When it comes to starting out in brewing beer there are so many options available to you. Everything from #small batch brewing to elaborate full grain kits. If you’re just starting out your first reaction may be to jump in head first and buying a complete brewing kit but that can be a large investment that might possibly disappoint you and at the end turning you off to this great hobby. And we can’t have that!
So let’s talk about a new craze that has really taken off over the last year…small batch brewing. So why is it so great and why is it best for beginners? Well I’m glad you asked. Let’s first start by talking about the process of brewing. No matter what method you use there is a chain of events that have to happen. Let’s look at a normal 5 gallon full grain batch brewing process. The process looks like the image below.
As you can see there are many steps involved and there is special equipment required to go through the entire process. Not to mention time. A standard brewing process could easily take most of the day. So as you can see it’s a very involved process that for the beginner brewer can be very daunting.
Enter small batch brewing.
So with that said let’s talk about the advantages and benefits of small batch brewing. There are many but I’m going to focus on the biggies.
One of the key advantages of small batch brewing is scale. Because you brew on a smaller scale, the required equipment almost disappears. You can easily use regular kitchen items and the few required items are very cheap and can be purchase easily either online or at a local brew shop. And for those that want super easy, there are ready made kits that come with everything you need to enter into small batch brewing.
If you are an avid beer person you cannot beat the quality of the beer you brew. You will be brewing beer in the same exact process that is used to produce the craft beer off the shelf. The big difference is freshness. It will be the highest quality beer along with ultimate freshness. No more questioning how long it sat on the shelf. For commercial craft brewers this is their benefit. They go and tap the tank before bottling for their own beer. You will be doing essentially the same thing.
Because you can scale ANY recipe you find small batch brewing gives you access to every beer style ever created. Think about that. Have you ever tried a beer while traveling or at a brew pub and thought it was great but knew your access was limited? Not anymore. Especially if you are at a brew pub. Most brewers are proud of their work and love to talk about their craft. Most of the time they are happy to share their recipes.
The process of brewing can be complicated (as you saw above) but as with small batch brewing the process is greatly simplified. Most of what you do is actually done in a single pot reducing the steps down to just a few. What takes hours for a full size batch reduces down to minutes, depending on the style.
For some, tradition may not seem like a benefit but taking part in a process that is over 9000 years old is pretty cool. Not too many people can say this. Not to mention the pride of producing something in the same manner that has been done for eons. There is a certain amount of pride that comes with that. When you crack that first bottle and pour your brew into a glass, go ahead and try not to smile. I dare you.
So, as you see, small batch brewing is an exciting and rewarding hobby. You get the freshest brew around, you get to experiment and try new things and you can share with friends and family. When it gets right down to it there really are not to many negatives to small batch brewing. Probably the waiting for you first batch but good things come to those that wait.
If this post inspired you to try it, or maybe it was a complete failure…tell me about it! Comment to the post. I love hearing from others on their adventure and others like to read it too. Till next time, I’ll save a seat at the bar for you.