There is an impression in many people’s minds that factory conditions are necessary in order to make something as complicated as beer. It is true that brewing a beer is not like cooking a meal – the skills involved in both overlap, but there are plenty of people who can do either one of the above, but are useless at the other. But factory conditions are not necessary, and you can brew your own beer at home and produce something worth drinking. Indeed, some of the more critically acclaimed beers available commercially were brewed in something that equates to a garden shed.
The advantage that home brewing has over purchasing ready-made beer commercially is that you are not limited by the choice on the shelves in front of you. Do you want this batch to be just a little darker? Do you want to flavor the next one? What flavor – banana? Plum? Apricot? Once you have the equipment, the world of beers opens up in front of you and you can be as bold or as conservative as you like.
Home brewing is not easy, and the chances are that even with a lot of preparation your first batch will be pretty close to rancid. Don’t despair if that is the case, the chances are that one of the many steps involved went a little bit wrong somehow. Retrace your steps and see if there was something you forgot. Try and work out what you can do next time to make sure it is right. Be a little more ambitious every time and before long, you will be producing beer that is the equal of, and then better than, that sold in any bar.