From what I’ve gathered, home brewing seems to have this uncool connotation of your dad and his mates geeking out in the garage over their latest batch of beer. If that’s not your pre-conception then it’s probably of snooty bearded guys condescendingly spouting adjectives to describe how incredibly ‘sessionable’ their beer is. Here’s my argument: just because you might not see yourself as the pretentious hipster or the middle-aged brewer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider learning how to brew. This is why.
1) It’s dead cheap!
One phrase you often hear on a night out is ‘I’m too broke to drink.’ This is when people start resorting to giant two litre bottles of unbranded cider or – God forbid –Sainsbury’s Basics lager. Although craft beer is pricey, home brewing is the opposite. You should never have to sacrifice taste because your wallet is slim. Assuming you’re a normal human who owns a pot, and can save enough empty bottles to repurpose for your beer, the only equipment you need to buy is a ‘fermentation vessel’. That’s beer snob talk for a plastic bucket. As for the price of the beer itself, an ingredients kit will cost you around twenty quid. Now this might seem like a decent chunk of cash to spend on beer, but if you factor in that a kit will make you twenty litres of beer, it is only costing you 50p a pint. You can’t even find water that cheap!
2) It’s strong!
One reason so many students prefer to spend their money on spirits is because they figure it’s the best value for their money. The average supermarket beer will be less than 4% ABV. The beautiful thing about making beer is that once you understand the basic scientific principals behind how alcohol is produced, the possibilities are endless. Yeast eats sugar and turns it to alcohol, therefore adding more sugar to your kit can increase the range up to 15%! You now have a strong pint for roughly 50p and a few hours out of your day.
3) It’s customizable!
Not everybody likes the taste of beer. It’s no wonder why some people would choose a fruity Rekorderlig over a watery can of Red Stripe. As long as you follow the formula you can make your beer taste however you like. The sugars in beer typically come from barley, but pretty much everything that grows in the ground or on a tree also has some form of sugar in it. Take creative license with your beer. You know what? Forget the barley completely and just use fruit. That’s essentially how cider is made. You can even use the same bucket to make wine. Tailor your homebrew to your own weird personal tastes.
If you want to find out more about home brewing join the Goldsmiths Craft Beer Society