ALEiens Homebrew Club

Spreading the Joys of Home Brewing Throughout Philadelphia and the Universe!

Hey guys, my name is Nick and I'm a junior at Temple University studying magazine journalism.  I'm writing a "how to" article on homebrewing and I'd like to have some sources to attribute quotes to.  If anyone could help out by answering a few questions I'd really appreciate it.  They're nothing too in depth, just basic stuff because the article will focus on the beginnings of homebrewing for the novice reader.

Again, if anyone could answer the following questions it would be a lot of help.

Anyhow, here they are:


  1. Name (first and last), age, location
  2. When did you start home brewing and why?
  3. How has your idea of home brewing changed since you started?
  4. Why should others who are interested in beer take up home brewing?
  5. What are some good retailers (either shops or online) to purchase equipment/ingredients from and why?
  6. What kind of beer do you recommend for a first-time brewer? Any recipes that you can provide?
  7. What are some good resources for home brewers?
  8. What is the number one mistake that new home brewers make? How can it be avoided?
  9. How can the growing interest in home brewing best be explained?
  10. How can a beginning brewer make the leap to intermediate or advanced brewing?
Thanks guys,
Nick

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Hey Nick,

Happy to share some thoughts, but since I'm a motormouth, I sent them as a couple of messages

-e
Wow! Thanks a lot Eivind, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. There is a lot of great stuff in there, I really appreciate it sir.
I'll give it a go.

1. Dave Covey, 31, NE Philly
2. I started home brewing 2.5 years ago. I've always enjoyed cooking, science, and most especially beer. Homebrewing ties it all up into one neat and tidy little package.
3.Homebrewing used to be just for me. I only brewed the things that I wanted to brew and never gave a thought to the greater homebrew world outside of my kitchen. Then I joined the Aleiens and started competeing, all about a year ago. This has caused me to open up a bit more to new ideas with homebrewing, but it is also causing me to be more focused on trying to stay within the style guide lines. Even though it's still a hobby and something that I do for fun, I think I take my processes and end product more seriously now.
4. It can be a lot of work, I wouldn't say that it's for everybody. But if you've ever had ANY interest in doing this as a hobby, give it a go. I know that the first time I saw a bubbling airlock, I was hooked. Just being able to take a product that has no alcohol in it and turn it into something that is alcoholic was cool to me. You hold that pint of bubbling beer with a nice head on it, take a sip and see the lacing on the glass and say "I made that.", it doesn't get much better than that.
5. Ok, Iocally I've gotta mention Paul's shop, Wine, barley, and hops. His ingredients are fresh, and he usually has whatever I need in stock. His prices are competive with everybody else in the area. As far as on-line goes I recommend midwest supplies, www.midwestsupplies.com. They have a huge inventory, their ingredients are always fresh, and their customer service is excellent. They are also probably the cheapest supplier around, but after you factor in shipping costs, you may as well have gone to Paul's shop. Honestly, I prefer to go to Wine, Barley and Hops, it's pretty close by for me and I'd rather talk to a person than order from a computer screen. I'm also all for supporting your local homebrew shops, and if the owner is also a club member, then that's all the better.
6. I honestly suggest doing a preassembled kit available from your local homebrew shop for your first batch, so no recipe needed. I'd stick with some kind of an ale, maybe a brown ale or even a pale ale or an IPA, something that's open to interpretation. That way you can focus on the process of brewing and still end up with a drinkable end result, even if you do mess up a bit.
7.This site, www.brewingkb.com, The brewing network's forums, How to Brew by John Palmer, and The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian.
8. Mistaking One-Step for sanitizer. It's only a cleanser, not a sanitizer. Sanitation is the most important thing in homebrewing.
9. People are getting tired of fizzy yellow water. Unfortunatley with the way the current laws work and the fact that it's difficult to find many of the beer styles that you might want to try we're left with little other option but to make it ourselves.
10. Just do it. While it's nice to have a club or a web forum to go to in order to ask questions, nothing beats the hands on experience.

Ok, I hope that I didn't ramble too much and I hope that it helps.
No, no, not rambling at all sir. They were fantastic answers and I will definitely be using them in the final paper. Thank you!
1. Jeff Morehouse, 31, Nottingham, PA
2. Began brewing in 2003 as it had always been fascinating and was finally spurred to action by a good talker/homebrewer in a bar.
3. I began brewing as an experiment but quickly realized that with patience, research, and a little commitment I can brew better beer than what I can buy commercially.
4. Beer is delicious. Brewing is a great blend of science and art. If you're passionate about either of those you'll probably enjoy creating your own delicious beer.
5. Your local store is the best place to start - the knowledge they can provide is a huge asset when you're starting out.
6. Kits from the local store are the best start!
7. The best starter resource I know of: http://www.howtobrew.com/
8. Oxygenate that wort! Keep it sanitary. You're farming yeast - help it grow!
9. See number 4.
0. Back to John Palmer's resource indicated in number 7.

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