batch of beer and the equipment is automated so the novice home brewer can make the beer and move it through the fermentation and aging process and know the fun of having real home made beer a few weeks later.
Similarly kits simply the process of buying and using the equipment and ingredients to get started in home brewing. Unlike the beer making machine which is used once and discarded, the beer maker’s kit gives you the basic equipment which will be the beginning of your collection of the tools of a beer maker to be used over and over many times. But the kit provides the ingredients and the instructions to make the process of learning to make your own beer easy and fun to learn.
Even for seasoned home beer makers, there are variations on the home brewing method that will give you more flexibility and range of choices that will affect how unique your beer will be. But each may have a greater investment of work and effort to use effectively so it’s worth getting familiar with them in advance so you know your investment of time and effort and what you might expect with a new brewing method.
Probably the most common brewing method most amateur brewer’s use and the one that is taught in most home brewing guides is the extract method. And even though it is well known, because you are truly brewing beer yourself as opposed to using a kit or a machine, you can alter the consistencies and flavors of your beer and get a wonderful brew each time you use this approach.
You can settle on the extract method for a long time or perhaps use it exclusively for your brewing career and get great beers with it every time. But if you want a greater challenge and the possibility for even more unique beers as a result, you can explore the Mini-Mash method and the Full Mash Brew styles of home brewing. Each is more complex and takes longer to finish the brewing process. But they also give you a lot of flexibility and even more ability to make your own beer unique and distinctive.
It’s up to you where to start in your beer brewing hobby and the paths you take. You can explore new approaches through networking with other brewers. But you will never get bored brewing beer at home because the variety of methods and ingredients are virtually limitless.