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Home » Beer 101

Homebrewers of any level will find value in this academy

Submitted by on December 22, 2011 – 12:51 pmNo Comment

If you love trying great beer – and really, that’s the whole point of taking a Road Trip for Beer, isn’t it? – it seems almost inevitable that  sooner or later you’ll get the itch to brew your own.

This happened to me last year, and I was lucky enough to find a beginner’s kit under the tree at Christmas – well, next to the tree. The only thing missing was knowledge on how to do it. I knew it took more than the technique my older brother tried to make me believe in when I was a youngster, which involved leaving a rusty nail in a glass of water overnight.

I had skimmed through Charlie Papazian’s “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” and a few other homebrewing books, but I still didn’t feel confident enough to start that first batch.

Then my friend Billy Broas, a great guy whom I met in person at the 2010 Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, contacted me about a new project he was undertaking: the Homebrew Academy. He invited me to be one of the charter members, and I took him up on the offer. I’m so glad I did.

The Homebrew Academy is an online course with hands-on videos, step-by-step detailed instructions, checklists and more, including an active forum where newbies and veterans can exchange ideas and recipes, ask questions and offer advice. And believe me, I asked a lot of questions.

Before my first brew day, I printed out the instructions and checklists and watched and re-watched the videos. My American Pale Ale came out pretty good, and that’s not just my opinion. I offered it to a certified beer judge to taste, and he had some very kind things to say about it. I did run into some problems with fermentation temperature, nothing that affected that batch badly, but after asking questions and receiving advice on the forum, I was able to make adjustments in subsequent batches to keep it from becoming an issue.

The Homebrew Academy currently offers two levels of instruction: Just Get Brewing, for beginners, and Go Brewmaster for more advanced brewers.

If you bought a home brewing kit for someone on your Christmas list, this is a great and affordable additional last-minute gift. If, like me, you receive a kit but want to boost your confidence level before you put the brew pot on to boil, it makes a worthy investment. And after you brew your first batch, Billy will send you a fancy diploma suitable for framing.

For more information on how to join the Homebrew Academy, click here.

Disclaimer: The author of this piece makes a small cut from any memberships completed through the link. However, all opinions are genuine, and any payment will just help defray the cost of brewing ingredients.

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