how do you brew beer?!
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As an alternative or in addition to Papazian's excellent book, you should also look for John Palmer's "How To Brew". It will walk you through all aspects of the brewing process.
A few tips once you get started...
- Sanitation! There is nothing as important as cleaning and then sanitizing everything that will come in contact with your wort/beer. By definition it is a 2-step process. Clean and rinse (I use PBW) then Sanitize and don't rinse (I use StarSan).
- Know Your Process. Although brewing is fairly straightforward, its good to have all the steps you are going to perform written down (you'll memorize them eventually). Nothing worse than being 30 minutes into the boil and realizing "Oh crap, I was supposed to add the second round of hops 10 minutes ago".
- Fermentation Temperature Control. After sanitation it's about the second most important aspect. Find a way within your budget to maintain a constant temperature on your fermenter.
- Check out the Brew Strong podcast on The Brewing Network. Lots of great information.
Have Fun! It's a great hobby!!
There is probably a local homebrew club located near you which is a great place to learn. Many people start with extract brewing, but this is a cop out (I don't mean to offend extract brewers, but spend the extra 50 bucks to brew like pro). You may want to learn with an extract kit first, but all grain is very rewarding (its also a good way to get into the brewing community, a lot of amateurs talk a big game with complicated beer but they are brewing with someone else's hard work). It is very possible to make a homebrew system for around $100 dollars, this is a good website for basic instruction - http://www.donosborn.com/homebrew/all_gr…
The limitation is with grinding your malted barley. It can be done in a blender, but it is tedious, it is best if you can get access to a grain mill, either by sharing the cost with brewing friends or borrowing one. It is also possible to buy ground malt, but it will be more expensive. There are many local coops throughout the country which sell very cheap grain which will bring your beer prices down.
homebrewforums.com is a great place to learn the brewing process. Join for free and you can ask questions, find brewers in your area, find plans for a brew system, and find the best suppliers.
Northernbrewer.com will have a lot of the equipment you will need.
Be sure to post questions as they arise, I'm an well seasoned brewer and I'm sure there are quite a few on this website. Remember:
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Ben Franklin
Start with a book be Papazian, The New Complete Guide to Home Brewing. Read the first 40-odd pages to learn the principles. Then select an all-extract ale, order what you need, and go to it.
mix pure grape juice with a $9 red wine, it so good