I initially started homebrew because my finances were hindering my beer consumption. However, now I’m finding homebrew is not just for the budget conscious, but a place to experiment and sample some of our finest beers at a fraction of the cost.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the German Law of Purity?
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it is actually one of the oldest laws in effect. The original law is from 1516 and is known as The Reinheitsgebot (literally “purity order”), sometimes called the “German Beer Purity Law”. it is simply a regulation that said if you were going to brew beer in Germany there are only four ingredients you can use (or need, for that matter). Water, barley (malt), hops and yeast … that’s it. A very simple recipe which must work because the Germans make great beer!
In fact, that’s pretty much it for beer, period. You will find a preservative here, and some sugar there but fundamentally, beer making has not changed and is replicated in thousands of homes around the world. Most males over the age of 30 will have an amusing story about ‘a friend of their’s’ homebrew … something that was either foul or downright dangerous. Homebrew has come along in recent decades and most supermarkets in Australia have kits that will cost you less than $20 and provide the equivalent of 2.5 cartons of very drinkable beer. Throw in a few bottle tops and carbonation drops and you have beer at about 25% retail price.
Is it any good, honestly? Mostly better, sometimes worse than the mass produced offerings of your industrial brewers. My father has been using the same kit from Woolies for over 20 years and it tastes very good. Like most things, practice makes perfect. Don’t get the wrong idea … if you can make a cup of tea, then you have sufficient skills to brew your own beer. It is dead easy, and very addictive. You will be surprised how many of your friends are genuinely interested in trying your beer. Give them a bottle and then compare notes on complex malt and mouthfeel like the professional beer taster they have always wanted to beer.
Dark Honey Home Brewed Beer Recipe
My fathers ‘Dark Honey’ recipe is as folllows:
Coopers Dark Ale Kit $12
0.75kg honey $8
1 packet of carbonation drops $3
Pour all ingredients into a fermenter (exept the carbonation drops). Add 21 litres of tap water. Sprinkle yeast on top (comes with the kit). Close the lid and leave for 2 weeks.
(acquire 30 long neck bottles)
Place 2 carbonation drops into each bottle, fill with beer and cap them. Leave for 22 weeks
chill and drink 🙂
An approximate summary of price differences would be:
$1.75 – Standard beer
$3.00 – Craft beer
$0.50 – Homebrew beer
Before you buy your next carton of beer, check out the closest supermarket or friendly homebrew store for ideas.