The Beginner Brewer: Homebrewing: Is it for me?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Homebrewing: Is it for me?

Pale Ale

Homebrewing is a fast growing hobby, especially here in South Africa. Maybe you've decided to try your hand at brewing, so it would be a good idea to look at good and bad reasons to become a homebrewer. After all, this can turn into a bit of an obsession!

As a psychologist and homebrewer, I've often contemplated the deeper, darker motivations that make people decide to occupy their time with a hobby (not really, but it sounded good!). Each brewer brings a unique motivation to the hobby, and here are a few to guide you along (or away!):

5 good motivations for the beginner brewer:

- The Mad Scientist: you like experimenting with chemicals in your basement, and now want to drink them
- The Chef: you're into food and drink, and want to extend your culinary skills to beer making
- The Beer Geek: you've visited the microbreweries, you know what an IBU is, and now want to start making your own
- The Beer Engineer: you like crafting machinery and gadgets at home, and don't mind a few pints while you're at it
- The Beernaut: you want to explore the limits of beer, from obscure Belgian lambics to recreating ancient Sumerian ales

4 rather bad motivations for the beginner brewer:

- The Alcoholic: you think that homebrewing guarantees an unlimited supply of cheap booze. 
- The Cheapskate: you want to pay less for mass-produced fizzy yellow beer by making your own.
- The Bathroom Brewer: you think that homebrewing is a fun alternative use for your bathtub and believe that good hygiene is for "sissies"
- The Job Seeker: you think that homebrewing will lead to fame and fortune as a professional brewer. (Well, sometimes, it might, but that shouldn't be your only reason).

Next time..

The Skinny on Making Beer I'll look at the absolute basics of how beer is made and how you'll be making it soon!
{Picture  by  mfajardo CC BY 2.0}

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