Have your friends ever laughed at you after tasting a couple of your "not so good" home brews?
Well, firstly let me tell you you’re not alone. And secondly, I have to admit that at one time or another, I have had to say yes to all three of those questions…
You see, about five years ago, I thought home brewing was only for old alcoholic guys with nothing better to do. I assumed it was only possible to make lots of cheap, but barely drinkable beer.
But all this changed one Easter Sunday. I was sitting around with my three Uncles when it was time for all of us to get a fresh beer. My Uncle Greg jumped up and with a smirk on his face told us he’d make the trip to the beer fridge.
He brought back some long neck bottles without labels on them. I knew something was up, but wasn’t sure what. So I took a swig and didn’t really think anything of it. We’d been drinking Heinekens all day and this strange looking bottle tasted about the same.
Uncle Greg still had a big smile on his face and was looking at us waiting to get a response. I was just about to speak when he asked "How’d you like those ones boys? They’re one of my own. One of my home brews".
I had to do a double take. Suddenly the strange labelless bottle made sense, but the taste didn’t. I didn’t believe him at first, but after talking to him for a while, I began to learn a few things.
He told me that home brewing wasn’t just for old drunks, but for anyone who wanted to drink commercial quality beer at a fraction of the price. Being a broke uni student with a large thirst for beer, this sounded like the perfect thing for me.
So two days later when the shops opened, I rushed down and bought myself a home brew kit for about $80. I read through all the instructions and after hearing that home brewing is pretty damn easy, I set about putting my first batch on.
As I screwed the lid onto the fermenter I felt excited. The following 10 days were tough, I’m not the most patient guy around, so waiting for the beer to ferment wasn’t easy.
But then it was finally finished and it was time to bottle. I primed the bottles with sugar as best I could and then put them away where they could sit until they were ready to drink.
Two weeks later, I was like a little kid on Christmas eve. I couldn’t wait to pop open that first coldie and say goodbye to commercial beers forever. The thought of having my friends beg me for my "secrets" also sounded pretty good.
So I placed a couple of bottles in the… Read more…