Well, the title may be a bit misleading this is not necessarily an extensive guide to brewing but it will teach you where to look. The first place is another local home brewer…and this blog.
I sat down and talked with my friend Tom; he is an experienced home brewer and has assisted breweries such as Lake Effect in Chicago. He is also the person I credit with getting me into craft beer and home brewing.
I asked him who the most influential person was when he started brewing, basically he said the Internet. He originally became interested in fermentation from hearing about “jail house hooch”, this curiosity built into what some might describe as an obsession.
Tom said “talking to brewers at breweries never really helped, getting started I looked to other home brewers who were going through the same problems I was.”
He mentioned that the commercial brewers have lost touch with the tricks of home brewing because they do not deal with them any longer. One of the major issues they do not deal with is temperature control, which is the leading cause of anxiety for home brewers.
Talking to Tom reminded me that the things we worry about, as home brewers, such as temperature, yeast health, water quality and quality of ingredients is what makes it special. The products we can create at home are not financially viable on a commercial level; yes, at home you can make better beer than any craft brewery.
Trial and error on the home level is the greatest strength home brewers possess that the commercial breweries cannot afford to do. Then, if it turns out right, you have the opportunity to perfect it over time.
So go to events, meet others with the same passions as you, ask questions and think local.
Stay tuned for my terroir beer recipe!
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