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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HOME BREWING
As with any hobby, there are advantages and disadvantages. The same is true with the home brewing of beer. However, most people that choose to home brew their own beer or other beverages will tell you that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
When thinking of the number one advantage to home brewing, what comes to mind is the thing that means the most to beer lovers: taste.
Drinking commercially brewed beer as opposed to home brewed beer is like eating food when you have a cold. The food just doesn't taste like it should. You're not getting the full flavor.
When you're drinking commercially brewed beer that has been canned, bottled, exposed to outside air and knocked around, it's not going to taste anywhere near as good as fresh beer. If you don't believe this, open up a bottle of beer from the store, sniff it, and then sniff your freshly brewed beer. You'll see there's no comparison. Suffice it to say, you may not want to ever go back to drinking store-bought beer. This is probably the main advantage to brewing your own beer at home.
Brewing your own beer gives you the advantage of a healthy beverage. You may be surprised to see beer being described as a "healthy" beverage, but it's healthy in the aspect that you know what's going into the beer and what's not. If you've ever looked at the ingredients on a bottle of beer or any beverage for that matter, you'll probably find that you don't recognize half the ingredients that are going into the product. Worse than that is the fact that you are consuming these unfamiliar ingredients.
By brewing your own beer, you're getting all-natural ingredients that are familiar to you. You're also not getting all the preservatives you get when you drink commercial beers, so you're getting a better quality, better tasting beer.
You'll be familiar with the malt, barley, hops or whatever other natural ingredients you put in your beer. In your quest for good home brewing recipes, you'll find there are many varieties you can try.
Regardless of which recipe you finally decide to stick with, you'll still know what goes in the beer. What you'll like also with making your own beer is that you can control the alcohol content that goes in the beer. You may like higher alcohol content while your wife enjoys a milder beer.
When you buy a six-pack of beer, you're forced to drink a certain alcohol content unless you want to buy another six-pack of lower or higher alcohol content. When you make your own brew, you can mix it up and make a variety to suit everyone.
Let's not forget about the bragging rights. When you're done making your beer, you'll probably want to have a party or social gathering to show off your home brewing skills. It will give you a lot of pride to be able to say that you made it yourself. Your friends will be impressed with your culinary skills and want to learn all they can about home brewing.
Home brewed beer has a fresh, natural taste that you will never get with commercially brewed beer. Not only is it a natural and better tasting choice, but also it's also very cheap compared to what you'd pay in a supermarket or liquor store.
The ability to experiment with the recipe will continue to be a source of fun for you. You'll never get tired of trying different recipes and making different types of beer. Whether it's mild beer, high alcohol content, dark or light beer, you'll love experimenting until you find the perfect combination for your new favorite recipe and drink.
Another advantage to home brewing is that in addition to having a premium tasting beer, you'll also get it at an affordable cost. Once you have all you need for your beer-making venture, you'll be able to make beer for just a few pennies a beer. The cheapest type of commercial beer you buy is at least a dollar a bottle. You'll be amazed at how much beer you can brew with that same dollar. As cheaply as you can make this beer, it's a shame that you can't sell it!!
Now we'll get into the disadvantages of home brewing your own beer or beverages. As discussed earlier, there are not near as many disadvantages as there are advantages. Besides the mess you'll have, one disadvantage to making your own beer is the initial start-up costs.
If money and budget is a major concern for you, you may find it difficult to comfortably buy everything you need to make your own beer. You can typically expect to spend a few hundred dollars to get you started. The equipment you need will cost around $100 plus a large kettle, which may cost up to $50 or more.
Keeping in mind your store's prices for liquid and dry yeast, the entire list of ingredients to make a 5 gallon match can cost from $25 to $50. You'll also want to buy some sanitizers and bottles, which will cost from $10 to $20 for 24 bottles of 12-oz. size. The bottles, however, can be reused repeatedly with sufficient cleaning.
Although you may continue to use your kitchen equipment to save money, many people choose to purchase special equipment designed specifically for beer making. Although these costs may sound expensive for starting off, many of them are one-time costs. Not to mention, you'll get a lot of beer for the amount of money you've invested.
Another disadvantage of home brewing your own beer is that you'll love the taste so much you may find yourself drinking more than you used to and more than you should! Your neighbors may be over more often then normal as well just to get some of your great-tasting free (at least to them) beer!
Home brewing can also be very messy and time-consuming, especially until you fully get the hang of it. You may decide you want a special room for this process if you'll be doing it frequently.
VARIETIES OF HOME BREWING
While hearing the terms, 'home brew' makes us most often think of beer, we are definitely not limited to beer. Beer is usually the beverage that most people interested in home brewing begin with, mostly because it's the most popular. Another reason is that it's the fermented beverage that is most often consumed.