When you first look into home-brewing, you may be confused about where to start – that’s why this startup guide has been made. Feel free to bookmark this page and nip back at any point.
I found it difficult starting out as I had to struggle through, using my intuition. The point of this guide is that you don’t have to struggle – it should be an enjoyable experience.
If you’ve got any questions at any point – let me know in the comments below.
Why Start To Learn How To Homebrew?
You may be wanting to have a go at homebrewing for several reasons, or just one. The fact is there’s various ways that mean learning how to homebrew can be beneficial – here’s a few of them.
You may have wondered what actually goes in mass produced beers, and usually they use various chemicals to give the beer it’s flavor, or to help with the brewing process – now most of these chemicals aren’t especially good for you. If you’re learning how to home-brew yourself, you know exactly what’s going into your beer.
Beer prices have been steadily rising above the rate of inflation for years now – and there’s no signs that the trend is going to stop. You can brew your own beer for a fraction of the price of going to your local shop and buying it.
Learning how to homebrew is a great thing to do if you’ve got some spare time (it doesn’t take as long as you think either), and there’s no better feeling than taking the first sip of your first homebrew.
There’s lots of ways to get started with homebrewing – there are several different kits on the market to help you, but which do you choose? Where To Start?
To be honest you don’t have to buy an all in one kit – but if you’ve not done any home-brewing before you’ll find it a lot easier as you know all the equipment is there and fits together properly.
Where to start Homebrewing?
First, before you even buy the kit – you’ll have to get an area ready for the beer to brew. Here’s some things to keep in mind when selecting an area:
You want enough space to get at everything, and you’ll need a workspace to get everything ready. A clear table is fine for the preparation but you need somewhere to store the beer whilst it’s brewing.
This is an important factor – as if it’s extreme it’ll affect the brewing process, in a bad way. As the temperature is a key factor for the yeast – it needs to be at a constant temperature. A warm cupboard or attic would be an ideal solution.
Ideally during the brewing process the beer won’t move much (if at all) this means don’t choose an area that will cause you to keep moving it, or an area with vibrations. This can also affect the process.
Most of the process required by you is planning – so the better you get this sorted the better your beer’s going to taste.
After you’ve got an idea of where you’re going to do everything – the next step is to choose what equipment would suit you. The good part of this (which you may not expect), is that it won’t cost as much as you’d first think.
So – how much does it cost to set up?
Rest assured – it won’t break the bank to set up, but there’s tonnes of room for you to upgrade your equipment if needed. My suggestion would be to get the minimum to start with so you can get the hang of it, get a few homebrews under your belt, then get some more kit later.
First things first though – let me tell you all you really need is an airtight container (After all, it’s just yeast reacting with sugar). The best way to get set up though – if you’ve not done it before – is to get an all-in-one kit (you’ll find it a lot easier and get a better first result). The reason for this is there’s everything you need to get up and running in the box, most of them come with complete instructions.
The best place now to get homebrew kits is online, this way you can get it delivered and you don’t have to search for a reputable homebrew shop
Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying an all in one homebrew kit:
Does it contain bottles?
Although you may at first think that all kits would include bottles to put the end result in, not all do – so if yours doesn’t you’ll need to add these to your cart too. They’re not too expensive and if you get reasonable quality ones, you can re-use them. If you’re saving bottles for this – the green bottles are the best as these have a higher chance of letting certain light through the bottle (without this it can give the beer a skunky-type taste)
Does it contain your first beer kit?
Some beginners kits don’t include the actual ingredients for your first batch (just the equipment) – but the good thing about this (if it affects you) is that you can choose your own. If you are choosing your own beer for your first batch, try to choose a relatively simple beer, you can tell this by having a quick look at the reviews on Amazon.
Is it good quality?
I can’t stress this enough, although most of the all in one brewing kits are made of good quality parts, some aren’t. You should definitely do some due diligence on the type of kit you’re getting. This can be a 10 second job scanning the reviews again.
Once you’ve got your kit in the post, make sure you follow the instructions, if you’re wanting to go ‘off piste’ – then I recommend you leave this for your second (or third) brew. This way you can get used to how everything works.
Here’s a good video that comes with one of the kits, but it’s relevant to whichever you get:
Above all, the most important thing to do is get stuck in, I’d recommend leaving an afternoon to get everything set up. Most kits say an hour or two but you’re going to want to take your time. So get a few friends over and make a meal out of it.