My wife homebrews pretty regularly (every couple of weeks) and with a few exceptions everything has been really good. She does the all grain method and it takes her about 5-6 hours. The biggest chore was always bottling. I got her a keg setup a few years ago and it got rid of the bottling and now we almost always have fresh beer on tap at home which is really nice. You can brew remarkably good beer at home.
Saison for your first brew huh? Not the typical jumping off point for most, but good on ya for doing it!
I brew about 6-12 batches a year. All-grain and keg. I’ve gotten my brew day down to about <4.5 hours from start to clean-up. Biggest time savings investment for me was the purchase of a plate chiller over an immersion chiller.
I wanted to comment on your post re selection…I admit I know next to nothing about what I am doing, but I am reading a lot, and the homebrew shop suggested I try this one first due to the high temps here and saison liking to ferment between 72-85?
I was just wondering what made it not a beginner beer recipe?
I’d also recommend getting in contact with any local homebrew groups if you are looking to experiment with different recipes. You’ll find that it can be tricky to get the variety of grains in small batch sizes, so you either pay a lot or get stuck making 3-4 times more than you want of any one thing. Good homebrew groups are usually good for sharing ingredients so they don’t go to waste.
If you haven’t found them yet, Home Brew Talk is a pretty good forum to learn about the hobby and to trade/read up on war stories. BYO.com is an incredible resource for techniques, DIY equipment and recipe formulation. Brewing Network is where a lot of the “cool kids” hang out and they have a ton of podcasts to listen to and usually have a pro brewer on air with them to shoot the sh!t and talk about beer.
It’s a fun hobby to get into and a great way to kill half a day over beers. Good luck and ping me with any questions you might have!
Mark, I’m no brewing genius but I do OK. PM me on FB if you have questions. Kegging is a good decision if you decide you want to brew on a regular basis, but wait a couple of batches to make sure it’s your thing before you spend the money.
Biggest single piece of advice I got from an advanced homebrewer/beer judge: it’s a far more forgiving process than many people make out. Unless you intend to go pro, don’t sweat minor things. You will make good beer. If you pay attention you’ll make great beer.
I used to brew beer in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not a lot of good supplies and equipment available. Pretty much trashed my Mom’s kitchen a couple of times. Of course that was back in the days when you had to make your own Maibock if you wanted one. As I got busier with school, jobs, and now family, I stopped brewing entirely. In large part because I realized I liked drinking beer more than I did making it and there were other commitments to my spare time that I preferred. The availability of different styles and fresh beer has also made it easier. With that said, there is something really appealing about going back to brewing again. My problem is that as I get older I find it harder to do something half-assed so I’m worried about where brewing would take me now that I have a more disposable income and a big garage.
Good luck with it. My advice is to find some friends to brew with. I didn’t have that when I was in my 20’s and I’m envious of my buddies who get together to brew now. They certainly seem to be having a good time.
Well, the big garage and at least some disposable income lead me to already going all gran. I caught a sale of 20% OFF and took the plunge . I got a second burner, two more pots, and a pump. I also snagged quick disconnect fittings for all the lines.
I even got a real fermenter.
Its all still in route, and I have another week on my first brew before I rack it to secondary anway, so in a holding pattern trying to figure out beer smith to design and execute my first all grain.
Saw a post on a brewing forum I thought was so funny I had to share.
In all grain brewing you have one pot where you mix water and your grains and need to keep this pot at a specific set point for about an hour. many people just use a burner below it, but many are concerned with scorching the grains. one solution that that is to use a HERMS coil in the other pot. Just picture a stainless tubing coil in the second pot with water in the pot. so you heat the water and then pump the mash mix from its pot through this coil in the other pot and back to regulate temp.
These coils are not cheap, or seemingly widely available to home brewers so two guys decided to make their own. They ordered a roll of .50 stainless tubing and tried to bend this by hand. They failed miserably, and then tried vices, and other methods, all kinking the hose and not meeting their needs.
They then looked out and saw a perfect size tree. They took the tube, hammed on end flat and screwed it to the tree and began wrapping the coil around the tree. They said this went perfectly…until they tried to take it off the tree.
Further down, they posted they needed to cut down that tree anyway.
Just as a follow up, i am now experimenting with odd combinations. I have a berliner base that I fermented with a belgian sour yeast from 10:50 down to 10:10 and then racked to secondary and added a vial of brett C along with 2 lbs of apricots. Its been in the fermenter a week and is starting to get all kinds of action.
I will let this go another few weeks as I dont want the brett to dry the beer out completely, so I will cold crash it when it gets back to 10:10 or so.
Should be fun to see what comes of this, or it may be nasty, who knows, but fun none the less.