What got you into the hobby?

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foam_top

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I was reflecting today and remembered why I started brewing my own beer. My story is really silly but it's the truth and pretty funny.

About 3-4 years ago was the first time I had ever tried a pumpkin ale. At the time, I thought it was the best beverage I ever had. For a few years, every autumn, I would obsess and buy up every style and variation of pumpkin ale I could find before they retired season. I must have toured every liquor-mart on the map during these months. I was captivated by this drink and tortured during the months it was unavailable. I grew tired of this routine every season and that's when my desperation turned inspiration. "If I brew my own beer I could have seasonal beers all year long!"

At the time, I didn't know if homebrewing was even practical and... I certainly didn't know how popular it already was! With the magic of internet, I began to research and ground my interest in the hobby. It wasn't long before I discovered "How to Brew" by John Palmer and watched many youtube tutorials. Eventually, I brewed my first batch, an overall success.

As of now, it pains me to say, but I am very over that style of beer. However, the obsession of brewing MANY styles has compensated any absent interest and the passion continues to grow.

Anyways, I would really like to hear your introduction to the hobby. Thanks.
 

MarshmallowBlue

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Pumpkin Beer never dies.

Any-who, my wife got me a Mr. Beer for my birthday a ways back. I brewed the two cans that came with it and one more in addition. Then moved to one extract batch, then all grain from there on out. I also have made a lot of mead, and still do.

I've written enough articles (and done a couple other brewing related gigs) to pay for value of all the equipment I've ever had, so I'm actually saving money from brewing, because re-couping equipment costs is moot.

Now I brew for myself about 50% of the time and for friends and co-workers the other 50% of the time (they pay for the ingredients, propane, caps, everything), and I just make the stuff (of course i have to keep a few off the top for carbonation testing :mug: ).

I'm sure a nano brewery is down the road several years once I scrape up enough pennies, but I'm perfectly content just brewing for myself and others if it never bears fruit.
 

agrazela

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I'm a chemist by education, and a food scientist by avocation, with access to lab and all manner of instrumentation, test equipment and parts/disposables. I've loved beer for over 30 years, since long before it was legal for me to do so. I also love to build, tinker and experiment.

I'm also a cheap bastard who believes you should never pay someone to do something you could do yourself.

About three years ago my wife got me a basic kit. As soon as I got started I said to myself, "What the MF'ing flying F took you so long to get into this!?!"
 

TasunkaWitko

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What got you into the hobby?
My wife (may God bless her and grant her a long and happy life) bought a Brooklyn Brew Shop mix (Grapefruit Honey Ale - highly recommended recipe) for me for my birthday.

If it weren't for her, I'd be sitting around drinking Bud/Miller/Coors/OldMilwaukee.
 

bionut

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In high school me and my buddies would gather twice or three times a month for some barbecue and beer. I never liked beer, and couldn't drink more that 1 or 2 500ml cans of beer. It was cheap mass produced lager. In 2012, two years after highscool, i was in college and on time in the supermarket i just bought a more expensive beer that the beer i was used to. I think it was a Hopgoblin, much better than any beer i drunk before.
That was the spark that egnited the fuse of my homebrewing activity. I bought two bucket, one for fermenting and one for bottling, a bottle capper, hydrometer and sanitizer and i brew about three hopped canned kits, before switching to all grain.
I still have to improve my brewing, planing a RO system and fermentation chamber, and some things that won't improve my beer but ease my work (kegging setup keggerator, electric HERMS and/or a ArdBir Braumeister clone, etc).
 

DaNewf

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Young's Double Chocolate Stout!

$4.50CDN/500ml bottle was killing me. Alcoholic beverages are heavily taxed here so my primary motivation was to save money.

I now make most of the beer and wine my wife and I drink. Even taking pretty much everything into account (equipment, ingredients, cleaners, electricity...) my price per unit has been less than store bought for quite some time. This is offset by the fact that we consume many more units than before and I feel compelled to occasionally buy expensive bottles of beer to consume in the name of research.

So all in all I'm not really saving a lot of money but at least I'm drinking a lot more.

Wait a minute...
 
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EtchyLives

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I arrived in Korea and my sponsor who was showing me around the area mentioned that he brewed beer. I stopped by his house, saw the bucket and the coolness and thought that it was a cool idea. 6 years later we're both still brewing.
 

MrSpiffy

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My story isn't terribly exciting, but hey... you asked!

Until my late 20's, I hated beer. I thought it was awful. I never liked the smell of commercial beers. And I had my first real beer when I was about 20. That beer had been a Guinness, and let me tell you that's not necessarily the best beer to start with when you know nothing of beer or its flavors. I also hate bitter things, so I was very turned off by beer for a while.

Then I started working in a new city with new people, and they kept inviting me for beers at the bar across the road after work. I started out with malty beers (New Glarus Spotted Cow, mostly) and slowly grew to enjoy them before branching into new styles. I discovered the craft beer scene was really diverse, especially in Wisconsin. And I just tried all sorts of different beers.

Eventually, I grew really curious about the various beer styles, how beer was made, yeast strains, fermentation, water chemistry, etc. and I really wanted to try making my own. So, I bought a few things and brewed on the stove top. It wasn't fantastic, but it was a success. From there, I quickly moved into all-grain brewing.

I love this hobby. There's always something new to learn about brewing beer. And variety is what keeps me interested. All-in-all, a great hobby choice for me.
 

mongoose33

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Last summer, the recipe for my favorite beer of all time, Potosi Cave Ale, was changed as Potosi Brewing changed from contract brews to their own facility. The new recipe had less mouthfeel (lower ABV) and a sort of sour finish.

I was nearly devastated. They insisted the recipe was the same, but it's not.

Meanwhile, my son had started doing home brewing (1 gallon batches), and I had my interest piqued--especially as my favorite beer of all time was no more.

So I decided I'd get into home brewing and see if I could clone the brew I missed so much. I've made several attempts--all were drinkable and good--and I'm close. I've also made some Rye beers, a few others, and currently have a Maris Otter/East Kent Goldings SMASH beer in the fermentor.

I've since become quite dedicated to the hobby. In the six and a half months since I started I've brewed 11 batches, moved to all-grain, started kegging, built a Keezer, read about 8 books, haunted HBT looking for clues and ideas....and I'm brewing beer I'd pay money for in a bar. So it's been fun.

I wish there was a book I could buy that would teach me patience. :)
 

chudsonvt

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I have loved beer since before I could LEGALLY drink it. In college, I drank my fair share. Some friends actually brewed and I thought it was a cool idea. Ever since I was a young kid, I had to know how everything works. That is why I became an engineer. However, I did not get around to brewing myself, back then. Then, a good 10 years after first wanting to homebrew, I finally sucked it up and said I am doing this. So I proceeded with many many hours of research before deciding that I wanted to jump to all-grain and kegging (I already had a keggerator anyway). Now here I am, present day, loving every minute of it. For me it is both a form of artistic expression as well as a never ending science experiment.
 

csurowiec

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I've been a hopeless beer nerd for the last 20 years and cooking has always been a big hobby of mine. Everybody I knew told me I should combine the two interests and homebrew but I always pushed the idea off figuring I would spend money on equipment and ingredients to only make mediocre beer. Last year my wife and mother teamed up to get me a bunch of gear for my birthday. I started brewing right away and the beer has been way better than mediocre. I think to some extent all the cooking knowledge has help the learning curve on the brewing process. Now I just need to learn the required patience for this hobby.
 

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Food was my hobby. Loved to cook. Went to culinary school and then went out and got a job. After a few years I was not as excited to cook at home and I was looking for something new to do with my limited free time. Enter a family vaca to Michigan and a stop at Bells brewery and the general store. I was hooked. Bought an extract kit and how to brew by Palmer.

The house we rented didn't have a tv, DVD or wifi. So I read The Palmer cover to cover. On the way home for the vaca I stopped at Bell's again on the way home bought a cooler mash tun and a burner. I got a recipe for two hearted from Larry Bell and the rest is history.

I've been expanding the brewery since and loving it. Started a Brew Club a year ago too!

Brew on
 

brew38

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A long conversation with a co-worker (who is also a member here) about historically interesting beers was the spark I needed.
I'm already a cook, gardener, canner, and enjoy/suffer several other (non-food related) hobbies.

And, I like beer!
 

dstockwell

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So it was June 2015, I was asked what I wanted for birthday. Well I want to try and brew my own beer. Next came the look of - what - you know the look you get when someone thinks it's a crazy idea. Prior to buying anything I read, and read, and read some more. I have wanted to do this for quite some time, but just never made it happen.

So in July 2015 I finally purchased everything I thought I needed to go with things I already had, did not buy a kit. I use my 7.5G turkey fryer pot and burner, sons old 1.7 mini fridge for fermentation temp control (STC 1000) thanks to HBT, and a 4G square pail just clears with a airlock - perfect..

When I started looking at what process of brewing I was going to do this was the easy part thanks to HBT. Since I had a smaller kettle (7.5G) I had pretty much two options - extract or BIAB. No brainer on this one I went with BIAB for one major reason, batch size. Extract kits were either 5G or 1G, 5 too big, 1 too small, and the cost of extract compared to all grain. So I made my fist batch in July 2015 and have brewed about 24 batches in a almost a years time.
 

SGTSparty

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After coming back from my 1st deployment I decided that I'd get everyone in my family a bigger xmas gift than usual since I had that Iraq money, turns out my older brother wanted to get into home brewing, I ponied up for the deluxe starter kit from some website and really never thought about it again for like 5 years. I never even tried his beer for years because we were never in the same place. I get out of the Army, finish up my degree and end up getting a job 3.5 hours from my fiancee and the house we bought. So i'm living in this dump of an apartment Monday thru Friday w/ nothing to do and knowing no one so when I mention maybe I should start home-brewing since that's an activity that sounds cool and can keep me busy she buys me the Brooklyn 1 Gallon kit for Xmas thinking it'll keep me busy and she wont have to deal with any of it since it'll be at the apartment. I immediately get a job back home, start brewing in her kitchen with great results on the 1st 2 batches.

Then I start stepping up batch size, getting more equipment but end up with like 3 batches in a row of gushers and give it up for about 2 years (gushers + moving + SWMBO getting pregnant w/ our son = no time, energy or motivation to brew more). Then found out my best friend was moving away and I was about to have a lot of free time on my hands again and decided it was time to dust off the gear.

Also decided that since the beer tasted good it was really the bottles fault not mine (or my questionable sanitation practices) so I justified going to kegging when I started up again about 4 months ago. Now I'm drinking my 2nd, 3rd and 4th batch of the year on tap from my newly built kegerator and SWMBO was happy to have multiple styles at our son's baptism last weekend w/o having to pay for any of it (that she knows of ;))

Also found HBT, great for improving my game and keeping me busy/entertained when I can't brew but still involved in brewing so it doesn't fall by the wayside again.
 

treacheroustexan

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I was reflecting today and remembered why I started brewing my own beer. My story is really silly but it's the truth and pretty funny.

About 3-4 years ago was the first time I had ever tried a pumpkin ale. At the time, I thought it was the best beverage I ever had. For a few years, every autumn, I would obsess and buy up every style and variation of pumpkin ale I could find before they retired season. I must have toured every liquor-mart on the map during these months. I was captivated by this drink and tortured during the months it was unavailable. I grew tired of this routine every season and that's when my desperation turned inspiration. "If I brew my own beer I could have seasonal beers all year long!"

At the time, I didn't know if homebrewing was even practical and... I certainly didn't know how popular it already was! With the magic of internet, I began to research and ground my interest in the hobby. It wasn't long before I discovered "How to Brew" by John Palmer and watched many youtube tutorials. Eventually, I brewed my first batch, an overall success.

As of now, it pains me to say, but I am very over that style of beer. However, the obsession of brewing MANY styles has compensated any absent interest and the passion continues to grow.

Anyways, I would really like to hear your introduction to the hobby. Thanks.
I'm the same exact why. I used to go to tons of stores a few years back and try every single pumpkin ale, christmas ale, etc. I still do, but I don't buy as much and it's not as exciting. I miss those days in a way though!
 

JimEb

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I always enjoyed a good beer. College in Milwaukee there were plenty of good brew pubs with their own beers on tap. Some world travel then exposed me to different beers. Living in India I would go through hell to get some bootleg imported BMC...their local beers really sucked. Best beer ever was at the end of a long hot day in an outdoor beer garden in Warsaw. I ordered a large generic 'piwo'. It came in about a 1/2 gallon mug. It was a pilsner type beer of which I imagine was a house brew and I was feeling pretty good after that one.

My mom and brother got into home brewing years earlier. They did some extracts, but nothing really good. I thought about home brewing for a long time, but was too cheap to make that initial investment. Then my mom asked if I wanted her equipment because she lost interest. ...and that's all it took. Now I have a semi-automated electric brew stand, fermentation chamber, kegerator, carbing station, etc.

My problem is I like making the beer more than I like drinking it. Nothing better than having some people over and emptying some bottles and kegs. Then I can brew some more.
 

tim_c7

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I moved from a craft beer hot spot in Portland, OR. To the land of Quebec, which is French speaking, hockey loving, and wine swilling. Not only is there no respectable pale ales in my area, and the sh*tty ones cost triple than I expect. My awesome wife (which is the reason I moved from Portland) got me a beginners brew kit for a gift and it has made a world of difference.
 

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A friend was moving and didn't want to pay $$$ to have his glass carboys packed/moved. I had been interested in brewing but never pulled the trigger on buying the gear. He gave them to me, and I've been addicted ever since.
 

Fennis

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My wife bought me a Mr. Beer kit for a Christmas gift including my own pots and utensils to brew everything in--knowing I would probably destroy her nice Pampered Chef things. She thought it might be something that would interest me--little did she know. She even did some research to find out the proper basic things I would need for brewing that didn't come with the kit such as a hydrometer and an auto siphon.

A short 6 months after that and I purchased equipment to go all-grain, kegs because I was tired of bottling, and a mini-fridge.
 

jayrome2722

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When I was a youngster we had a bumper crop of wild grapes one year and I made a big batch of juice. My dad told me if I left it out it would ferment and turn into wine. He told me how my grandmother used to make elderberry wine that way. The story stuck with me until I was older so in 1999 I made my first wine. I made wine a few years and then thought, "why am I making something I don't even like that much?" After that I did a little research on home brewing and already had most of the equipment, so I started brewing beer and have been hooked ever since.
 

letshomebrew

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Like many of us, I got a Mr Beer kit as a present after I started trying a bunch of different craft beers. I did a few batches that ranged from pretty good to horrible and put it away for a while. A couple guys I work with started brewing extract kits and after seeing that I jumped straight into all grain. Since then I have moved up in batch sizes and equipment and love it more than ever.
 

jerbrew

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1) I really like beer
2) I love the scientific method and brewing really requires that in order to develop great beers
3) I'm an engineer and love putting things together, developing new ideas and processes, and brewing gives me a chance to learn and implement things I don't get to in my work (for instance, electrical, plumbing, drinking, etc.)
 

Pantherjon

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Tough question...And I really don't know what got me into home brewing..For the longest time(like 7 years!) since I got back stateside from being stationed in Germany with the Army I didn't drink beer..In fact at that time I didn't really like it at all..Then at work I was talking to a co-worker who said he was getting such-and-such beer, it kind of triggered something in me to try beer again..Got a 6-pack of SA and actually really enjoyed it..But since I wasn't a 'drinker' for so long I had a very low tolerance level, so 1 beer would get me pretty wiped out..

So, that got me back to beer..I would mainly drink SA, then I started trying beer from my home town brewery-which when I saw it here in Georgia I almost fell over!..OMG, how could I have been so blind all these years to Sierra Nevada beer?!?! Yep, before my stint in the Army and the 20 years I have lived in Georgia now, I am originally from Chico, CA! Go figure, right?..LMAO..Anyways, then something kind of clicked last year around the November time period, I read something about home brewing..It sounded interesting..So, here I am..Fuddling my way through things, trying to do too much at once I think..But, still putting out home made beer that I am proud to say 'I made that'..

So, that is my little bit of weirdness...
 

catdaddy66

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My ex bought me a Mr Beer in 1995 and it was horrible! Looking around i found a liquid hobby shop and, except for a 6 year break, i havent looked back. Started all grain in 2013.
 

gunnuts

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My wife bought me a MR. Beer.

I am already a BBQ guy and a 12 hour pork shoulder is a great day...
This its right in with BBQ!

Mr. Beer is like a gateway drug for nerds.
 

cekramer

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Found a homebrew kit for $65 on groupon and decided to pull the trigger on it. Definitely one of the best purchases I've ever made!
 

Murphys_Law

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Went to Germany in 2001 and fell in love with their Pils. Decided I would try and do home brew when I got home so I went to a small shop that just opened and he explained I couldn't do lager without temp control but could brew ales. Ales? WTF? Who drinks that crap! So I stopped at the store on the way home, got me a six'er of Coors and forgot about my home brew journey...for the time being.

Sometime around summer of 2012 my wife bought our oldest daughter (who loves craft beer!) and I a Groupon for a "brew your own" place - brew on their equipment with their tutelage. Unfortunately both my daughter and I were traveling a lot then and didn't bet a chance to sign-up for their class.

My younger daughter bought me a gift cert for the same shop for Christmas 2014, I took the class in March of 2015 and went and bought my starter kit the next day.

A year later, many upgrades, and several batches later (yes, even ales! :) ), I am hooked! I doubt my wife has any idea how much I've spent (shhh!).
 

mattdee1

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I was given a Mr. Beer as a gift 3-4 years ago, and I enjoyed it, but it doesn't have much to do with anything.

Last spring, my girlfriend-now-wife took me on a local craft beer tour for my birthday. I enjoyed that so much, that I decided before the day was out that I would figure out how to make beers like that at home. My first batch was in the temperature controlled fermentation chamber approximately 6 weeks later.
 

NickTheGreat

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I am cursed with the desire to know everything about everything. I really started to expand my beer drinking. I liked Bud Light, and really liked Amberbock. What is this Fat Tire stuff . . . ? A stout, don't mind if I do . . .

So I bought the gear and started to learn. I've only got a dozen or so batches under my belt in the 3 or 4 years I've brewed.

But I feel like it's given me a lot more knowledge about beer in general. :)
 

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I was watching the short lived Brew Masters. Sam was talking about his Extreme Brewing book in one episode. I bought it, read it and found my lhbs all in the same weekend. Brewed an extract IPA kit my lhbs put together and have been brewing ever since.

Edit: Just saw my join date was December 2010. Brew Masters show was on from November 2010 to December 2010. Watched the show, read his book, brewed and joined HBT all within the month lol
 

TorMag

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My mother in-law always asks me what I want for Christmas. I had always wanted to brew my own beer. This past December, a work buddy dropped a Northwest Supplies Catalog on my desk, my Mother in-law called and asked what I wanted, I looked at the catalog and said a home brew kit. I've spent way too much money in the last 6 months and moved to BIAB.
 

PADave

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I tried brewing about 16 years ago and it didn't go well. A few years ago I really got into drinking craft beers, but said I didn't want to home brew. Then I went to a beer exchange last year and two people showed up with home brew, one of which is planning on opening his own brewery. I had been thinking about home brewing at that point, since I had moved into a house, had the space, and the basement was the perfect temps for fermentation. Once I tasted those beers at the exchange, and how much better they were than the crap I made years ago I was ready. Started small, making a few 1 gallon brews to make sure I could do it. Quickly realized how much work was involved for 9 bottles and went straight to BIAB. Now making some fine beers, and rarely buy anything commercial.
 

MaryB

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I brewed with a friend back in the 80's. We were keeping 6 families supplied with beer. I moved to far away to be brewing every week so I sold out to her.

Fast forward to last year. I like ales and am tired of paying $35+++ a case for them. So I got back into it, did a dozen extract kits to relearn the steps and have now stepped back to all grain. Still need to make a bulk grain purchase and some 8 oz bags of hops(I can vac bag them in mylar pouches once opened to keep fresh in the freezer) and I should be good to go for 5-6 months! Being retired and on a fixed income brewing stretches my dollar, and friends and family are already asking me to brew for them so payoff will be quick after they do some donations to cover equipment costs!
 

tjramsey

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When my dad retired, and while I was in college (early 1990s), he and some friends decided to try brewing beer. He saw a help wanted sign at the small homebrew shop, told me about it as I needed a part time job. So I did a couple of brews at work between packaging up orders just so I would have an idea of what I was talking about when talking with customers. Got fairly into it, brewed on my off days, and moved to all grain fairly quickly. The employee discount helped. Then moved on from that job, and ended up not brewing again for about 20 years. Now back into it again for about 3 years.
Oh yea, and I like beer, always did, and back in the early 90s, while there were some good micros out there, homebrewing allowed for considerable variety beyond what you could find at the store.
 
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