Good Brew: Grain to Glass – Intro to Home Brewing

Have you ever thought about dipping your toes into Home Brewing beer? Brewing beer at home has been on an upward trend for many years now. Depending on what statistics you look at out there, there are over 1 million homebrewers in the U.S.

Home brewing has a rich and deep past in the U.S. even going back to our founding fathers. Modern electronic controls have become so cheap that it is very affordable to purchase an all-in-one brewing system that simply needs an 115V wall receptacle and the ingredients to start brewing your own beer at home.

Whether you are brewing 30 barrels of beer as a professional brewer or five gallons at home, the basic process is the same. First, create wort (wort is the brewed liquid before you ferment it). Next, boil it with hops for a recipe dependent time. Finally, cool it down to pitching temperature, pitch yeast and ferment at correct temperature.

There are three basic types of home brewing I would like to quickly tell you about. First, is the extract method. With this method you purchase liquid or dried malt extract and just dump this into your kettle, boil with hops, cool and ferment.

Second is the partial mash method. Here you use a percentage of the extract and you make a mash for grain to get the other portion. Then boil, cool and ferment. A mash is soaking grain in hot water for a certain amount of time. With Mashing you need to rinse or lauter the grain after your mash is complete.

Finally you have the all grain brewing. This is what almost all breweries do and all your extract comes from grain and water. Like baking from scratch instead of using a frozen pie crust, this method has the most control over the final product.

If this sounds interesting, a very good resource for learning more is your local homebrew club. You can meet like-minded people, get free experience and watch/help on actual brew days. There also many discount programs that basically pay for the memberships to the club. In this area we have the Rockwall Homebrewers Association and you can find out more here:

Another fun home brewing event is the annual brewing competitions they have all over the country. We have one of the largest coming up in March called the Bluebonnet Brew off located in Irving. Beer Geeks will be there geeking out on all kinds of beer. We hope to see you there. You can find out more info here:

OG Beer Geek

Beer Geeks is a craft beer bottleshop located in downtown Rockwall. We have over 275 craft beers from all over the world. Everything is organized by style and priced as singles, so you can build a custom pack out of anything, everything in the store. Where it’s okay to geek out about beer! This is a sponsored guest column appearing regularly in Blue Ribbon News and online at

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