Is Home Brewed Beer Worth the Effort?

Dan Cavallari

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.

Hops, which are used to make beer.
Hops, which are used to make beer.

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.

Home brewed beer.
Home brewed beer.

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.

Home brewed beer.
Home brewed beer.

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.

A stout, a brown ale, and a pale lager.
A stout, a brown ale, and a pale lager.

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.

Using a keg means fermenting home brewed beer takes less time.
Using a keg means fermenting home brewed beer takes less time.

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Discussion Comments


The Internet became viable through the exchange of sexy jpg's and home-brew recipe/info txt files. Using a 300 baud Hayes acoustic coupler modem, a Compuserve 15 min a day account, and a Commodore 64. Beer making became mainstream in the early 80's and propagated thusly. Seriously.

So, you can honestly say that the Internet was originally made popular by fantastically interested beer makers.


Anyone that is familiar with brewing culture knows that there are hundreds and hundreds of recipes for home brews available online. In fact, there are almost as many home brewed beer recipes as there are home brewers. Anyone who sticks with it comes up with their own batch eventually.


My girlfriend got me a home beer brew kit for Christmas. I haven't set it up yet but I'm excited to. I have been wanting to brew my own beer for a long time but have always been a little intimidated by it and never took the first step. Luckily my girlfriend took it for me.

The kit that I have is for an IPA. What other beers have you guys tried brewing? I have heard about people doing just about every style imaginable.


Home brewed beer is definitely worth the effort. Once you get the hang of it you can brew delicious tasting beer for cheaper than anything you would find of comparable quality at at the store. Even the cost of the materials quickly recoups itself once you start brewing regularly.

I have been brewing my own beer for almost 10 years now and I've found it to be incredibly rewarding. I have been able to try and show off a lot of different beers. I've tapped into a culture of local brewers and we share tips and beers. And brewing is a fun mix of science, food and art, it really fires the imagination if you want it to.

So I would tell anyone thinking about brewing their own beer to read up on it, get some basic materials and go for it! Eventually you will end up with the best beer you've ever tasted.

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