Brew Shopping

After discussing with Greg, we have our three man team ready to start the hobby of home brewing! We had done some preliminary homework, reviewing various blogs and instructional website, but it was no had substitute for someone showing us what we needed, and more importantly, what amount of investment were where looking at having to spend.

Fortunately, Evan stated that he obtained this exact education from a vibrant gentleman, Norm, who was a retired Methodist Pastor. It was safe to say that we felt Norm would be our guy too! We contacted Evan, who happened to have the business card for What Ale’s Ya, one of the few home brewing supply shops in the Valley. This is where he obtained his own starter kit.

Before we spent a good amount of time going to hear a detailed presentation form Norm, we did enough research to find an estimation of what our new hobby might cost. Evan had explained that each “batch” of beer made about 50 beers. He stated that outside of the costs to buy the equipment, each “batch” costs about $40. Simple math told us that each beer was under a buck!

So what about the materials needed to make even one batch?  We discovered that a simple starter kit, one that contains all needed materials for brew making, retails for about $150. Not too bad when split between three guys! And that included enough for a first batch of brewing.

We determined that a batch is usually about 5 gallons. Mathematically worked out, that is 128 oz per gallon, so about 640 total ounces. Divided by 12 ounces per beer, that’s 53 beers.

We set out to meet with Norm on a Saturday morning. Upon arrival, we met a passionate silver haired man who had a personality larger than his smile. Norm’s love for people no doubt comes from years of pastoral service. He was immediate in qualifying how and what we needed, and jumped into a detailed description of home brewing, lacking no humor in delivering his information. His passion for home brewing was absolutely fantastic.

Following Norm’s details, ranging from the equipment involved all the way to the difference between Ale’s and Lager’s (which, by the way, ALL beers fall into ONLY one of these two categories), we were finally led to the beer starter kit with a deeper understanding of the steps involved in the process of brewing beer at home.

We have made an appointment to attempt our first batch this Friday. As a group, we choose “English Brown Ale”, which is simply a knock of Newcastle. You’ll see the kit was about $35 dollars. The label marks an “O.G.” rating of 1.045 – 1.049. “O.G.” is actually Original Gravity. To better understand O.G. and it’s importance, go here: 

Basically, the O.G. relates to the overall alcohol content when the beer is brewed. The English Brown Ale will be about 4% alcohol when brewed. The kits that we were able to choose from were all made by, and they seem to be the popular option for home brewing, each averaging between $30 – 40 dollars and producing 5 gallons of beer each.

So, I will leave you until my next post, where we will review our attempts at completing the first steps of the brewing process! CHEERS!

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Two newlywed's adventures in home renovations, traveling and experiencing life together.

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