For the do-it-yourselfer, there is no greater feeling than finishing a project with the knowledge that the end result came from your hands. Making home brewed beer is no exception, but homebrewers beware: you and your family will need to make some sacrifices in order to reap the benefits of a good batch of home brewed beer, and though the process can be long and results can vary, brewing your own beer can be a wonderful experience that yields a delicious product.
The biggest sacrifices you will have to make in order to create your own home brewed beer are time and money, but beyond that, understand that brewing beer has a pungent odor that may be unpleasant to some. Be sure to warn your family members, and thoroughly clean up after you are done brewing. Odors aside, the brewing process can be accomplished in any spacious kitchen.
Brewing home brewed beer will require that you make an investment in some specialized equipment. You will need a carboy--a large, glass container used for storing your beer while it is in the fermenting stage--yeasts, malts, hops, filters, hoses, a bottler, and a good supply of glass bottles. For smaller home brewed beer set-ups, you may want to invest in a large turkey fryer as well, which will allow you to heat up the copious amounts of water necessary to complete your brew.
As you might imagine, the price tag on the above items do add up, but the investment is, in the long run, quite cheap in regards to how often you will use the equipment. Making your own home brewed beer requires some research, too, as you will have to discover clone recipes you may want to try out. In time, with practice, you will be able to make your own recipes for your own distinct tastes. But beware: small mistakes could cost you big, and if you aren't careful, your entire batch of beer may be ruined.
Home brewed beer can be a fantastic hobby that yields a delicious product for beer enthusiasts and connoisseurs, but it isn't for every day drinkers looking for a quick way to fill their fridges. Once your beer has been brewed, it needs to ferment for several days to several weeks; if you are using a keg setup, this fermenting process takes less time, but the cost of such a setup is much higher. So the final determining factor goes something like this: if you are a do-it-yourselfer who wants to be able to customize your own brews and be proud of a tasty batch of beer, give brewing a shot. If you just want to fill your fridge without the middleman, this may not be the best solution.