What is Homebrewing?

Almost every brewer you’ll run into is friendly and humble about their particular level of skill. That’s because we all know what it’s like to start out having no idea what you’re doing. Everyone has been there, and wants to help newcomers thrive as brewers. With the internet, a global community of home brewers can now share their knowledge with others, and everyone now has access to incredible amounts of information to make great home brew from the get go.

BeerBeer Making
One of the most common forms of homebrewing is beer. Whether you are just starting out on a Mr. Beer kit, have been growing and harvesting your own hops, or any level in between, you are a home brewer. Even if someone only spends their time making one style, or one recipe over and over, they are a homebrewer too (even if it’s a Lite American Lager). They have even probably perfected a great recipe and know quite a bit about consistency.

It’s not all about beer, there are other drinks you can make and also be a home brewer.

Wine Making
Fruit WineAnother form of homebrewing is making wine. Just like with beer, your total involvement in preparing your must doesn’t make you more or less of a home brewer. Managing your fermentation, pitching yeast, and caring about your craft is what counts.

Another form of wine is mead. Mead is wine made from honey. They require a lot of babysitting after you add your yeast. The type of honey you use determines your flavor profiles just like the variety or blend of wine grapes does in traditional wine making.

It’s not just about grapes and honey though. Fruit and vegetable wines can also be made by the adventurous brewer. They can range from a crisp strawberry wine, to a floral dandelion and clover wine. It can be tough or expensive to source all the ingredients for these wines, but the final product is worth it. Get enough maple syrup and you can make a maple wine similar to how mead is made.

Finally, rice wine is yet another type of wine that can classify a home brewer. It’s made simply from cooked rice, yeast, and a special bacteria. You can even get the supplies you need online or in a Chinese food market. Like all the wines above, your type of rice helps determine the flavor.

Cider Making
CiderTurning apple juice into a hard cider can become an art form. Blending juices or varieties of apples to get the perfect match of sweetness, acidity, and tannins is the goal. Getting there isn’t as easy as it sounds. Cider can also be made from pears (called a perry), or a blend of pears and apples.

Kombucha, Fermented Tea
Kombucha is made by fermenting tea with a “mother culture” or also called a “SCOBY”. SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. They can be bought online or grown up from a commercial bottle of Kombucha.

In Closing
What really makes a home brewer? It’s the pride you take in how you produce the above libations. This pride is what connects all home brewers of the world whether they are making Kombucha, strawberry wine, Bud Light clones, or the best cider east of the Mississippi. Respect your fellow brewer regardless of what they make or their skill level and we can all grow and learn together.

There are also a few other things that aren’t quite homebrewing but many home brewers also partake in. Those being cheese making, and pickle making. So if you’re getting tired of making the same thing, try something new. As you can see, you have a lot of options. You won’t regret it.

 

written by David Doucette

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