Create Your Home Brewery

mug-of-beer
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The Home Brewing History: It’s Not A New Fad But Another Variation Of The Past

A person might think that home brewing is a rather new thing but the truth is… home brewing has been done for the past 7,000 years, perhaps more. It started with the Egyptians. Later, the Mesopotamians started making their own beers and wines. Shortly thereafter, the Chinese civilization used the recipes, passing them down to the Greeks who then passed them done to the Romans.

It was the Sumerians, however, who first wrote down these wine and beer recipes. They even prayed to the beer goddess, “Ninkasi” for giving them the recipe, which they would sing; most people in this civilization could not read or write.

It’s evident that civilizations change. After all, the American government is a testament of change. Thus, as changes were to the civilizations… so did the laws that governed the people. For the Pilgrims who “docked” at Plymouth Rock, one of their initial buildings was a brewery. With it, the Pilgrims were able to replenish their dwindling beer stock.

The Age Of Mass Production

Up until the 1700s, home breweries were the big thing. After all, mass production didn’t begin until the 18th century. It was at this time as well that hydrometers and thermometers were created; these helped to boost the reliability and effectiveness of home breweries. Louis Pasteur, in 1857, discovered how yeast is affected during the fermentation process. This explanation brought about a new way of home brewing, as brewers were able to create yeast strain variations and give their alcohols some complexity.

The Age Of The Prohibition Act

The rise in popularity for home breweries continued well into the 18th, 19th and 20th century. However, in the early 20th century, the federal government of the United States passed the Prohibition Act, which made home breweries and alcohol, in general, illegal. Despite the new law, many persons disregarded it and took the chance to make their favorite alcoholic drinks. In an ironic twist to get rid of alcohol, all the act did was criminalize it.
Since people were not able to purchase their alcohol, they would secretly make it including Moonshine (which was created during the overnight hours with the help of the moon) and Bathtub gin.

Due to the rise of illegal home breweries, there was a rise in the number of requests for grape juice, which is the main ingredient for making wine. From 1920 until 1925, grape growers boosted their grape field numbers by 700 percent. Grape growers would send their products to customers with a warning, letting them know how to make wine without ever getting caught.

After 13 years of making alcohol illegal, the Prohibition Act was repealed. Unfortunately, not all of it was repealed. A clerical error caused a major oversight in the repealing process. Instead of repealing the entire act like it should have been, only wine was legalized to be made once again. It wouldn’t be until the late 1970s when beer would be again legalized for home making consumption. However, states have been left to decide whether or not to make the act legal or illegal. Today, there are just three states that criminalize home breweries. These states are:

  • Mississippi 
  • Alabama 
  • Oklahoma

Why Create Your Own Brewery?

There are various reasons why people start home brewing alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. One reason is for the sheer joy of making their own beer, cider or wine. After all, home breweries are designed for personal consumption and not for sale. In essence, a home brewery is a small-scale fermentation process and usually seen as a hobby. How can you get in on the fun? You’ll need the following things:
  • Equipment investment
  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Eye for hygiene

The Necessary Equipment To Have A Home Brewery

When you want to home brew alcohol, you may think you need a lot of different pieces of equipment but the reality is… you only need simple ones, which make the entire process easy to do. What do you need to make your home brewery a success? You’ll need the following items to make it successful:

2 - Large plastic food-grade buckets, plastic carboys or large glasses (something that seals tightly)
2 – Fermentation locks (this allows carbon dioxide to escape)
1 - Thermometer
1 – Hydrometer
1 - Kit containing liquid malt as well as no-boil wort (great for people who don’t like to cook typically)
Bottles (be sure you have plenty on hand and that they can cap or cork)

Both the thermometer and hydrometer help to steady the ingredients and processes, which also lessens the possibility of mistakes in the brewing course. Use the second carboy to bring out the flavor in the drink; do this by further aging the final product.

Once the fermentation is complete, you’ll need to bottle the product and cork or cap them so that the beverage will further age. Each bottle will vary by usage and locking ease. If you don’t want to deal with a bottle capper, use flip-tops with rubber stoppers.

How Long Will It Take To Home Brew Your Alcohol?

You can easily make your alcohol within six weeks. All you need to do is follow the steps listed below:

Step 1 – Clean Everything
It’s so important that you clean everything that you’ll be using for your home brewery including the tools, surfaces, bottles, etc. If you fail to clean them, your alcohol can ruin.

Step 2 – Use Main Ingredient
Don’t forget to include the main ingredient for your alcoholic beverages, which is wort. You can find this in kits or produce it yourself by cooking and boiling a mash (which is a mixture of water and grains). 

Step 3 – Bittering and Flavoring Hops
Be sure to add in your bittering hops at the beginning of your boil; flavoring hops needs to be added at the end of it. This will depend on the beer style of course. Bear in mind… it’s fun to experiment so take advantage of it.
 
Step 4 – Start The Fermentation Phase
Once you’ve created the wort, you’ll need to transfer it to your sanitized food-grade plastic bucket with yeast and water to start the initial fermentation stage. This part of the process will last at least two weeks, sometimes more. If you’re doing a second fermentation, transfer the mixture to another sanitized bucket.

Step 5 – Prime and Bottle The Mixture
After the fermentation process is complete, you’ll need prime and bottle your beer. Prime means to carbonate it and you can do this by adding bits of sugar to the beer or bottles before you cap it. To make sure the carbonation takes effect, you’ll need to leave it alone for another four weeks. Once you’ve done this, you can sit back in your Home Styles bar stool and have a relaxing drink.

Total Satisfaction With Your Home Brewing Beverages

Now, consider looking through American Heritage bars and find one that you’d like to serve your beer and wine upon. After all, if you love to receive compliments, you should go all out getting them. You’re already going to feel pride with the work you put into it; share it. 

While compliments are good and dandy, there are other reasons for you to brew at home.

Reason 1 – Environmental Impact Is Reduced

If you’re the “green” person, you’ll be glad to know that home brewing lessens the environmental impact made by commercially processed alcoholic beverages. There’s also no packaging or transportation since you’re getting it done locally. Any jugs you purchase initially can be reused so it cuts down on the waste going into the landfill.

Reason 2 – Saves Money

Brewing your own beer means you save money. Ingredients for this process can run you anywhere from $25 to $45 per five-gallon batch. One five-gallon batch comes out to two cases of beer. The initial cost for equipment will be about $80. In no time, your home brewing option will pay for itself and continue to do so.

You can easily turn your home into a brewery by following the five simple steps above and there are several reasons you should. Just remember to be creative so that you bring about a tasty drink you’ll want to share. What are you waiting for? Start getting creative today!

home brewing kit
Coopers Brewery Micro Brewery Kit

Who Is Author Tom Holmes?

Tom Holmes is publisher of the HomeBarReviews.com website, whose interest in home brewing began when his children gave him a wine-making kit as a Christmas present. From that moment on, Holmes sought out information on the newest bar designs and does what he can to stay up to date on the latest news of beer and wine making. He’s chosen to share his knowledge with people who are looking for a home wet bar or other home bar furniture to complement their home brewing skills.

author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.