Home brewing is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can undertake. It is inexpensive, easy to learn and requires minimal space. It also makes a great gift. You can make your own brews to celebrate a special occasion or just give to friends and family who appreciate beer. You could even brew a batch of your favourite beer for that upcoming wedding.
The most important tool for a beginning brewer is his or her time. A typical brew takes about three hours to mash the grains, boil and cool the wort, then transfer it to a fermenter for fermentation to begin. Brewing takes place in a pot called a mash tun which is heated to a temperature between 65 – 68 degrees Celsius, where enzymes convert complex starches into simple sugars that yeast can turn into alcohol.
Typically a local craft brewer produces beer in small batches and sells it in his or her community, town, city or region. While the average beer only has four ingredients (water, hops, malt and yeast), a craft brewery uses better quality, locally-sourced ingredients in their brewing process, often with more attention to the details of each individual style of beer.
Most local breweries are small, family owned businesses that hire employees from the community. This helps to boost the economy of a town, as it provides jobs and keeps revenue within the community. Many breweries also have a strong environmental streak in their business models, by recycling spent grain back to local farmers, using alternative energy sources, and more.