Articles Comments

The Beer Circle » Brew It Yourself » Novice Homebrewer: The Beginnings

Novice Homebrewer: The Beginnings

Homebrew Kit

I love beer, and I’m assuming that since you are reading this, you love beer as well. Well, there’s only one thing I can think of better than drinking beer: brewing beer. I’ve had the thought of brewing beer on my mind for the better part of two years, but it has never come to fruition. That changed this fall when, for Christmas, I asked my sister (Santa?) for a brewing kit, and she came through for me. I picked out the Gold Complete Beer Equipment Kit from Monster Home Brewing Supplies.

My purpose in writing about the brewing process, which so many others have written about, is to take you along on my journey from scratch. Most blogs I read about brewing are from the experts, and I know very little about brewing, with the exception of imbibing the finished product. So this is my introductory post, and it’s going to introduce me and take your through the very first steps of my brewing experience.

First off, hello, my name is Jeff Kupko and I write a personal beer blog titled Kupko’s Mind. Bottled. I’ve been writing the beer blog for three years now, and I have an absolute love for beer, especially craft beer. When taking vacations or road trips, there is always at least one stop for beer at a bottle shop or brewery. In my mind, it enhances the vacation experience with great food and, of course, great beer.

Now we shall move on to the brewing. Another Christmas gift I received was

Extreme Homebrewing, by Sam Calagione

Sam Calagione’s “Extreme Homebrewing” (think: Dogfish Head) from my fiancée, a suggestion passed on to her from none other than Mariah Calagione. I got to reading the steps when I stumbled upon the A-Z Brown Ale about one-third of the way through the book. I decided at that moment that I was going to make it my first homebrew. My main reason for this was that it was the perfect way for me to follow directions with the easy 26-step guide while producing what sounded like a very delicious beer. From this decision, I developed my official opinion that I believe your first beer should be tailored from a step-by-step guide with a pre-planned recipe. Sure, it’s not 100% original, but I want to get the process down and completely understand what the ingredients do before I take a crack at my own recipe.

Following that decision, I decided to take an inventory or all of the equipment that I needed, and the equipment that I currently own. As an engineer, I like making checklists and spreadsheet, so I apologize if this seems like overkill to you. One of the items I needed to purchase was a (at least) 5-gallon brew pot. I decided to spring for a turkey fryer instead, as I could take my brewing outside and keep the overflow messes out of the kitchen, should there be any. Wal-Mart was running a pretty good deal on a 30-quart fryer with stand for $34, instead of their on-line advertised price of $49.

The final step to the pre-brewing process was to go to a homebrew shop and pick up all of the ingredients and remaining equipment that I determined that I will need. Well, that’s going to be the next post in the series. I have told you how I got in to brewing and some of the equipment that I got. I will be making my first ever trip to a homebrew store, so I feel that experience is worthy of its own post. Until next time, cheers!

Last updated by at .

Written by Jeff Kupko

Jeff is a traffic engineer that loves his beer, and especially loves trying new beer. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Yuengling was a staple and the beginnings of liking something better than fizzy yellow water. This has evolved into an entire hobby, with Jeff keeping a blog of all of the beers he tries. Vacations most certainly involve at least one brewery or bottle shop visit to gather a region’s coveted fruits. Now, Jeff has ventured into homebrewing, and there is probably no saving him from being engulfed entirely by beer. While Imperial Stouts and IPAs rank highest in Jeff’s eyes, sours are sneaking up on those styles, and Jeff loves to try all different styles. Find Jeff Kupko on Google Plus

Filed under: Brew It Yourself · Tags: , , , , , ,