Thanks for finding me (see the interview video if you are a regular reader). Homebrewing is a rewarding, useful hobby. It can be easy or intricate, scientific or artful. For the impatient, join the Texas Aggieland Brew Club on Facebok and read about the process on HowToBrew. Or get in touch with me personally.
The beer you saw me making was a three gallon batch of nettle beer. It is a recipe I want to start experimenting with. The beer I drank throughout the interview was a Belgian Tripel. Typically, homebrewers make five gallons of beer at a time so most of the equipment is sized appropriately.
To get started making your own beer you need a few specialized tools and some basic kitchen gadgets. Homebrew specialty stores sell equipment kits that will get you started. Check out Austin Homebrew Supply – they have a good web store and it only takes a day for UPS to get to B/CS. You will also need a large kettle, six to seven gallons is ideal, however I started off with a twelve quart pot. When you purchase equipment, also pick out some recipe ingredients. Austin homebrew has around 120 pre-assembled recipes that come out to around $0.55 a bottle.
A great way to learn the hobby is to get together with some other homebrewers and make beer. The TAbc meets monthly on the third Friday evening of the month. We have a number of experienced brewers and beer lovers to answer questions.
I just wrapped an interview with Meredith Stancik from the local news station. She runs a feature called Saving You Money and this time around is spotlighting homebrewing. I got half a day off work to make some beer for the camera – an experimental one (read about it) – and chat about the hobby.
The focus of the piece is how homebrewing is cheaper than store bought beer, which I believe is true. Austin Homebrew Supply, where I buy what I don’t get in bulk elsewhere, sells a basic equipment kit for $80 and about 150 recipe kits that come out to $0.50 a bottle. If you make only one 5 gallon batch of beer it tallies up to around $2.00 a bottle. After three you are down to almost a dollar per cool, refreshing draught.
We also talked about my beer consulting work and judging experience. I put in a plug for the homebrew club. The show will air Thursday, September 24th at 10:00pm. I’m curious to see the final product. If possible I’ll get the video up on my blog.
My friend Martin Codrington asked me to speak about homebrewing on his radio show tonight. Listen in to 89.1 at 6 o’clock. Sadly, I can not find a stream online link for KEOS, so if you are not local you will have to wait for the tape. I will point listeners at this blog as the jumping-off point for everything I talk about.
If you are new to homebrewing I suggest digging into John Palmer’s free book How To Brew. It is an in-depth book covering the three broad ways you can make beer. Intermediate brewers should read Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels and Principles of Brewing Science by George Fix. Being a desciple of experience, I recommend instead finding a homebrewing friend and make some beer.
If you don’t know any homebrewers in Bryan or College Station plan to attend one of our homebrew club meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for the evening of April 17th. We do not have a web site yet, but you can find us on facebook or drop me an email and I will add you to my mailing list. I am @brundage on Twitter. Contact me somehow for club details.
Analytics shows me that people come to my blog looking for information on homebrew clubs in the Bryan / College Station area of Texas. Since I am trying to start one up I thought it good to increase my pagerank with a little post about the new club.
[Edit 2010/04/17] The club is well-established, calling itself the Texas Aggieland Brew Club (TAbc). We meet every third Friday of the month. [End Edit]
My wife and I moved to Bryan in January 2008 from San Jose, CA. I was part of the Sudzers homebrew club there, and upon arriving in the Bryan/College Station area I checked around for clubs. Not finding any I decided to try starting one. Using Craigslist and the TexAgs forum I quickly amassed a number of homebrewers.
Our first meeting happened in April with about 20 people showing up to brew beer. The second followed a month later and the third will be this weekend.
We do not have a name or web site yet, but I hope to decide upon that this weekend. If you want to learn about making beer, or like drinking good beer contact me. Follow this blog too, check the posts tagged brewing.