Is homebrew any good?

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Hi all,

I guess you can get a more novice question than this but here goes.. do
you guys produce really good beer? I mean, brew that causes you to proudly
turn your nose up at anything from a store or pub?

This is a really serious question. I really like beer but I really love
making crafty artisan type things of good quality. I've known people that
make their own wine but between you and me, it always tastes like grape
juice with crushed aspirin in it.

My two favorite commercial beers are Pilsner Urquell and Newcastle. I like
Guinness too but it's best in Dublin. If there was hope I could homebrew
something close to any of these, I would gladly embark on the expense and
effort to learn it and try try again.

I have this assumption that homebrew would taste much like the microbrews
we have in the States, at best. Typically I don't like them due to
sweetness and aftertaste.

Some good success stories or experiences producing good brews would really
be inspiring.

Thank you,

- JoeB

Re: Is homebrew any good?




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In a word, YES!
The best beers I have ever tasted are homebrews.  Some mine, some made
by others.

On a whole it depends what your tastes are and what you want to make.
If you want to make a beer that tastes exactly like Guinness then just
go out and buy a Guinness.  Its quite hard to match a commercial beer
exactly.  The really great part of homebrewing (to me at least) is that
you can make beer that is exactly what you like.  You say that
microbrews are too sweet and have an aftertaste.  Well then you can
make up a recipe that isn't as sweet and has less hops to match your
tastes.  Think of it like any type of cooking.  Homemade tomato sauce
is always better than Ragu, but the Ragu is more convenient and nearly
impossible to replicate exactly at home.  Then again why would you
replicate it if your recipe tasted better to you...

One other thing to state about homebrewing is that you can make up
beers that are similar to foreign beers that either are not imported to
the US or taste like crap once the make the slow boat ride here for
England/Germany/etc and then get light struck in those $%^^&@ green
bottles!  Fresh brewed German Lagers taste NOTHING like Becks!


Re: Is homebrew any good?



JB wrote:
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Yes you can make great beer at home. Also, you may want to broaden your
tastes a little bit and homebrewing can do that for you too. Not to
offend, but Newcastle isn't exactly considered "good" beer in many
circles. On the other hand, American craft brewers make some of the
best beers around and you may grow to love "aftertaste" which is so
often derided in marketing for mega-breweries. After all, if the taste
is good, why not have it linger?

Basically it is up to you to take the hobby as far as you want. You can
stick with malt extracts and steeping grains if that is what you like,
or you can go all out and take total control and basically build a mini
version of a commercial brewery in your garage.

Here is the requisite staring place, John Palmers online book:

http://www.howtobrew.com
You might also want to check out a local homebrew shop (LHBS), find
some brewers or a brew club and sit in on a few brew sessions.
Homebrewers are a great bunch of people and are always willing to help
someone else get into the hobby.

Good luck and have fun,

_Randal


Re: Is homebrew any good?



Other posters have given good answers.  I'm going to answer some of your other
items...


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Yes, absolutely.  (I'm not saying you would your first few batches... but it is
possible and with some experience you can match or beat almost anything you can
buy).


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PU is a lager and those require a bit of care to make (ie., controlled
temperature and longer aging times), however, PU is one of my favorites
and I make a lager that is very close to, and as good as, PU.  Newcastle is a
British ale, and those are easier to make than light lagers like PU.  It should
be no problem coming close to Newcastle (or making a British ale you might like
even better).  Regarding Guinness, you can also make some very excellent
stouts... they are, perhaps, one of the easiest styles to homebrew.  Note that
they may not be exactly like Guinness, but they'll be excellent.  (Guinness
actually comes in several different versions and some are easier to duplicate
than others).

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As another post said, YOU control the sweetness and (probably) "aftertaste."

Bottom line, you can get an equipment kit and first batch ingredients
for around $100.  In a few weeks you'll have an idea of what you can do
homebrewing and how easy it is!  If you try it, be SURE that your liquid
extract ingredients are fresh.  I'd start with a stout, then the British ale.
Do a few batchs of those for experience.  Later on, you can try the lager (ask
back here for specific help with lagers when you are ready to make them).

Derric



Re: Is homebrew any good?



Not only is homebrewing fun and EASY (lots of people forget that part)
the real
thrill I get is from showing up at a friends house with a case
or two and
blowing away whaterver they have in the fridge.


--
smokeweednow
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Re: Is homebrew any good?


I don't try and match commercial beers - too much work. However I CAN
say that after 30+ batches of home brew I've made some pretty bad,
alright, good, and really good beers. I've prbably made 15-10 batches of
really really ood stuff. a friend thought some of my stout was the best
he'd ever had.



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Re: Is homebrew any good?


October 29th of last year I finally jumped into homebrewing after a year
of reading and talking with others that have done it now and then.
Batch 1 (English Pale Ale) is gone, 2 (Marzen) and 3 (Irish Dry Stout)
are being drank now and 4 (Imperial Wit) is in the secondary, 5
(Marzen)is in the primary.

I have been buying singles of different types of beer for a while taking
note of what styles I like most.  I homebrew in those styles.

Homebrewing is pretty easy if you follow the steps and maintain a clean
environment.  I am quite pleased with all of the results so far, the
Marzen is so good I plan to keep brewing it to always have it on hand.

There is nothing wrong with commercial beer, there are some local joints
that have GREAT beer which I enjoy, but I have grown to prefer a bottle
of my own.

Re: Is homebrew any good?



Try and try again.  If you make a batch or have ever tasted someone
elses batch
that you didn't care for then try a different recipe.  With
an unlimited
possibility of malts, hops, additives, yeasts, and even
water & temp variables
there is a homebrew out there for even the
hardest critic.  I even made an ale
once that my wife kinda liked and
she flat out hates ale.

As for most of my creations... once I drink one of mine I just cann't
follow up
with an average store brand.  The quality and taste of mine
wups the living
daylights out of most comercial brews without spending
more than $8 a six pack.
For the record, labor excluded cause I don't
consider it work and without
sitting down to do some serious mat, one
of my brews probably runs around $5 to
$6 a six pack just because I
likes mine very strong.  Avg 8% by volume with lots
of body and plenty
of hoppiness.


--
dlihcsnatas

nothing like kicking back in
a lawn chair on a beautiful morning with a
mug of dark ale to start the day out
right.
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Re: Is homebrew any good?


On Thu, 18 Jan 2007 04:21:17 +0000, JB wrote:

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Absolutely. I make ales, meads and sparkling wines. I get the flavors *I*
like, and many other people like them too. I have turned a considerable
number of people who previously had only drunk bud/miller/coors/michelob
into beer aficionados. I have even turned people who did not drink
beer/ale at all into fans.

When I go to holiday parties/barbecues or other events, people ask me if
I'm going to bring some more of *my* brews. I was never one who sought
popularity but my brewing has certainly made me a wanted man.

It takes some time and care, you don't just dump a bunch of stuff in a pot
and expect something good to come out of it, but it isn't all that
difficult either. You just have to know what you like, and/or be willing
to experiment to find it.

My first brew (a sparkling strawberry/raspberry gingermead, loosely based
on Papazian's recipe) was an overwhelming success. People wanted to know
where I bought it, and were disappointed to learn that the entire quantity
available in the world was just what was there.

--
            Falcon's Rest
          Zymurgical Alchemy
   First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode


Re: Is homebrew any good?


if you get the right equipment, and the skills, you can make beer that
is more to your liking than anything you can buy.

Since the equipment is usually non-refundable, my best suggestion is
find your local homebrewers and brew with them before you buy ANYTHING.

Step 1:

find your local homebrew club, attend the local group's meetings.
people will share beer freely.
find some you like and see if you can brew with that guy.

Try to find someone who knows how to make all-grain beer, but then again
let your taste buds be your guide.

Step 2:

once you can make beer that you enjoy, get a kegging setup.

You do NOT have to learn this craft alone, and most homebrewers LOVE to
brew with company.

once you have developed the skills you can decide whether to invest in
equipment, and by then you should have brewed with enough people to know
what you need and what you do not.

Step 3: after that, someday be sure to teach someone else the fine art
of brewing quality beer.



JB wrote:
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Re: Is homebrew any good?


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I bought a kit - very easy, just warm it up and put it in the
basement for a week - and got an excellent stout. I think it was
called Cooper's Stout, from down under. The downside is that it takes
another 2-5 months in the bottle before it gets really good and
blends out the "unbalances" in the taste, but after that it's great!
I see three upsides:

1. I made it.
2. It didn't cost anything (almost).
3. It tastes better than many stouts made by micro breweries and even
some in the store!
4. Friends are impressed.
5. No effort needed except for washing the bottles. That takes 1-2
hours.

M



Re: Is homebrew any good?


Home brew is KING!

You save about 1000%

You brew anything from the necter of the gods to ale best drunk drunk =
after a good taste bud killing cigar.

But it's all good budee.

Nothing like your own home brewed on tap at your next party.

:)

Beer... lowering mens standars for 1000's of years.

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  Hi all,

  I guess you can get a more novice question than this but here goes.. =
do
  you guys produce really good beer? I mean, brew that causes you to =
proudly
  turn your nose up at anything from a store or pub?

  This is a really serious question. I really like beer but I really =
love
  making crafty artisan type things of good quality. I've known people =
that
  make their own wine but between you and me, it always tastes like =
grape
  juice with crushed aspirin in it.

  My two favorite commercial beers are Pilsner Urquell and Newcastle. I =
like
  Guinness too but it's best in Dublin. If there was hope I could =
homebrew
  something close to any of these, I would gladly embark on the expense =
and
  effort to learn it and try try again.

  I have this assumption that homebrew would taste much like the =
microbrews
  we have in the States, at best. Typically I don't like them due to
  sweetness and aftertaste.

  Some good success stories or experiences producing good brews would =
really
  be inspiring.

  Thank you,

  - JoeB

Re: Is homebrew any good?


JB
That's a difficult question.
I have found that I cam make quite good beer if I stick to certain types.
I can better the Guiness, Dark beers turn out well & my IPA is damned good.
But most of my efforts at quality Lagers are frankly wide of the mark & not
much better than cheap pub beer.
I brew a lot of beer & have been brewing for over 40 years. I do not get too
technical but I am meticulous about the things I can control.
I have not really persued the equipment etc needed to make lagers & here in
Queensland the typical room temperature is a bit high which is an obstacle.
I recommend you visit your local home brew store & discuss fully this
question. They will usually be able to provide samples of what they have
achieved & can describe how they have done this. Then make your own mind up.
Pete
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