Discussing homebrewing with others

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Mar 28, 2018.

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Do you make homebrewing sound like a difficult process or an easy process?

  1. Complicated

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  2. Easy

    87.0%
  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    When you talk about homebrewing with those who don’t homebrew, how do you do it? There may be times when you have a friend or a relative over, and share your beer with them. Obviously you’ll discuss the hobby with them. Or maybe you’re out and about, and the topic comes up for whatever reason. Here’s my question. How do you present the hobby? Do you make homebrewing sound difficult, or do you make homebrewing sound easy? As we all know, homebrewing is a rabbit hole. You can go as deep as you want. No wrong answers here!
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I almost always describe it as making a big bowl of soupy oatmeal and then boiling for an hour.
    Or as short spurts of action in between cleaning stuff
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    i try and make it sound easy by all means but these days i dont like talking to those that aint in the trade or hobby as i just watch their eyes glaze over and then i just say ah its all beer in the end lets have another one.

    simply put they dont a talk my lingo:).
     
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  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I'm completely honest, so its the questions asked that get the answer and most are in the complicated range, I don't want to mislead people that this is so easy to create good beer and anyone can do it, I say the good and the bad and how it works as simply as possible but also warn of the bad or how hard you can have it.

    anyone can brew beer and thats a fact but brewing world class beer, thats a little harder and they need to know it ;)
     
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I generally tell them it's as easy or hard as they want. I explain simple extract into a bucket and then say what I do in a bit more detail.
     
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  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Generally, I explain the process in a very simple way, mash which is converting starches to sugars which then ferment. Boil for an hour, add hops, chill, add yeast, and wait. Which is about my extent of understanding the whole thing anyway.
     
  7. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    This is in the TMI category, but I went to a new doctor for the first "girl exam" I've had in 25 years. To say I was nervous (I HATE going to the dr, obviously) was a huge understatement. The doctor, who delivered my grandchildren, that's how I knew of him, sat down and chatted first, to make me comfortable.

    He likes beer, especially DIPAs. He wants to learn how to be a BJCP judge, and to brew. Of course he can do it- it's not rocket surgery. :) I'm pretty sure he was supposed to be working, but he pulled up a chair, wrote down the "other" website I'm on, and will start brewing.

    Now, he make be smarter than many average men, but if you can read and follow directions, you can brew beer. If you care enough to pay attention, you can brew really good beer. If you want to, you can brew great beer.
     
  8. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    I love talking about it, but as was noted you have to be careful not to bore people. And, for me, I have to be extra careful who I talk to about it. So, I have to start by saying that it is legal, but it is a grey area...
    I generally describe my process (BIAB) as a bit like like making tea with some extra bits. Of course, I say that its very cheap and that you can get great results and it isn't that difficult. Bit simplistic, but to the unitiated its enough I think.
    If anyone is interested then it goes from there.
     
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  9. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I just like to keep it simple. They ask what kind of beer I make. After listing a few, I ask what they like. The question that burns my bacon... “Is it cheaper to make it yourself?” Equipment cost aside, I tell them about $1 per pint. :D They don’t get the hobby aspect. People have so many kraft brewery choices here in the PNW, the hobby has lots of competition.
     
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  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Everyone wants to know if it’s cheaper. I remember asking a friend the same question 20+ years ago. He said to save money is not a good reason to brew your own beer. He said it’s a hobby. You do it because you want to learn more about it.
     
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  11. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Cost is a funny one eh. Equipment and time wise it costs a lot, but pure raw materials per pint, very cheap. I think I see why that burns, because its not really about the cost so much, its the challenge, learning, the process and the satisfaction. At least thats my take on it.
     
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  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I always point out that the fundamental processes involved are straightforward, but that being rigorous about producing good beer requires a lot of work. Kit extract beers are actually really simple and they'll give extremely satisfying results for a first time brewer. Any of us with some experience can make pretty decent beer, extract or all-grain, in a relaxed afternoon with not much more than a couple of pots and jugs if we want to and that's the concept that I try to convey.
    Where it gets more and more complex, as I explain, is learning the art and the science, mastering the technology, both new and traditional, and striving to produce something of excellence. That applies to a lot of endeavors. ;)
     
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  13. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it’s not rocket science... but it does require passion and a competitive spirit. :eek:
     
  14. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Haha. So far I'm the only complicated vote! Most of my friends or those I discuss beer with are techies. For the most part I go through the actual brewing process in fairly simple terms like others have mentioned, but I talk more about the software and using apps and computers, calculators etc because that's what they're into (myself included to a degree). I don't know that I necessarily make it complicated, but just put it more in terms they understand and find more interesting.
    That said, fire and electricity help spark excitement.
     
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  15. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    He should at least understand the difference between cleaning and sanitary practice....good luck to him
     
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  16. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    When I meet the brew curious I just invite them for a brewday , they get involved and see the process is quite simple , they enjoy some nice cold beers and get part of the finished batch to take home feeling very proud .
     
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  17. Aub

    Aub Active Member

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    I'll usually point out that it's easy to start with kit brewing, a bit more complicated moving to extract, and all grain being the most complicated. I also tell them that anyone can learn to brew, it's just a matter of reading and garnering knowledge from forums like this one.
     
  18. KC

    KC Active Member

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    When someone asks about my homebrew, I tell them it's not good. If they're still curious, I'll share some of my "better stuff" which is all the same but expectations have been set really low.

    I describe homebrewing like golf. It's easy for anyone to do, but hard to do well. You can spend all your time and money trying to get really good, or you can just go have fun with it
     
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  19. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Great topic Jeff!

    I try and make it as simple as possible. I generally start with saying there's 4 main ingredients in beer and water is 98% of it. You've got water, grains, hops and yeast. You add hot water to the grains to yield flavor and sugar, then you boil with hops (to give bitterness and flavor/aroma), then you add yeast that eats the sugar and by doing so, they yield flavor and alcohol. but even then, most folks give you the deer in the headlights look.
     
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  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ditto that. I'm willing to go as far down the rabbit hole as the person wants, I love talking about my hobby, but if their eyes glaze over a couple of seconds in, I can stop at "you make oatmeal, drain the liquid, and ferment it."
     
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